Well…we didn’t make it in by Thanksgiving. But thanks for asking.
If you’re new here, we’re renovating an old farmhouse while we live with my folks. If you’re old here, you’re probably tired of hearing about it. I know I am.
But our goal of Thanksgiving came and went and we spent it sanding and painting and forgetting that everyone else was slathering turkey with gravy and suffering through pumpkin pie. But we were thankful still. The end is in sight.
It is a shame this little project is trickling over into the Christmas season too though because the great temptation is to let sinks and shiplap and the color of our faucets (who even really cares?!) steal the focus from why we really celebrate this lovely season: presents!
But I do like presents, I do. Not as much as like Jesus, but they come in awfully close behind.
So, in celebration of the birth of my favorite Savior of the world and in honor of my love of presents and because I absolutely do not have time to write more than 227 words this week, let’s do an extra fantastic giveaway of the following extra fantastic goodies, shall we?
First, for the kiddies in your life and because it’s my blog and what else would you expect:
A signed copy of God Bless Our Christmas. (Or God Bless Our Fall, if you’d prefer it. In all my busy-ness, I had to cancel a few speaking gigs last month and therefore have some inventory left over. Your choice of either one.)
Second, this fabulous necklace designed by Polished Arrow.
It’s so charming, I got carried away a few months ago and ordered approximately 47 of these for Christmas presents. (On a unrelated side note, all of my sisters-in-law and close friends should forget they ever saw this.)
Besides being terribly adorable, for each of these necklaces purchased, $8 is donated to Rapha House, an organization dedicated to rescuing, loving and healing children rescued from sex trafficking and exploitation. It’s such a heartbreaking cause, I can’t even wrap my mind around it. But I can buy an necklace and give it to you and pray that you’ll check out their website and consider donating or praying or shopping too.
Lastly, and, ooohhhhh, this is a good one. One Loom, a delightful company owned by a delightful friend of mine, creates sustainable jobs for desperately poor single mothers living in Guatemala. With One Loom’s help, these beautiful women go on to create loveliness such as this:
A clutch so delicious I might just eat it before I send it on to you.
So, there. Three prizes. One giveaway. Just in time for Christmas.
To win all three, just leave a comment below and tell me about your family’s favorite Christmas tradition.
Also, if you subscribe to my newsletter or share this post on Facebook, you’ll be entered twice. (Just be sure to tell me you did. The Facebook folks can be a little stingy with their information.) Winner will be announced next week!
Happy Giveaway-ing, friends!
A tradition we had growing up was opening a pair of pajamas on Christmas Eve after the church service, to have our picture taken in Christmas morning. Now that I am married and we have a little girl, we have started the same tradition with her.
Funny, I’m trying this tradition of pjs on Christmas Eve for the first time this year! Growing, up we were never allowed to open to anything until Christmas morning, so it feels very rebellious to me to let the kids open anything early. 😉 I guess it’ll be okay though, right?!
Thanks for being my first comment-er!
Love this (and you!) We read God Bless Our Christmas last night–which is our big tradition, Christmas books! We haven’t even started decorating and yesterday when my kids begged me to get some items out, I got out the books and a nativity and now they’re quite happy.
Oh, this makes me happy, Lindsey. 🙂
It also makes me secretly happy to know that you haven’t started decorating yet. We’ve decorated my parents’ house, but it still feels like I’m being left out of all the fun since I don’t have my own stuff up. Glad to know there’s someone else out there who isn’t quite on the ball either. 😉 And, you’re right, a good nativity set will satisfy kids for days. 🙂
I will share on FB!
We ate breakfast on Christmas morning at my great grandfathers while I was young. It was super early and I dreaded it most years because I love sleep. Now though, we carry this tradition on in our home and I love it!!!
Haha! You make me laugh.
I’ll make note: For Jennifer, Christmas trumps sleep. Walks on cold mornings do not. 😉
I’ll definitely be sharing on Facebook!
The rest of my comment didn’t show up for some reason. But I think one of my favorite traditions is one we started just a few years ago: my mom makes us all a new pair of flannel pajama pants (we get to pick our own fabric for them) for us to wear on Christmas day. So basically it’s an all-day pajama party at my parents’ house on Christmas, and it’s fabulous. That would be followed closely by the tradition of eating my mom’s tea cake for breakfast Christmas morning, which is really just an excuse to eat copious amounts of chocolate first thing in the morning. 😉
We’re enlisting the pajama tradition this year too. 🙂 Although I should try mentioning to my mother that Jamie’s mom makes pjs for the whole family, and I had to buy mine at Target. 🙂
My mom does make monkey bread every Christmas morning…I guess I can forgive her about the pjs. 🙂
Thanks for commenting. (And I apologize for the smiley face overload.)
