I don't know about you, but I struggle to retain *any* sort of spiritual focus during Advent. It's not that I don't want to. It's just that the obligations of present shopping and wrapping, tree buying and decorating, family-dynamics negotiating, Secret Santa organising and school activities … [Read more...] about 20 Best Books to Read During Advent
Christmas & Advent
I LOVE Christmas! I even wrote an Advent devotional about how much I love Christmas, and how we can use the 'secular' trimmings to draw closer to Christ!
Here are my thoughts, ideas and resources to help guide you through what can be a stressful season, to make it joyous and hope-filled.
I'm writing this in 2020. Although lockdown has just ended where we are, there are still huge restrictions on what we're able to do during Advent, and I know people are concerned they won't be able to take part in their usual Advent traditions this year. Live church services, Christingles, … [Read more...] about HOW TO CELEBRATE ADVENT AT HOME
Last year, having heard about this 'Jesse Tree' thing a few times, I decided to go for it with my family. We'd tried in the past, but our children were too young to really understand what was going on - and, if I'm being honest, I was pretty half-hearted about the whole thing. After all, who … [Read more...] about JESSE TREE IDEAS FOR FAMILIES: THE WHAT, WHY AND HOW!
I know my children aren't alone in experiencing high levels of anxiety, worry and stress around Christmas. They were adopted at 14 months - but even now, at 6, there are a lot of nerves surrounding any kind of transition or change in routine. Lots of children find this time of year difficult. … [Read more...] about HELPING OUR CHILDREN MANAGE THEIR EMOTIONS AROUND CHRISTMAS
I LOVE Christmas. And I LOVE Advent. (I even wrote a book about Advent). I love all the fun and creative ways we can anticipate the excitement of Christmas during December with our families. One of our favourite traditions is our Advent basket. It's so simple - I just throw all our Christmas … [Read more...] about The Best Christmas Picture Books for Children (updated for 2021!)
I never formulated my ideas about Santa because of our adopted children, in case any of you think I'm more thoughtful about these kinds of things than I actually am. As a child, I enjoyed writing to Santa, sending my letter up the chimney of our open fire by making a draught with the door (a … [Read more...] about WHAT WE TEACH OUR ADOPTED CHILDREN ABOUT SANTA
Do you struggle when it comes to buying gifts for your other half? I'd love to hear from you if you don't! I always find it difficult, and I suspect I'm not alone. We can find it hard for all sorts of reasons, not least because our money and possessions are shared, so it sometimes feels like … [Read more...] about WHAT TO GET YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE FOR CHRISTMAS: A FOOLPROOF CHRISTMAS GIFT!
There are thousands of Christmas shopping tips on the Internet about saving money. Posts about buying second-hand, spreading the cost through the year, utilising sales, and so on. But how about saving time? Don't get me wrong, I'm not rolling in cash either. But this year, with four kids, … [Read more...] about CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TIPS: HOW TO DO (ALMOST) ALL YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN ONE DAY!
My friend Amy Scott Robinson is one of the deepest, most poetic Christian storytellers and writers that I know. She's the author of the marvellous Gladstone Tales, the first of which I reviewed right here. And guess what? She and I have both released Advent books this year! … [Read more...] about A FAMILY ADVENT: TWO CHRISTIAN WRITERS SHARE THEIR FAMILY ADVENT TRADITIONS