Christmas Gifts for Jesus

Christmas Gifts for Jesus

I wrote a Christmas Gifts for Jesus post last year, but this year I have something new to share about how we are now doing this as a family.  I can’t say it will be a yearly tradition, as this is the first year for us, but it is certainly something I hope works out as a family tradition in the future!

I was introduced to the book, The Sparkle Box through a reader who sent me an email about it {thanks!}.  I loved the concept and had never seen the book so I ordered it that night.  When it arrived I read it to myself and began to pray about what the Sparkle Box could look like for us. You can read more on The Sparkle Box website.

The Sparkle Box

After feeling God’s idea for our family in my heart, I read the book to the kids, which they loved, and then brought out the Sparkle Box and shared our family plan for it.

The Sparkle Box-5074

I handed each of them a World Vision Gift Catalog and told them that we are using our Sparkle Box to collect money to give a gift to Jesus on Christmas Day!

A few “rules” came along with this, to help them grasp the heart-meaning of giving. My thoughts behind this comes from the verses in the Bible about giving in secret.

Matthew 6

  1. Nobody can open the box to count the money until we all open it together on Christmas Day.
  2. Nobody can tell anybody else how much money they put into the box.
  3. When putting your own money in the box, do it in private, when no one is watching. It is between you and God.
  4. You can give money in honor of someone to replace a gift you would have given.  My oldest asked about this and I told him I would rather him take the money he would use to buy me a small gift and put it in the box, along with a simple note saying he gave my gift to Jesus instead. I made sure he knew I did not want him to tell the amount, that’s between him and God.
  5. No picking up the Sparkle Box, the box is fragile and as money is put in {coins} it will get heavy and could break!  No opening the box, even to put your money in.  The big red bow keeps the top shut, but there is a small opening in the box where it folds where we can easily slip our money in!
  6. The kids are browsing through our gift catalogs to see where their heart is pulled.  As Christmas approaches I will have them each share the 3 things they would love to spend the Sparkle Box money on.  As a family we will vote, or possibly draw randomly if there are too many suggestions.  I plan to have the item{s} we plan to purchase decided upon ahead of time.  If we have extra money we will go down the list we create together and buy more for Jesus! As a family we usually use the The World Vision Gift Catalog, but will also be looking through the Compassion Gift Catalog online, and our Samaritan’s Purse Gift Catalog to choose our gifts.

World Vision Gift Catalog 2012 gI_114455_Gifts-of-Compassion-Print-Catalog_150x195 

On Christmas Day we plan to sit together and open the box and count the money all together. We will then find time to get online and order our gift for Jesus. I am hoping this will be a special time for our kids, as they see the power of us joining together to make a difference.

I look forward to seeing how God uses this experience in our family. How does your family honor Jesus on His birthday? I’d love you to share some of your traditions in the comments!

Christmas Guest Posts

I don’t normally guest post, it is a once or twice a year thing for me.  It just so happens that 2 of the times I said yes this year are both articles that are up right now on 2 of my favorite sites! 

The first post I wrote was for the What’s in the Bible Blog, and is about homeschooling during the holiday seasonIMG_7710

 

Jenae from I Can Teach My Child invited me to guest post for her series on Favorite Family Traditions.  You can see my post about our tradition of giving here!

Christmas Alphabet Mazes

Christmas Letter Mazes

My ABC Letter Mazes are one of my most popular downloads so I figured many of you would enjoy a Christmas version!  I changed things up a bit and made these with dots, but the concept is the same; follow the letters through the maze!  There are 13 different mazes, featuring different images and letters.

Christmas Letter Mazes Jesus Christmas Letter Mazes tree

Download Christmas ABC Mazes Here!

If you find a mistake on these, let me know, we haven’t used them yet!


See the original Letter Mazes here, and ideas for how to use them!


Looking for more Christmas fun?

Christmas Printables and More

Jesse Tree Ornaments

I have been busy printing my Jesse Tree Calendar cards and getting things ready to begin with my kids today {we are starting tonight} and getting my Jesse Tree eBook ready on my iPad so I can easily access it throughout the month,  This year I didn’t even print the info cards, I am just using the images and using the eBook to read the facts from, which also has my Bible so I can jump to the scripture references easily also!

Yesterday a reader sent me a really sweet thank you email and also shared a photo of her mini ornaments that she made from cutting out the images from the cards!  I thought this was a fabulous and simple to create idea so I made a set of ornaments in case any of you feel like printing quickly to begin tonight {or start when you can and add the ones you missed {since today is Dec. 1}. I am printing and laminating my own right now!

Jesse Tree Ornaments

I am going to offer these for free here in this post this year and next year they will be a part of the eBook bundle for sale, so be sure to download them if you think you might want them even for next year!

Download Jesse Tree Ornaments here!


In case you missed the Jesse Tree Calendar Connections and eBook, click the buttons below to grab those too!

Jesse Tree Calendar Connections The Jesse Tree eBook



Special Note ~ I have gotten several emails from readers asking why they haven’t received their free eBook.  The freebies are for my newsletter subscribers, not RSS blog feed subscribers, there is a difference and you can read that here.  The RSS email comes via Feedburner and is JUST my blog posts.  The newsletter comes via MadMimi and contains special announcements, post summaries, upcoming posts,  special freebies and more!

If you have signed up for the newsletter {check this link and be sure that is the form you signed up in} and you still haven’t received any newsletters from me, first check your spam, then email me with the email you used to sign up and I can search and find out what’s going on!

Hope that helps clear up any confusion!

Jesse Tree eBook

The Jesse Tree eBook

Our Let’s Explore ebooks take the awesome Calendar Connections themes that Shannon has developed, and turns them into full size files to be used as eBooks. You can read them on your computer, your iPad, or any device that supports PDF files. Yes, you can even print them full size! Remember, I have a tutorial for using these on your iPad here {the format is the same as the Easy Readers}. We both have iPads so that what we will be using them on. Each eBook page has a number, which correlates with the order in the Jesse Tree Calendar Connections cards.

Jesse Tree Calendar Connections

BUT, you don’t have to use this eBook with the CC cards, it can stand alone as a simple way to learn about a particular topic. The series is created with 3rd-6th graders in mind, but it isn’t limited to those grades. It is a great way to explore a topic across grade levels within your homeschool!

Here’s a peek…

The Jesse Tree eBook 1 The Jesse Tree eBook 2

Download your FREE Jesse Tree eBook here!

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We also have Jesse Tree Printable Ornaments available!

Jesse Tree Ornaments