1. Jen Lehmann says:

    Trying hard to keep it simple here, too, though as much as I try to say no to things, I still end up with more parties and Christmas busy-ness than I’d like!

    I LOVE your recommendation of The Story Bible! We love it here, too.

  2. This sounds absolutely perfect! We just moved last week and with everything in boxes, it’s easy to feel the guilt of not making this Christmas extra special. We also have an 8 month old who has struggled with sleep, so this sleep-deprived mama is all about simple and restful right now. Sometimes, it is just about giving ourselves “permission” to go against the grain and embrace the simple pleasures of life. We may or may not get the decorations up in time, but we will celebrate the birth of our Savior, and we will be together. Thank you for the sweet reminder of what is truly important.

  3. We try to keep it very simple. I’m an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and the 40 days before Christmas (Nativity) are called the Nativity Fast. We fast from excessive food (meat and dairy), excessive materialism (by giving things away) and excessive self-focus (by serving others). It’s not the practice of Orthodox Christians (or of all Christians for nearly two thousand years) to celebrate Christmas BEFORE it occurs.

    So, our feasting and Christmas-celebratory activities take place in the 12 days after Christmas–hence the term The Twelve Days of Christmas. I find the slowing down and removal of excess during the Nativity Fast to be an excellent preparation for the joy of celebrating the Incarnation at Nativity. I hope your family has a blessed Nativity!

  4. Sounds like a wonderful holiday season!

    We will do about the same. I do have a Jesse Tree wall hanger that we will put out and do, but I’m totally fine with missing days and keeping the devotions simple. We also have an ESV Family Bible which is the Biblical text with illustrations added in. I agree with the importance of reading from the actual Bible. We had other children’s Bibles but felt like we were having to explain or clarify the paraphrases more often than we’d like.

    I like the use of index cards. I checked out of stack of books from the library. I have seen cute little printable tags to put on them on Pinterest, but I don’t even want to print them out. Haha.

  5. Love!

    It is not too hard to read a little advent reading with your kids – that’s all we do for advent.

  6. You should do Active Advent with us too! A simple exercise for each day that correlates with the telling of the Christmas story (via Truth in the Tinsel by Amanda White). It’s a free, “non-stuff” family activity to burn a little energy and focus on the meaning of Christmas at the same time. Sign up here if you guys are interested 🙂 http://eepurl.com/bG7qnj

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