Monday, November 9, 2015

A Christ-Centered Christmas AND an Advent Giveaway (Ends 11/23/15)

Every year I try really hard to celebrate a Christmas where Christ is actually present. It's harder than it sounds!

For me Christmas is a religious holiday, and I try to spend the whole month in reflection of Jesus' life and what He means to me. Hard as I try, though, stuff tends to get in the way. I'm talking about gifts, wrapping, cookies, Christmas letters, and a family picture for our Christmas card (which always goes super-smoothly for a family with 5 young kids...)

My solution is to try to get as much of the "stuff" as I can done early, ideally by the end of November. But even then, I somehow end up having (at least) one nervous breakdown on or around December 15th, usually having something to do with assembling cookie plates or paying out the nose for expedited shipping for the gifts I forgot until the last minute.

This year, I have much less energy than usual. Soooo much less energy. I was almost disappointed at my last ultrasound to see that I wasn't pregnant with twins  I thought that surely just a single fetus couldn't sap my life force this way. But it has, and I'm pretty wiped out. And I haven't done anything for Christmas yet.

So one of the things I've been including in my nightly prayers (that is, when I don't just drop unconscious after dinnertime) is that I can find a way to celebrate a Christ-centered Christmas season even though I have precious little time or energy to put a plan together.

What fell into my lap was this Names of Christ Advent Devotional from Heidi at A Lively Hope. Heidi sent me a free copy to review and I'm so excited to use it.

A Christ-Centered Christmas AND an Advent Giveaway (Ends 11/23/15) -- do you struggle to make your family's Christmas centered on Christ? It's harder than it sounds. Maybe this will help!  {posted @ Unremarkable Files}


Other than making sure there's ink in my printer, the planning part is taken care of for me. There are 24 ornaments, one for every night of Advent for my kids to color while we read a Bible verse and talk about a different title given to Jesus: "Prince of Peace," "Light of the World," that kind of thing.

What I love about this:
  • I can print out multiple copies for my household so each kid can do their own ornament
  • Coloring or drawing helps my kids to sit quietly enough to listen  we do this all the time in church and believe me, it helps!
  • The designs are intricate enough to interest even my 11-year-old, who's normally too old for coloring; they remind me a little of an adult coloring book (yes, that's a real product)


With Heidi's permission I'm going to give two of these away to you, my readers! You can see more pictures and information about the devotional here. The giveaway runs from today until November 23, and the nifty little widget below has all the ways you can get entries into the giveaway (do any or all of them, they're all optional.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


This is called Rafflecopter, by the way. Don't be afraid of it. It doesn't bite or make you promise your firstborn or steal your identity or anything. Just helps you win one of the two digital copies we're giving away of this Names of Christ Advent devotional.

Winners will be chosen randomly and Heidi will email you your digital copy in plenty of time to get things all printed off and set up before December 1st. Best of luck to you!

If you missed or didn't win the giveaway, you can also buy the Names of Christ Advent Devotional through my affiliate link by clicking here: Buy Now

giveaway sponsored by A Lively Hope

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29 comments:

Samuel said...

My favorite thing about Christmas is the feeling. I love feeling the spirit of Christmas. Thanks for doing this giveaway. I try and do something like this every Christmas (different ones every year) and it is hard to find a variety. (Ciarra P)

Heather Oyler said...

Love any chance to make Christmas more about Christ!! Looks like such a fun activity.

Smileyhappychan said...

My favorite thing about Christmas is being with my husband and kidlets and seeing their joy at giving presents to each other to make their siblings happy!

Theresa said...

Favorite thing about Christmas: helping my kids find the 'perfect' gift for each other

Anonymous said...

Lynne from UK here. One benefit of lack of funds is having a "making" Christmas. We upcycled before upcycling was invented. When I was growing up the Saviour didn't intrude into Christmas except by a bit of Carol singing. I knew the story but not from home from school. When I was an adult I was baptised and when my children were little my nativity scene was along side the tree and other decorations. Now they are adults and making their own Christmas in their way. I'm looking for a toddlers nativity "toy" for my grandson as my children have moved away from religion at this time. I still like getting my nativities (yes plural) out annually. I still have my original charity shop find with the donkey who lost his ear after 25 years I can't imagine Christmas without it. Now I also have a large fine art figurine holy family and kings; an ethnic nativity (South American); a Russian doll holy family, kings and donkey; the word HOPE with a tiny crib scene in the"o". I also have various pictures up (taken from the Ensign, New Era & Friend)

Jenny Evans said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Your collection sounds awesome.