Caramel biscuit ring on Christmas morning. A tradition my husband’s family has and one I am glad to be a part of!!!
Yum, Tatyana. 🙂 That sounds a bit like the monkey bread we have every Christmas morning. It’s one of our favorite Christmas traditions too!
Thanks for reading and commenting!
My favorite tradition is fairly new. Danny and I go to our sons house on Christmas morning and have our traditional breakfast casserole. So nice and informal and we get to see see all thier new treasures. We are truly blesses!
Have a very merry and blessed Christmas Hannah!
I am sharing on FB!
And you’re right- new traditions are good too. (All have to be new at some point, right?) I’m looking forward to making some new ones in our new house.
My favorite Christmas tradition is to make Christmas cookies with our family. I did this as a little girl growing up and started the tradition when my first son was born (almost 7 years ago). So much fun and they taste pretty good too!
Love the books! We have God Bless You and Good Night and God Bless Our Christmas.
Thank you, Sarah! I’m so glad you like the books!
I plan every year to make Christmas cookies with my kids, but I either 1.) get busy and forget or 2.) decide I don’t want to deal with the mess that it will inevitably make.
I am a Christmas-cookie failure. Eat a few for me, would ya? 😉
How fun is this giveaway!!! I cannot wait to come visit the farmhouse 🙂
My favorite (newer) Christmas tradition is the whole family sitting in front of the fireplace while one of our cousins plays the guitar & the whole family sings Christmas carols!
I’ll also be sharing on FB 😉
And I will be expecting a visit soon, missy. 🙂 Put it on your calendar.
We are going to be starting some new traditions this year – we have a 10 month old baby girl and she is our world! One tradition will be for her to open a gift on Christmas eve and it will be a Christmas themed PJ that she will wear that night. Another one is that we will all sing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” and have a birthday cupcake on Christmas Day!
What a blessing it would be to win, Thanks for the opportunity!
God Bless and Merry Christmas!
P.S. We LOVE your “God Bless” books! Our little girl just loves books and as part of her bedtime routine we read to her and always finish with “God bless you and good night”! My husband and I have that book memorized 🙂 and we can tell that it is Jane’s favorite book!
Ooh! Ten points goes to you for being so intentional with God-glorifying Christmas traditions. 🙂 (Have you read Noel Piper’s “Treasuring God in Our Traditions,” by chance? It sounds like you have!)
And I’m so glad she likes the books. I’m really glad that you like them. Nothing worse than when your kids want to read something you DON’T like every night. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting, Jen!
With the addition of husbands and babies to our family, traditions I once knew have been replaced with new ones! Because I have a nephew born on Christmas and a niece born on New Years Eve, we have triple the celebrations to squeeze into one holiday weekend. Our new Christmas Day tradition is a celebration of Christmas in the morning and birthdays in the afternoon. Double the sweets and quadruple the presents, a win win!
Wow, Bekah, I would guess Christmas is pretty exciting around your house. 🙂 What fun!
Thank so much for reading me. 🙂
A gingerbread house, cookies for Santa…all geared so Jackson can eat icing!!
Hi Karen! My kids have asked to make gingerbread houses this year too. I’m pretty excited about it myself. 🙂
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I love playing board games until midnight with my family on Christmas Eve. Not quite so late now with littles in the house but still love the tradition!
Ah, yes, our late night board game playing took a pretty serious hit when we started having kids too. 🙂 That’s what coffee in the morning is for though, right? 😉
Thanks for reading, Sarah! I know what a busy lady you are.
One of our families Christmas traditions growing up was to always open 1 Christmas present on Christmas Eve. We still carry on this tradition with our kids and they live it. I will be sharing your post on Facebook and hope you guys are doing well. I love reading your posts so we still know what’s going on in your lives even though we are many hours away.
Thanks so much for reading, Jamye. It’s good to hear from you too.
We’re trying out the open-a-present-on-Christmas-Eve tradition this year for the first time. I haven’t told the kids yet, but I’m looking forward to it. 🙂
Hope you guys are doing well. Merry Christmas!
Love your blog! My favorite Christmas tradition is on Christmas Eve after opening gifts. My brother, sister, their spouses, my husband and I all stay up late to play pictionary. We love it and love laughing at our horrible drawings.
Hi Kaci! This is one of my favorites too! We have had some rounds of pictionary with my siblings that will go down in history. 🙂
Thanks for reading and commenting!
We celebrate on Christmas eve with my side of family, this year the ladies bring a bowl or platter(used) and an apron or tea towel. We cherish the memories of those gone. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I love to share your blogs. Good ready.
Thank you, Helen. You add such good perspective. I’m honored that you would read me.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
I love this as well as all your other posts. And I can not WAIT to see this infamous farmhouse!
