Christmas Countdown

  • Creative Advent Calendar

    There are many, many ways that people around the world prepare for Christmas. We, of course, talk about this a lot on this blog as it relates to stockings, ornaments and other Christmas decorations. A very meaningful practice that is really universal is the preparation time called Advent. Advent begins on the the 4th Sunday before Christmas, and is a time of expectant waiting for the celebration of the birth of Jesus and Christmas Day.

    advent calendar

    There are often readings that accompany Advent, and many Christian churches light a candle and participate. We are encouraged to couple these things with practices of our own at home, and the Advent Calendar has been one of the practical ways many have adopted.

    I think this lovely, handmade Advent Calendar is really wonderful. The little bags that hang are filled with treats, and are a great way to involve children in the anticipation of something more than just the gifts they'll be receiving.

    There are whole books that have been written on the history of Advent and its practice today, and you can find those with a simple google search. Couple the daily treat with a short reading, and this  will instill in both your children's and your own heart the true meaning of Christmas!

    And, of course, the simplicity of this Advent Calendar cannot be beat! Using tension rods that fit the window you'll hang this in, small muslin bags, and some green felt, you can craft your own Advent Calendar.  Find full instructions for this project here.

    Do you practice Advent in your home? It's a great way to remember the reason for the season.

     

    Photo credit:  betterhomesandgardens.com

     

     

  • 42 Things To Do On Christmas Eve

    socks by the fire

    One of the questions I love to ask people around Christmas is what their Christmas Eve traditions are. The answers are often things you might expect while others are pretty  unique. Here are some of the answers I've gotten over the years:

     Make paper snowflakes

    Watch Christmas movies

    Bake

    Deliver baked goodies

    Sing together

    Shop!

    View Christmas Lights in the neighborhood

    Ornament exchange

    Read the Christmas story

    Wrap presents

    Play games

    Exchange gifts

    Put cookies and milk our for Santa

    Act out the nativity

    Attend midnight mass

    Make reindeer food and sprinkle on the front lawn.

    After the kids go to bed, string Christmas lights from the tree to their bedrooms.

    A family outing of midnight caroling in the woods with candles.

    Have a Jerusalem Dinner…simple, finger foods by candlelight.

    Dinner out and a drive to look at Christmas lights.

    Have a Star Trek movie marathon.

    Enjoy peppermint tea with a peppermint stick.

    Spray the bottom on your shoes with fake snow, then walk from the chimney to the table where the cookies and milk are, eat and drink most of what’s there, then track to the fireplace and take off your shoes.

    Open one gift.

    Go to bed early!

    Dance around the tree.

    Kiss under the mistletoe.

    Drink egg nog.

    Go ice skating.

    Have a treasure hunt

    Stay up all night.

    Volunteer at the homeless shelter.

    Take photos of your Christmas Tree with all the unopened gifts beneath.

    Play board games.

    Go to a movie.

    Read Christmas books.

    Snuggle up by the fire with cozy slippers and a blanket.

    Host a Christmas Party.

    Make a gingerbread house.

    Write a Christmas story

    Invite close friends over for a little egg nog or cocoa or coffee.

    Have the kids open a present of new Christmas jammies for super cute Christmas morning pictures.

    What would you add to this list?

  • Christmas Spirit Is Alive All Year

    Did you know there are only 221 days until Christmas? Some of us never quite put Christmas away, it’s forever in our heart! We’re always thinking and planning, dreaming up something new and creative, hiding away gifts year-round for the people we love.

    Crafters are busy creating their best handmade gifts for holiday fairs that thousands of people count on for their holiday giving. Christmas tree farmers are planting and trimming and shaping; can’t you just see them, smiling and whistling as they do their work?  And, even nonprofit organizations are getting in on the fun with their “half-Christmas” benefits.

    I read this morning about one such event that takes place in Chaska, Minnesota every year called Christmas in May. Modeled after a national program, groups of volunteers in the Chaska community get together for one day to do home repairs for free for homeowners who apply to the program. They paint. They fix decks. They landscape.  And, this year the city is joining in the effort and kicking in new energy efficient appliances, utilizing the funds in their Conservation Improvement Program. Christmas in May has been at this business of blessing the socks off of lower income homeowners now for 17 years.

    Are you thinking of someone right now who you’d like to bless the socks off of too? While they’re fresh in your mind, go ahead and browse through our online store and find just the perfect stocking or decoration for them. Not sure what they would like? We’ve got you covered with gift certificates, available in any amount.

    We’ve also been busy pulling together some new, fun items that we think you’re going to love. Look for them in our new catalog, due out here in a few short weeks.

    So, ignore those naysayers who disparage stores who pull out Christmas items early. It is never too early or too late to show some Christmas spirit!

     

    Photo courtesy of Chaska Herald

  • Blog upgrade: Christmas Countdown added

    For those of you who love to know how many days you have left before Christmas, you can now check out our blog to see a live Christmas Countdown. Procrastination is never a good idea when you are shopping for friends and family. Although we're pumped about the Christmas Countdown widget we've added to our blog, we want to make sure you know that you have plenty of time before next Christmas! Enjoy the summer. Enjoy the grass, the golf, the walks, etc. Christmas will be hear soon enough.

    If you are shopping for a personalized christmas stocking this year or just need to know how many days left until Christmas, we trust we'll see you come back to us.

    Here's a direct link to shopping for personalized christmas stockings: red personalized christmas stocking.

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