We love the Fisher Price nativity set and my kids have played with it for many, many years.

Jenny Evans said...

Isn't that the best?

Jenny Evans said...

Me, too. Everywhere you go, people (religious or not) are just nicer and more into helping each other and being friendly with their neighbors during the month of December. (Unless you go into the mall the week before Christmas, you'll probably get trampled.)

Samantha P said...

I love that advent calendar as an idea for a church-going family - it's a great idea. I grew up (as I've mentioned before) with pretty sporadic religious input (my dad is an athiest) but we always had a little nativity scene which I really loved putting up as much as the tree and all the other decorations at Christmas time - even us heathens realise that Christmas is really about the birth of one of the most important influential figures in modern history. Thanks for reminding me of this - I think I might seek out a nativity for my children to have alongside a tree this year too. X

Jenny Evans said...

Thanks Heathen - I mean Sam. Just kidding. ;) I love your input on my blog and how you're not afraid to voice your opinions even on my religious posts even though we come from different places.

I think it's awesome that you want your kids to know the origin of Christmas. I can relate to this because I want my kids to learn all about religious holidays celebrated by other religions. Even though we don't personally celebrate them, I feel like it's important for them to understand and especially respect the meanings behind those holidays.

Anonymous said...

Family Christian stores have several kid's Nativity sets. I'm thinking of buying the Veggie Tales one.
Www.familychristian.com
Melinda

Anonymous said...

This is wonderful! I'm excited for the chance to win! I'm all about keeping Christ as the focus of His own holiday!!
Thanks to both of y'all!
Melinda

Leigh Seeley said...

What a neat idea! Love it! :)

Cindy said...

This devotional sounds perfect to do with my family. I love how the coloring is great for any age! My favorite thing about Christmas is the music! I love how we can hear Christmas music (even Christ centered songs) when we are out shopping in the mall. But, the best part is singing Christmas songs as a family or going to a Messiah sing-a-long! Thank you for sponsoring the give-a-way.

Meredith said...

Love this idea! Hope I win! :)

Jennifer - The Deliberate Mom said...

Lovely giveaway! My favourite part about Christmas is everything leading up to it... the anticipation and preparation of my heart for the gift that is Jesus - it's something I savor every year.

Thanks for sharing!
xoxo

Jenny Evans said...

Yes, that is so cool to hear the word 'Christ' on FM radio and over the loudspeaker at JC Penney!

lilly. said...

Love Christmas. <3

Heaven Smiling said...

My favorite part of Christmas is finding that perfect gift - especially for my husband. I love this advent! I've been eyeing the names of Christ ornaments at Deseret Book. This post is timely. Hope I win! Sharing. :)

Jennifer Humphries said...

I love the calendar! What a great way to help our family to focus on the reason and true meaning behind Christmas!

Deborah H Bateman said...

Are you sharing your Christmas ornaments? I'd love to have them for my grandchildren.
Blessings,
Deborah
http://DeborahHBateman.com

Jenny Evans said...

Yes! You can enter the giveaway by logging into Rafflecopter with your name and email, and there are options to earn entries. You can do any or all of them. You can leave a blog post comment about your favorite part of Christmas, visit me on FB, tweet about the giveaway, share the giveaway on FB, or subscribe to my blog by email. But you have to click the 'I Did This' button on Rafflecopter so I know you did it! Best of luck.

Chaun said...

This is cute! Thanks for sharing! Christmas is definitely one of our favorite seasons. In fact, this year, we have a real Christmas tree! It's a huge upgrade from the 12 inch plastic things we've been leaving on the kitchen counter for the past few years. #collegelife #thebabywillprobablyeattheoranaments

StorkWatcher said...

I think this is my first Rafflecopter attempt... I can't get my 10 YO son interested in ANYTHING church. He doesn't like coloring, but I'd like to try this, anyway!

Jenny Evans said...

Good for you! I hope you find something that reaches your son. We haven't dealt with a kid who didn't like church yet, but with 5 and 1 more on the way it's probably bound to happen sometime, at least for a phase.

Jenny Evans said...

Most years we have the same problem (babies eating/breaking ornaments) so the bottom 1/3 of our tree is usually bare. :) Enjoy your real tree!

Julie said...

I love this idea! And I totally would print a set for myself, along with my kids :)

Unknown said...

AuntSue
Just what I have been looking for!

Amanda Geaney said...

My favorite part of Christmas is how it focuses our attention on God's love for humanity. It's as if at this time of year His love reaches through people and everyone becomes a little more kind/attentive towards one another.