As we enter the holiday season, I compiled an archive of all the helpful holiday tips, recipes, and encouragement towards intentionality this holiday season that we have shared previously here. Let’s start the season off right by taking time to plan and prepare our hearts. I encourage you to embrace the “one thing” that is truly necessary this holiday season: resting and sitting at the feet of Jesus.
“Serving is important. Our Lord also taught us: “The greatest among you shall be your servant.” But serving is not the most necessary thing. There is only one thing that is truly necessary—listening to the Lord speak. So as we head into the holidays, as we face the temptation to be distracted with much serving, or tempted about many things, let’s remind ourselves of Jesus’ words. Should I be serving? There is one thing more necessary! Should I be worrying? This is completely unnecessary! There is only one thing that is necessary. And what is that? To sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching, that’s what!
“Let’s take our cues from Mary. We shouldn’t wait until things settle down after the holidays. We shouldn’t postpone listening to Jesus until January 1. We must choose to sit and listen to the Lord’s teaching today: right in the middle of the Christmas craziness. And we must strive to do so every day after.” – Carolyn Mahaney (from Only One Thing is Necessary This Holiday Season)
Sharing Christ on Halloween - learn a creative simple means of letting your light shine on Halloween
Trick or Treat? – learn the history behind Halloween and how we can still redeem this holiday
Thanksgiving Journal: Preparing Your Hearts with A Month of Thanksgiving – take this upcoming month to focus on recording God’s goodness
Simplifying Thanksgiving – tips and resources for a purposeful and simple Thanksgiving celebration (including crafts!)
Our Jesse Tree- A Focused Advent Celebration – a fun, Christ centered way to celebrate Advent
Celebrating a Simpler Christmas - 9 ideas to help keep it simple but purposeful this year!
Celebrating Christ’s Coming
Holiday Evaluation Questions - help get your heart in the right place
Christ Centered Christmas Dialogue – helpful questions to encourage productive conversations
Simplifying Christmas Events & Building Traditions – how to cut back on outside events while building fun family traditions
Simplify the Holidays by Focusing on Giving – fun and easy ways to give unto others this Christmas.
Operation Christmas Child is one of these wonderful ways to pass gifts of love and sharing to children around the world through a simple shoe box. National Collection week is November 15-22, 2010, so please check out how you can participate and motivate others to do the same. Watch this compelling video of a young girl from war-torn Bosnia whose life was transformed through a simple shoe box gift. It brought me to tears to see how God can sovereignly meet all our basic needs and the life changing power of the gospel! Pick up a shoe box and pack it today!
Thanksgiving: A Time to Remember by Barbara Rainey – Barbara Rainey has created an excellent resource for enabling you and your family to remember the past, recognize God’s hand in our history, and express thankfulness to Him for His goodness today.
This story of the Pilgrims’ faithfulness and biblical thankfulness is accompanied by a CD of songs of worship and praise that will call your hearts to gratitude. It’s a wonderful opportunity to enrich your family’s awareness of our nation’s Christian heritage, provide models of courage and sacrifice for your children, and establish a tradition of sharing your gratefulness with one another, which will build a legacy of memories for the future.
Squanto And the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas – a solid historical based Christian retelling of the first Thanksgiving for young children.
This year I picked up What God Wants for Christmas, a new interactive kid-friendly nativity from Family Life that looks like a fun resource to use with your kiddos while you discover the true meaning of Christmas!
A fabulous collection of Advent readings can be found in Come Thou Long Expected Jesus: Experiencing the Peace and Promise of Christmas by Nancy Guthrie, which is a collection of articles by John Piper, Francis Schaeffer, John MacArthur, Charles Spurgeon and many other solid Christian leaders from the past and present. We read this last year and gave it away to many as a gift and it kept coming back highly recommended!
Simplifying the Holidays with Homemade Gifts - an assortment of gift ideas
Homemade Creative Play Gifts for Kids
Gift Ideas for the Natural Mama
Homemade Vanilla Extract – this turned out delicious and a fun Christmas gift!
Frugal & Green Gift Wrapping Ideas – learn to be creative in your gift wrapping this year!
Healthy Holiday Recipes
Praying we all have a peaceful Christ filled holiday season this year!