I found myself watching a Christmas movie on Hallmark the other night. It’s a guilty pleasure of mine, even though they can be incredibly cheesy and predictable. Boy meets girl. Boy and girl have crazy adventure and almost lose one another. Boy and girl fall in love under the Christmas lights and live happily ever after. Sometimes boy turns into Santa or marries Santa’s daughter or somehow they meet Santa and have to save Christmas.
Just add two cats and that whole boy meets girl and falls in love thing is pretty much what happened in 2 hours. Yeah. Cats. I can’t even explain reasonably why I kept watching. It probably has something to do with the fact that deep down I’m kind of a romantic and there is something heartwarming and wonderful about the anticipation leading up to Christmas.
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Growing up I remember loving so much about the holidays. That whole time leading up to Thanksgiving and through the New Year. We baked cookies and decorated the tree. There were fights and meltdowns over how the lights were hung and who got to hang which ornaments. We would read a pop-up version of “The Night Before Christmas” and leave cookies for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. We watched White Christmas and listened to Amy Grant and Mannheim Steamroller.
When I was older I would volunteer – yes, volunteer – to work retail on Black Friday because I loved the hustle and bustle and the chance to be the one kind sales person the shoppers might meet that day. I loved waking up on Christmas morning to the smell of hot black coffee and cinnamon rolls, seeing the gifts under the tree or piled near the fireplace.
Now that Madi is getting older and developing a love for crafts and stories, it’s even more important for me to find ways to bring meaningful, fun Christmas traditions into our home. Santa will be a character in a story, like Mickey Mouse or Princess Sophia, and we’ll read the Bible under the twinkling lights of our tree on Christmas Eve. We’ll go shopping together for gifts for our Operation Christmas Child shoebox so that she learns that giving to others is more important that a long list of “wants.”
And we’ll take time to learn about Jesus – the Who and the Why behind all the Christmas things we do – in the way she loves most. With stories and making ornaments from Truth In The Tinsel. I absolutely love Amanda’s heart for teaching children about God (you can listen to us talk about that here) and this advent ebook is something I’ve been looking forward to doing with Madi for a few years. It’s perfectly designed for a non-Pinterest-crafty mama like myself (let me tell you about the Pinterest chocolate banana bread I tried to make that took more than 2 hours to bake and STILL wasn’t done).
Instead of an advent countdown with little pieces of chocolate hidden behind doors, I want this Christmas season to be a time where little pieces of God’s love for my kiddo are treasured deep in her heart. We’ll do our best to make the crafts, we’ll read the Scriptures when she’s most likely to listen to them, and we’ll color the printable ornaments when she wants a little something extra to do. Advent traditions aren’t about perfection – it’s bringing God into the center of everything we’re doing, in a way that works for our toddler.
Truth In The Tinsel is perfect for kiddos age 3-5 and comes with everything you need to start a beautiful Christmas tradition with your family. It just takes a quick trip to the craft store (if you’re not a crafty mama…I’ll see you at the store!) and a little bit of intentional planning to point your kiddos toward Jesus this holiday season.
You can buy your own copy of Truth In The Tinsel here, and purchase your printable ornaments here! And watch the video, below, to listen to Amanda walk you through the ebook 🙂 I’d love to know what other tools and resources you use to help spread a little Christmas truth each year!