Tinsel, Truth, and a Real Live Manger {How the Kids are Celebrating Advent}

I’m in the mood to give y’all a glimpse of how we’re celebrating Christmas around here with a 2, 4, and 6 year old. Do you mind? Great…here we go.


Our new tradition this year is doing the Truth in the Tinsel Advent activity eBook. (affliate link–woot!) The kids adore their daily Christmas craft, and I appreciate something that reminds me to slow down and focus on the kids in an otherwise busy day. Here’s Claire painting a crown ornament that represents Christ’s kingship.


I’m delighted that the crafts are so simply even Seth has been able to be involved. He loves hanging his ornament on the tree each evening.


I’m also loving the maturity of my eldest, allowing us to do some more involved projects together. Here we trimmed the front bushes….


…and turned the trimmings into window wreaths. This is Jesse’s first wreath, people! He made three–I’m so proud.


More truth in the Tinsel crafts..this time they were making a Mary ornament. Can you tell Claire is delighted?


Claire drew Mary’s face herself!


And finally this year, we hung Christmas lights outside. It was sunny that day, so the kids bundled up and went out to help Daddy. Seth saw it as a wonderful opportunity to do some climbing!


Claire says, “I think he’s going to fall, so I am going to stand here to catch him!”

So helpful. Thank you, Claire.

I don’t have pictures yet of the lights actually on, because we still had to find some extension cords….


The other day, during Seth’s nap, I took the eldest outside for some wood crafting. (look! even their playhouse has lights!)


Everyone helped….


And we made this simple manner (tutorial here) out of some wood scraps. Now Claire can stop asking what a manger is every.single. time. we sing Away in a Manger!


And then Jeremy calls me from washing dinner dishes last night–“bring the camera!” There was a monkey in the manger! The tutorial warned me about how appealing the finished product was for two year olds….

I’m really loving how an advent countdown (anything that has us doing or reading something related to the Christmas story every day) keeps my kids focused on the true meaning of Christmas. I love this conversation between Jesse and Claire the other day….

Jesse: “Three weeks till Christmas!!!”
Claire: “It’s already Christmas!
Jesse: “No, Claire–it’s not Christmas yet!
Claire: “Yes it is! Today is Christmas!
Mommy: “Claire is right, Jess–we’re celebrating Christmas all month!”

I just loved this glimpse into how Claire views Christmas. This whole month is Christmas–the presents on the 25th are only a small part of the celebration in her mind. When you celebrate Christmas every day of December, your getting into a habit of Celebrating Christ every day, which could easily be carried into the New Year, dontcha think?

What do you do for advent? Do share–I’m already collecting ideas for next year!



7 responses to “Tinsel, Truth, and a Real Live Manger {How the Kids are Celebrating Advent}”

  1. Elisabeth Allen Avatar

    What a beautiful post. It reminds me of the sort of mother I want to be someday. Thanks for the peep into your family’s life! : )

  2. Lisa Avatar

    We’re trying the Truth in Tinsel this year too. My 11 year old is enjoying it as much as the 4 year old. I got out the nativity scene and each day we play a game to find another piece to go in it. (I give them a quiz first so they can guess who they’re looking for, then they go find it.) First day they got Mary and Joseph and each morning they get to move them a little closer to the barn. We also are reading one of the books in the Advent triology by Arnold Ytreeide and it is fantastic!

    1. Trina Avatar

      Oh, I love this idea, Lisa! I need to get me a manger scene that can hold up to kids…mine is very, very special and fragile…

  3. Stephie N Avatar

    I love it! Your kids are so cute! It looks like you do a lot more than we do! Our advent plans are up on my blog at simplybeecause.blogspot.com I.m sorry I can’t direct link it on the phone, but do far we haver made cookies for the neighbors, watched christmas movies on day that the scheduled got too busy, made christmas ornaments for others, wrapped up and decorated homemade gifts for cousins and made paper nativity scenes! And we’re reading all over tr bible and seeing christs birth prophecy which is really cool!

    1. Trina Avatar

      My advent study is taking me all over the Bible, too–I love it!!! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  4. shannon coe Avatar

    these children are adorable. I wish i had these memories with my children. what a blessed woman you are, my friend. Such joy I see in this post. Makes me weepy.

  5. Jess Avatar

    Loved reading this! So fun seeing pictures of your kiddos! (can’t wait to see pictures of the lights)

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