The giveaway is the at the very end – you only have to leave a comment to enter to win a generous prize package from Third Day Naturals that would make a great Christmas gift!
~ 1 ~
Our Christmas tree is up, our stockings are hung, the advent calendar is partially consumed, and one lone candle on the advent wreath is waning.
For Advent for the last 5 or so years, I’ve wrapped 2-3 new Christmas books and had them on the table with the basket of Christmas books on the first Sunday of advent. It’s been a fun way to kick off Advent.
A number of years ago we owned no Christmas picture books, and I wasn’t ready to jump on in and buy 25 or more all at once to do the one-book-a-day thing I saw around the internet. So, I just did 3 and we filled in with library books – just having them laying around the house rather than wrapped and waiting. The new ones were wrapped and opened on the first day of advent to be added to our collection. When we started, our picture books were in a basket and I swapped out our normal collection for only Christmas books. That’s unfeasible now, but we still only have the Christmas books (and the Christmas music!) out from the first Sunday in Advent until January 1st.
This year our new books were While Shepherds Watched by Jenni Fleetwood, A Christmas Carol with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman, and A Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.
I usually get some new Christmas music each year, too, but I have nothing on my wish list this year. Our family favorites are Kemper Crabb’s A Medieval Christmas and Maddy Prior’s A Tapestry of Carols (both of which were gifted to us by my brother – thanks, Geoff!). Have any recommendations?
~ 2 ~
pretty * happy * funny * real
~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
Confection Selection – oh my goodness, how this takes up my kitchen and my week!
This is the 13th year of this fancy, elaborate, beautiful, fantastic bake sale I help put on at our church. We have a coordinator team of 4 to make it happen and helpers galore! It is amazing what can happen when everyone pitches in and does what they are good at. Dozens of women bake and craft and help and we raise thousands of dollars (last year it was $6,000) for the local Pregnancy Center.
This year we were featured by the paper and my mother-in-law (whose idea it was to start this whole thing 13 years ago) twisted my arm to be at the photo shoot with the paper. No pictures of me were chosen for the article. No, but my Periscope-speaking practice came in handy. I was the one nominated to do the short video for the paper’s website.
If you’re in the area, you should definitely come on Saturday and support the Tri-City Pregnancy Network!
~ 3 ~
The weather is extra-cold and icy and I have not been going outside at all, even to walk. This is very bad for my step count. Forget about health and fitness and weight loss and all that jazz – my step stats are plummeting!
My numbers would be even more abysmal than they already are if it weren’t for my latest greatest gadget: a portable elliptical.
I’ve had it for a couple months now and it’s great! I can sit and peddle while writing or browsing the internet – the only problem is that I have a tendency to use it as a foot rest rather than make it actually go.
~ 4 ~
I did a big chunk of my Christmas shopping last weekend – online, of course. It’s so hard because the last thing I actually want is more stuff in our house. But, if we can simply add fresh new pieces to current collections, then Christmas is much less of a stuff-overload problem.
Here are the collections we keep (that may or may not be added to this Christmas):
- Books (of course – everyone always gets at least one book for Christmas and for birthdays)
- Loving family doll house
- Wood blocks & BRIO train tracks
- Lincoln Logs
- Play kitchen <— cute handmade food link!
The best Christmas gifts we gave last year were Black-Friday-special basic Kindles (not Fires: no apps, no games, no internet browser) with covers to our older boys. They can grab those and have 100+ books at their fingertips. They have read the 100+ books (mostly free) I’ve put on them, but – thank goodness – they don’t mind rereading books.
If you’re still looking for some gift ideas, here are some of my older posts that might give you some ideas:
- Beautiful Fairy Tale Picture Books
- Top 10 Audio Books for Older Kids
- Board Games We Love
- Top Ten Gift Ideas for Organization Junkies at Simplified Organization
- Top Ten Gifts for the Home Cook
- Top 10 Gift Ideas for Homemakers
- 5 Real Kitchen Tools for the Young Cook
~ 5 ~
The Scholé Sisters Newsletter goes out this afternoon! We moved the list from Sarah’s account to mine, so hopefully that won’t result in any troubles with delivery or confusion over changed footer info. Now I can include a form to sign up right here for you:
P.S. We’re working on a Scholé Sisters project that you’re going to love! That’s all I can say about that, though, because it’s not my secret to tell. :)
~ 6 ~
On Tuesday I’m starting something fun, functional, and free!
Simplified Email: Work Your Inbox will be a short 5-day mini-training, delivered by email, all about how to reclaim your inbox as a useful space rather than a junk-collector. If you have hundred – or even thousands – of emails sitting in your inbox right now, I’ll help you get down to only a handful in 5 days and also show you how to keep your email inbox under control.
~ 7 ~
Third Day Naturals is a small, home-based business making scrumptious soaps and lotions. Sarah David, who runs TDN with her husband Robert, is now the person I email when I have a “Can I use this on my face?” sort of question, and she always graciously responds with good information. I buy the soap my son uses to wash his face from Third Day Naturals and I also use their vanilla lip balm approximately every single day. I love their lotion sticks, which is basically a giant lip balm stick you can apply anywhere.
So you can enter to win a prize package made up of
Each one in your choice of scent (except the jelly, which is always unscented).
To enter, tell me your favorite Christmas picture book or read aloud in the comments. I’m in need of ideas for next year. :) The winner will be announced next Friday.
If you can’t wait for the giveaway to end or you would like to choose your own products for gift-giving, through December you can use the discount code TDNgifts for 15% off your entire purchase at Third Day Naturals!
Disclosure: Although I am an affiliate for Third Day Naturals, I am not being otherwise compensated for this giveaway or review. They asked if they could give a Christmas package away, and I thought you all would love it, so I said yes. :)