We’re starting new traditions as our family grows, and I have to say the one I’m looking forward to most (this year will be the 1st) is picking out a real Christmas tree. The Lampoons family vacation of trudging in the snow to find the “perfect tree” is oddly fun sounding to me.
I wish you the best in getting in your house before Christmas, and if not, at the least, you can throw a strand of lights over a bush!
Ha! Yes, Rebecca! I will decorate something–even if only a bush. Something Christmas-y must go up!
Have fun getting that Christmas tree. Check for squirrels first. 😉
I love decorating the tree together…and going out and looking at lights (in the warmth of the truck) all in our pajamas with hot chocolate. 🙂
Well, you win the award for warmest and coziest tradition, Danae. We might just have to copy-cat you. Hope you don’t mind. 😉
Oh my what a delightful giveaway! My favorite Christmas tradition is (1) begin the non-stop loop of the Elf CD at work starting Thanksgiving week, (2) watching It’s A Wonderful Life while putting up tree, (3) Christmas play at church and (4) Christmas at my grandma’s on Christmas Day. Who could have less than 4 fave traditions!
Haha, Megan! And how do your co-workers feel about Elf non-stop? I’d love it myself, but, you know, not everyone abides by the four food groups like some of us more dedicated fans. 🙂
Happy Christmas to you and your sweet family!
Fortunately for them, they can’t really hear it outside my office. Unfortunately for them, year before last I didn’t have an office so we just put it on a loop in the lobby. A few would comment but mostly they were okay with it. 🙂
Also, sometimes the security math question really trips me up!
I have to watch White Christmas to kick off the season.
( not very spiritual but still a family tradition)
We always got new Pj’s, suitable for pictures. We also got to open one present on Christmas Eve … This was a big deal!!!! As I got older, mom and I would cook together for Christmas dinner.
Josh and I watched White Christmas together last year for the first time. It had been so long since I’d seen it. Surprisingly, I think he really liked it too. 🙂
Thanks for reminding me, Susie. If we can find some time, I might just be able to wrangle him into watching it again.
For as long as I can remember we have always gone to my grandmas house on Christmas morning and I’ve always loved it but even more so now that I have children of my own.
We did the same thing when I was growing up, Carrie. Those are still some of my favorite memories.
Thanks for commenting!
A fun tradition with my parents Christmas is at the end of unwrapping presents we all try to find the hidden “pickle ornament in the tree. It’s s old German tradition my family somehow adopted :/) winner gets a prize!
Haha! And you get the award for Funniest and Strangest Christmas tradition, Lindsey. 😉 I’d like to see this “pickle” ornament. Is it an actual pickle? Is it the same pickle ornament every year? What kind of prize do you win? You’ve piqued my interest!!
I’ve recently started celebrating Advent with my toddlers. We read a story from the Jesus Storybook Bible, do an activity page, and eat chocolate from an Advent Calendar. I’m loving it as much as the kids! Oh, and I’m sharing your link on Facebook.
We also started celebrating Advent just last year, Crystal. I love how it focuses us on Jesus every day through the whole month. We use an Advent calendar too, which my kids love, but I’m not going to tell them that some kids get chocolate when they open their calendar. 😉
Thanks so much for reading!
I shared your post in my wall!
When my children were growing up, we always had a big Christmas morning breakfast. Now that all 5 are grown with spouses and children, we still get together but it’s usually Christmas Eve and they still insist I make the big breakfast….even though it’s 6 pm!
Ha! That’s so sweet, Brenda! Sweet that they want breakfast, and sweet that you still make it for them. 🙂 I also have four siblings, but we are rarely all together. How special for you to get to have them over for Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas to you all!
Every year before Christmas, we make something from the heart to the person we pick out of a hat on Thanksgiving. Then on Christmas Eve, we give them that gift to open. The best are the awesome notes of love that my kids do for me.
That’s a great tradition, Karen. 🙂 Homemade gifts are absolutely the best.
Thanks so much for commenting!
Eating cinnamon rolls and drinking fresh squeezed orange juice before reading the Christmas story then opening stockings.
Absolutely, Bethany. Cinnamon rolls should be incorporated into every Christmas tradition, in my opinion. 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
Our tradition was to open one gift and reading the Christmas story on Christmas Eve. Love your blog and your books. Shared.
Thank you, Sherrie! I’m giving into this one gift opening on Christmas Eve thing this year. Apparently, it’s all the rage. 🙂
Hannah, I happily shared your post which was very timely because I couldn’t get one done this week. 🙂 I’ll send some Canadians your way!
