Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Monday

The 5 Best Quotes about Christmas & Free Printable - Coffee & Conversation



Here is my choice for the 
5 Best Quotes on the subject of Christmas








I am not a fan of QUOTES

In fact sometimes I get very annoyed at how people almost treat a quote
 as more important than the 
Word of God


I actually wrote a blog post about Do We Really Need This Quote?








However I do see that there are certain topics that there are some great quotes on from some very reliable people. This month of course we are thinking about Christmas so let's get encouraged with some quotes around this.

There are many quotes from so many people on Christmas but I prefer to only refer to or recommend ones from people who I trust as standing firm on the Word of God.

So in the list below I will quote


Not  Rick Warren    but   C.S. Lewis

 Not  Priscilla Shirer   but   Corrie Ten Boom

Not  Joel Osteen  but   Robert Flatt





1.  C.S. Lewis

"Once in our world a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world."






2.  Handel H Brown

"To prepare our hearts for Christmas, we must cultivate the spirit of expectancy."






 


3.  Corrie Ten Boom

"Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life."








Have you read the 5 Best Quotes on Christmas?










4.  Robert Flatt

"The giving of gifts is not something man invented. God started the giving spree when He gave a gift beyond words, the unspeakable gift of His Son."






5.  C.S. Lewis


   "The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God."   

 




Don't forget to download our
                      Christmas Quotes Free Printable 







Plus why not have a look at the other Free resources in our












 


Tuesday

Christmas Handwashing Songs for Kids - Need Help?


Do You

Need Help?


The Kids Must Wash Their Hands!!!


BUT


Are they Tired of Singing Happy Birthday all the time?

YES!!!!





Let's have some Christmas Songs for washing our hands.

UPDATED to include 5 songs now


I'm going to put up videos & free printables for you to use to teach your children new songs that are the right length or longer for those handwashing routines.


List of Songs included below:

1.  Away in a Manger.

2.  Jingle Bells.

3.  Christmas Bells.

4.  Christmas is a Time of Joy.  

5.  Little Donkey.  NEW!






DON'T FORGET TO CLICK FOR ALL THE FREE DOWNLOADS
at the
 END OF THIS BLOG POST





1.  Away in a Manger.

All kids learn at least the first verse of this song and if you sing it slowly you will have well covered your time for the handwashing.







PRINTABLE





Now watch the video below to learn the tune and the words.


Fred & I did a live on facebook singing this song but we did sing it a bit faster than most people.

You can see the recording below from Fred's You tube channel.

Just fast forward to skip the bit of talking at the start.







or click through to my facebook page to watch it there



To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano  &  the  powerpoint for printing on  A4 card  or  Letter size





2.  Jingle Bells.

I don't think there is a child who has not heard this song before so it will be very easy to get them to use this for washing their hands.


Don't worry if you all get confused with the verse part - so do we and really you only need the well-known chorus part.





3.  Christmas Bells.

This is another easy song for the children to learn because some of the words are repetitive and it is sung to the tune of Jingle Bells.







PRINTABLE








Now watch the video below to learn the tune and the words.

This was also from the series of songs for Christmas that Fred & I did live on Facebook & YouTube

You can see the recording below from Fred's You tube channel






or click through to my facebook page to watch it there


To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano  &  the  powerpoint for printing on  A4 card  or  Letter size




4.  Christmas is a Time of Joy.

Another easy song for the children which is sung to the tune of Jesus Loves Me.

This one teaches about their gifts and toys not being the main part of Christmas and points to Jesus as the gift from God.

You can find more detail about the song on my songs for Kids post Christmas is a Time of Joy 



PRINTABLE






To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano  &  the  powerpoint for printing on  A4 card  or  Letter size



5.  Little donkey.

Lovely song appropriate for adults and children but for handwashing for the kids it's great.

We only need to use the first verse and chorus but it still teaches the children a great message about how God kept Mary safe and everyone can be of use to God.



PRINTABLE








To Download a copy of these words with chords for guitar and piano  &  the  powerpoint for printing on  A4 card  or  Letter size








To download words or chords for any of these songs


CLICK BELOW


Song Printables at Sandra's Ark




Or if you have already subscribed to my blog you will find the link in any of the emails we send out.






SSHH Don't Wake The Baby! - Christmas Children's Book Review


Disclaimer:
There may be an affiliate link on this blogpost.

It's Christmas time again and it's Christmas Book Review time.

Today it is a book for young children about the real focus of Christmas.








