Christmas in July: Christ-Focused Advent Traditions

Traditionally, the term “Advent” has referred to the first season of the Christian church year. Advent is a period of prayer, reflection, and fasting that begins four Sundays before Christmas, preparing followers to celebrate Christ’s birth and building expectation for Christ’s final coming. Even … [Read more...]

Christmas in July: Christmas Crafts for Craft-Challenged Folks

Have you ever noticed that craft stores often begin putting out Christmas stuff during the summer months? In this setting, this isn’t necessarily an example of “Christmas creep” or an attempt to boost early Christmas sales. It serves a practical function. If you’re going to complete crafts in time … [Read more...]

He Makes All Things New

I’m the sort of person who really likes predictability and routine. Subsequently, I’m often not a fan of new things. When I have a daily routine that works, I don’t like for it to be interrupted. When I have a pair of walking shoes that I really like, I loathe when they get so worn out that I have … [Read more...]

The True Light

It is still dark outside when I get up in the morning. In the weeks preceding Christmas, I like to turn on our Christmas tree lights when I rise so I can watch their bright, colorful glow dispel the darkness. These beautiful lights remind me of the incomparable brightness of our True … [Read more...]

Making Fond Memories When Family Events Don’t Go As Planned

Several weeks ago we attempted to take cake smash photos for our daughter’s first birthday. Everything was “picture perfect” except our daughter’s response. One taste of the frosting on the cake and she had a meltdown! When this happened, I felt a little disappointed. After all, my husband … [Read more...]

7 Money-Saving Modifications to Popular Christmas Traditions

For many Americans, the "most wonderful time of the year" is also the most expensive time of the year. Just how expensive? Experts estimate that the typical American spends between $1,000 and $2,000 on Christmas each year (source). Thankfully, you don’t have to have a couple thousand dollars … [Read more...]

Christmas Cookie Bucket List

As far as I’m concerned, cookies are an appropriate accompaniment for any holiday. There’s something particularly special about cookies at Christmas, though. Somehow they’re a little sweeter than at other times of the year! When I was a child, one of my favorite Christmas traditions was … [Read more...]

Gift Ideas for Elderly Relatives

Our older relatives are quite diverse. Some enjoy good health and live independently in the community, while others are frail and live in residential care facilities. Regardless of their health and living situations, many of us find it challenging to select suitable Christmas and birthday … [Read more...]

DIY Cake Smash Photo Shoot

Though we didn’t have an elaborate party to celebrate our baby girl’s first birthday, we did take some fabulous photos to help preserve our memories of the occasion. We own an excellent, easy-to-use DSLR camera (Cannon EOS Rebel T5), so we decided to take our own photos of our daughter’s … [Read more...]

14 Gratitude Activities for the Whole Family

Though I do try to be grateful throughout the year, I really appreciate the general air of gratitude that pervades the month of November. I want to take advantage of this to boost my family’s focus on thankfulness. One easy way to do this is to engage in gratitude activities. These take many … [Read more...]