Though we’ve got traditions about jammies, ornaments, real (huge & messy) trees and music, some of my favourites that help direct our girls’ attention to our grand focus are these:
A number of years back, I picked up one of those great ideas floating around the internet – to give three main gifts to the girls. A “gold”, “frankincense” and “myrrh” gift. Borrowing from the loose symbolism of the gifts given to Jesus we give the girls a gift of great value to them (gold), a gift for their spiritual/personal growth (frankincense), and something for the body, like clothing (myrrh). They get treasures in their stockings and gifts from grandparents, aunts & uncles, so it just seemed like so much. The most delightful surprise that came of out of this is three, very content & happy girls on Christmas morning. They know how many “big” gifts they are getting and the greediness and “all-the-gifts-are-gone” let down have completely disappeared from our house! The girls (ages 13,11,9) have expressed how much they value the way we do it now as they actually enjoy Christmas morning more now then when it was a frenzy of hoping for more stuff.
The second thing we have done is select a gift each year to give to Jesus. To introduce the idea years back, we read Ronnie Wilson’s Gift (by Francis Chan) to the girls explaining that the way to give a gift to Jesus (since it is his birthday after all) is to give it to the “least of these.” So, we have taken to selecting an item from the World Vision catalogue to give to Jesus. We purchase an ornament for the tree to open on Christmas morning as a reminder of the gift we gave to Jesus. Last year, two hens & a rooster. This year – a piglet. The most lovely thing happened this year. My eldest came home from babysitting and handed me the 2 crisp $20 bills she just received and said, “Mom, could please purchase another piglet for Jesus this year?”
Both those traditions help remind and awaken our girls to the focus of the season and the delight of giving to Christ by giving to others.
Woah. Brilliant, Janet. I about the 3 gift-thingy at some point, but we’ve never tried it. Remind me next Christmas, would you? It’s too late for this year…
We do the WV catalogue too. 🙂 The girls still talk about sending clean water to the kids that don’t have any. It made a big impression, for sure.
And thanks for the Canadians. I’ll take as many of you as I can get. You know I love the way you spell. Favourite. Tehehe. 🙂
We bake gingerbread men and drink eggnog! My kids are true egg nog addicts and we all love decorating the cookies together!
Ooh, Taryn. You win props for first eggnog mention in the giveaway. Well done.
We have a semi-local eggnog distributer nearby that makes simply amazing nog. It comes in a glass bottle and will cost you several years wages, but it’s absolutely worth it.
I love that necklace! Last year we used Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift for an Advent devotional. The kids loved putting the ornaments on the tree. We’re a little late with our tree this year, but they’re looking forward to doing it again.
I keep hearing such good things about that book, Leigh. Last year we used the Jesus Storybook Bible with our Advent calendar, but I had heard that Voskamp’s book was wonderful too and had planned on getting it for this year. That hasn’t happened yet. (I blame this darn house!) I’m going to try to get my hands on it soon though. Thanks for the reminder and thanks for commenting. 🙂
This is a really great read. Thank you. I have signed up for your newsletter.
One of the Christmas traditions we have is going to church on Christmas Eve. We attend faithfully on Sunday’s and we all play a role in the services. However, there is something encredibly joyful and innocent on Christmas Eve.
You’re right, Lesa. There is something very special about a Christmas Eve service. That and Good Friday- both are my favorites. 🙂
Thanks so much for reading and signing up. I hope you enjoy!
GOD BLESS OUR FALL is a family favorite. Looking forward to reading GOD BLESS OUR CHRISTMAS.
Our family enjoys a homemade Italian meal every Christmas Eve. The menu includes pasta with veggie balls and/or meatballs, salad and homemade bread. A variety of cookies are served for dessert.
Best wishes, Hannah.
Wow. You just made me hungry, Suzy. (I was actually already hungry, but you made it worse. 🙂
And I’m so glad you like the books. God is so very good.
Thank you for reading and commenting! And merry Christmas!
My family loves to drive around and look at Christmas lights and come back home for hot cocoa and popcorn. A perfect evening!
That does sound perfect, Jennifer. 🙂
We have been so busy lately that any family time has become very special, so I’m going to plan an evening looking at lights. You’ve inspired me. 🙂
Thank you for reading!
Hi Hannah. I came here via Janet. We have a Christian tradition that on December 1st, the kids get a new Christmas book to open – I spend a lot of time throughout the year looking for really beautiful ones. If I win – I’m set for next year?
We also celebrate Saint Nicholas Day on December 6th by choosing someone to give to in secret as a family – someone from our church or a neighbour that we know could use a pizza gift card or some extra cash. It’s fun to plan together and I’m amazed how little children can keep a secret!
Hi Trish! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂
I’m intrigued..St. Nicholas Day on the 6th? Tell me more about this. You Canadians fascinate me. 😉