We have always felt that books are very special to our family and share a love of reading but now that Fred and I have got to the "grandparent stage" we are once again looking at, buying and reading books that are suitable for the "0 - 5 years" age group.


So when I heard about this title and the fact that these books can be got cheaply - more about that later I - and knew the people who were recommending them were reliable (very important!) I was quick to tell my friend at church and if you read on you will find out what that resulted in.






Well back to testing out the book.

If a book is meant for that young age group then it should be tested with children of that age.

We have 3 grandchildren Matthew just turned 4 at the start of last month, Ruby 2 yrs 5 months and Sarah 10 weeks old, all of whom fall in this age group.

Unfortunately Sarah was fast asleep when we arrived back with Matthew to his mum and dad from having a sleepover at our house so we did not lift her out of the cot to disturb her but it will not be long before she is on Nanny or Granddad's knee as we read other stories to them all.


(I forgot to get a picture of Sarah in her cot asleep but here is one from a few days previously when she was asleep in my arms.)





So you can see this book was very apt for Matthew and Ruby because of baby Sarah and Yes even though we were reading the book together and mum & dad were chatting & laughing in the kitchen we didn't wake Baby Sarah.



We had cuddled into the big corner of our son & daughter-in-law's sofa in their living room where we always go in their house to read our storybooks together.



Ruby gets very serious when she is looking at a new book and always seems like she is trying to take in everything on the pages.






At first I think Matthew thought maybe this book was better suited to Ruby's age than to his but it wasn't too long until he was sitting forward to see the great illustrations.






At one stage you have to turn the book round in a circle to read the spiral writing and this really got Matthew's attention






 plus he then decided that he needed to check something from the previous pages before he would let me continue reading.







The book goes back and forth between referring to a baby in the family and the baby Jesus and this did not confuse either Matthew or Ruby at all.






We have a saying in our family - one which was started by our children when they were young
"No Hugging, No Kissing!" they would shout when Fred and I would get too close to each other - and it is still chanted all these years later.

So we laughed when we got to this page






The book was just a nice length for Ruby who was very attentive the whole way through.







Matthew however was a bit sad that it wasn't longer and didn't want me to close it after I read the final words.






The book is a lovely size (6ins x 6ins)  for slipping into a handbag or for little hands like Ruby's to hold.


There is also a hardback version of the book which is approximately 9ins by 9ins but I have not seen this in person.  It would be an ideal size and a sturdier type book for using to read to a group of children.


Here you can see the back cover of the book






So back to the point where I had told my friend in church about this book BEFORE I even had a copy. 

In fact the copy I had for this review was given to me by her because once she had looked it up on the website she just felt it was the right book to get for our church to give to all the children who come to our "Sonshine Club" each Tuesday (our Mums & Tots group).

She ordered 60 books to have today for our Christmas Party and because this book focuses in on Jesus as a baby and the special reason for this baby it is an ideal gift for the children to learn about Jesus, the true reason of Christmas and also for the mums and dads and grannies and granddads who sit cuddled up with the little ones they love and read of the love of God at Christmas.







Now what would be the point in me telling you about this beautiful book which would make an ideal gift for any young child if I did not tell you where to get it.

This book is written by Helen Buckley and illustrated by Jenny Brake and can be ordered from  10 of Those  a company which sell many of their books at great discounts in fact if you order now there is something like 40% off the retail price.

This company also sell some books in large quantities and when these were bought for our church event we got them for only £1 each.


So Deciding thought on this book?

Yes it's a big Tick from me and Fred and the grandkids.






Please note the book is not available through Amazon.co.UK or  .Com however you can find other books by the same author on Amazon HERE






Disclaimer:
I have NOT been offered a free product to write this blog post nor any other compensation.  
The views expressed here are completely my own.

However if  you buy an item through Amazon having clicked the link above I get a little commission but that does not mean any extra expense to you.








Wednesday

3 Christmas Stockings - A Dose of Encouragement



Something that has come out each year to decorate our home at Christmas are 3 red & white Christmas Stockings.







I can't remember exactly when we got them (it may have been during our three years living in the US) but it was a long long time ago and even though our 3 children are all grown up and living in various countries Fred & I would still hang them up and fill them.



The kids laughed at us for doing this but I have never seen them refuse the little bits and pieces that were placed inside for them like Toblerone bars,  boxes of Maltesers,  Smarties,  etc.



Yes we all like chocolate in this family.


They also think we are very predictable because of what would be shaken out of these stockings except for the couple of different little non-edible surprises each year but as I said before - We all like chocolate in this family.






