Monday, December 01, 2014

The first day of Advent & Truth in the Tinsel tips

Today was the first day of Advent!  It's my favorite time of the year.  We are once again participating in Truth in the Tinsel.  This is year 4 for us and we aren't sick of it yet!  In fact, Ethan was begging all afternoon to do the first ornament.  I love that's he's excited about this!

If you haven't hear of it this program, it's a very inexpensive E-book with a short devotional and a cute ornament to make.  It is incredibly flexible and you can make it fit around your family's needs.  I highly recommend spending the extra four dollars and getting the printable ornaments because even if you don't have time to actually do the craft, you can hand your kids the crayons and talk about it while they color.

Last year, I worked really hard putting together sandwich bags with the clue and the supplies already ready for the craft.  It made it so much easier this year (once I found them, of course!).

I also went with the paper lunch bags again this year.  Last year, I did this. But this year, I decided to go simpler. I printed out numbers on them.  Once, I figured it out, it went really quick. I really like the simplicity of it.  I might even be able to keep the bags for next year.  We will see.
Then, I used the basket that normally holds our library books and filled with with our advent bags.  Super easy!

Then, we got to work and had fun learning about how Jesus is the Light of the World.  Weston is really into pirates and now makes a pirate face instead of smiling.  (ahh, the life of an imaginative almost 4 year old!).
and hung them on the tree.  I can't wait to get more ornaments up on the tree!

Here are my tips:
1.  Plan for the whole month, but don't stress if you miss a few.  Christmas is busy and you don't want to stress and not have fun.  You can always go and do two on a quiet day, if you want.  It made it so easy to get everything ready because some of my bags were still full.  
2.  Get everything ready ahead of time.  You are more likely to do it if it's all ready for you.  
3.  Don't stress if you don't want to make it exactly how it's written.  People have been doing this for 4 years now and there are a lot of ideas out there for the ornaments to change it up or make it easier.  For example, the day, the sheep yard ornament, we are making hand print sheep with cotton balls and black paint.  Super Easy!  
5.  Take advantage of Instagram and hashtag #truthinthetinsel.  It's a ton of fun to click the hashtag and see what everyone else is doing .
6.  Don't think your kid is too young.  I've been doing this with Ethan since he was 3 and Weston started when he was 2 (but he's been around for it all!).  
7.  Have fun.  Buy the extra ornaments. . . So easy!  We do a little of both, but don't feel guilty if all your doing is the paper ornaments.  They are cute and the goal is to teach them about Jesus!  

I think that's it. . . for now.  I might think of something to add as I go and drift off to sleep, but feel free to email me or leave a message in the comments.  

If you are curious about our other traditions check these previous posts. 
click here, here, here, and here

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