Gift Guide: Stuff for Advent & Christmas

Advent is still (a few years) new for us. The first Christmas we were at our current church, they asked our family to light the first candle. I had no clue what all it meant, but through the years, I have really enjoyed this season of preparing for His arrival.

(*Disclosure Policy: These are great products that we have used and love, or have been recommended to us! Links are affiliate links. We will get a small percentage of the sales if you make a purchase through the links at no extra cost to you.)

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas* – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. This is the family version of The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.


Love Comes Near: An Advent Bible Study – We really enjoyed Love Comes Near last year. I have worked with Jenni Keller in HelloMornings, and we got to meet for a retreat last year before Advent. She gifted us with this lovely Bible study, along with a kit to use with our families for Advent. The girls enjoyed doing the reading and activities each day.



The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas – This has come as a recommendations from many, and we have it on our “to buy” list. If you have not read any of Ann Voskamp’s books, she writes in a flowy and poetic way. I have not read this book, but I have read One Thousand Gifts, and while, it is not my typical choice of books, I really enjoyed the message, and I am certain I will enjoy this one as well.


Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting – This is a new one from my online friend of many years, Kris Camealy, that I will be reading this year. I loved her book for the Lenten season, Wholly, Holey, Holy: A Lenten Journey Of Refinement. Her words are beautiful, and I know I am ready for some calming words this season.


More Than Candy: A 25-Day Christmas Countdown that Counts – This countdown by Sarah Mae puts a more hands-on approach to what it meant when Jesus entered this world as a little baby. I know this is one we will read through again…good for anytime really! 🙂 If you think random acts of kindness are amazing, you’ll enjoy intentional acts of kindness ideas in this book.


All the Colors of Christmas Devotional – Focus on the Family puts out an Advent devotional every year. I can’t remember if we received one as an insert in our Thriving Family magazine, but you can download one online.


Truth in the Tinsel (the code is old in the link, but there should be a Black Friday special coming soon) is fun for the little ones, and I just got the recommendation for Pieces of the Promise puzzle, which looks like a great indoor-day-when-it’s-cold-outside activity.

I’m not sure if there are anymore gift guides coming soon on our blog this year, but if you have any guides you would like us to put together, leave a comment below and let us know.

What Advent and/or Christmas books or activities do you enjoy?

Other Gift Guides:
Children’s Christmas DVDs
Easy Read Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Series Chapter books (Fiction)

For the Holidays: More Than Candy

DSC_0695bWe’ll be featuring some of our favorite things if you need Christmas gifts/activities ideas.
(Disclaimer: Affiliate links are in this post. We personally own and love the things we recommend. We are in this season where we are trying to live more simply, so we know that if you are in the same boat, it is sometimes hard justifying buying anything else! Norm and I have many wonderful memories from our childhood, and with our family now, that don’t involve “things” and “stuff,” because we just enjoy being together. But gifts seem to just happen during the holiday season (and birthdays too), so we want to share some things that we like having in our lives. Any purchases made using the links will give us a percentage to use toward gifts for our sponsored children Solissa and Lucnise. Thank you!)

MoreThanCandyCover-1More Than Candy – If you have been around these parts long enough, you have heard the name Sarah Mae. I was a part of her Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe launch team, and have shared the great Discipline and Discipleship eCourse (Click here to view more details) that she done with Sally Clarkson (super mentor mom!). Well, it is not surprise that Sarah has a great resource for us for the holidays. Her ebook More Than Candy has some fabulous ideas on how we can make Christmas count this year. Each day gives us an action that we can take to bless those around us and our families during this busy and sometimes commercial holiday season.

Use the code HAPPYCOUNTING (before 12/25/13) to get the PDF for just 99 cents!!

What are some of your favorite things? Any recommendations for great Christmas gifts?

Affiliate links for other things we enjoy and would recommend.