Of course now we have added a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law to the family so they get the same treatment as our two sons and daughter but we use Gift Bags instead of the three stockings which now are hung up simply as decorations.  Hung up mostly to remind us of the old days as we can be a sentimental lot in our family too - okay - I can be sentimental.

It is good to look back and think of previous Christmases, about the happy times and the family as it grew and the coming together with others at that special time and to look now at these three stockings and say "Yes, once we were a family with 3 children and now we have grown."

Of course when we say grown we don't just mean in number from 5 to 10 because of the three grandchildren or in size because yes our boys are tall like their dad but also grown in maturity.

When we look back at these 3 stockings now we thank God for how our children have matured in their relationships with God as well.

So often Christmas is a time of what we want NOW when we think of presents and food but we need to focus back on Why we actually have Christmas each year.

We do need to be predictable and think about the same things each Christmas.


Why do we actually have Christmas each Year?

Christmas is the remembering back to Who came to earth and Why He came.

Jesus came as a baby to live and grow to be the man who was also God, the only one who could then take on our sin and punishment to be our Saviour.

Looking at our 3 stockings our prayer is that our three children and all their families (even those yet to come) will know Who came to earth that first Christmas and Why He came.








How We Personalized Christmas - A Dose of Encouragement


In the past we have often given someone a personalised present at Christmas or we have got personalised tree decorations for our kids


BUT  this year


we personalised Christmas quite a bit.





To start with it was our grandson Matthew's first Christmas and although he didn't know what was going on ( not even 8 weeks old by Christmas) we were all thinking about him and we started off by receiving gifts from others mentioning


"Baby's First Christmas"


Then we were at it ourselves because I bought a star tree decoration handmade about Matthew for our tree and then got one identical for Daniel & Suzie's tree.






But Fred was the one who thought of the idea that included everyone.


Now I'm the one who loves mugs and I always find myself glancing over the array of mugs in any place I see them just in case I will see a nice one (should be a bargain of course) or see one that makes me think of someone in particular and I know it will be a nice gift for them.


But Fred was the one who had the idea about the personalized mugs!


So he designed them for each of the family





The mugs for the proud grandparents.






The mugs for the proud aunt and uncle.






The mugs for the proud parents.







Then a mug for each of my 4 Black Boys.



And that is how we personalised Christmas this year.


So often we go through Christmas time in a blur of shopping, cooking, giving gifts, visiting and eating together but do we make sure that the time is really personalised?


We can personalise Christmas time in two ways and neither of them has anything to do with our names on mugs or anywhere else.


We can personalise Christmas Time in 2 ways.



We can personalise it by putting our mark on Christmas.

Yes we need time to shop for gifts and food, cook for the family and friends, give and receive gifts, visit and have meals together but we can also make time to engage with others on a good one to one basis and not just the hurried "Merry Christmas" and "hug".

We can think about little things that will make the time a happier memory for others or a time when they know someone cared enough to talk and listen to them and share a laugh or two.

I can think of a great example that happens each year in the Coffee Shop that our son Daniel manages in Belfast.  On Christmas Day anyone and everyone who may be on their own over Christmas are invited to come to Common Grounds and share in a Freshly Cooked full Christmas Dinner.






Volunteers flock to help and others are eager to donate food or money to provide a special meal and afternoon for anyone who drops in.
This year over 110 people were served and not only they, but also the volunteers were blessed in their time together.



We can personalise it by putting Christ's mark on Christmas.

Yes again we need to do all the practical things and a lot of what is involved now at Christmas time is centred around things rather than the person who is the reason we celebrate Christmas.




We need to make Jesus the Centre of Christmas and the Reason for Christmas.


One thing I insist on each year is that the Christmas cards we send out will always be focusing on Jesus and not referring to Christmas as a season.
  

Here are a few of my favourites  









And one we sent the kids in our Sunday School - deliberately picked to remind the children of the puppet show we had in church that year on the nativity and the fun time they had with the camel puppet.






Even this year when we sent out fewer cards and then sent an email greeting to link to a family letter on this blog we still wanted to express our thankfulness to God for sending the Saviour of the world and chose this picture for our Christmas greeting, keeping Christ at the centre.




We often hear things like:

“if you had been the only person on earth Jesus would have still died for you”

But we are not the only ones so we have a responsibility to put Christ's mark on each Christmas we celebrate here on earth to share Jesus with others and not remove Him from it.







We need to remember "Our mark & His mark".


I generally like to buy my Christmas Cards really early (as in the January sales!) so I am looking again now for a card with a fully Jesus centred theme to make sure I personalise Christmas for Christ.