Hi ladies! Y'all know we're fans of advent around here, right?
I want to take a second to introduce you to my online friend, Amanda, who has written a snazzy little eBook that is an AMAZING resource for moms trying to wrap their brains + lives around celebrating advent with their kiddos.
Aaaand, just for reference. This is Miss Oh Amanda. She's precious.
Back to the amazing eBook! It's called Truth in the Tinsel and Amanda answered a few questions below for us about it!
Amanda, I'm loving your new eBook! Tell me what inspired you to write it.
When my daughter was almost 2, I read a little advent book with her at Christmas. It had flaps to lift and short activities for each day. The first day was an ornament. We made it and then every day after that, even though the book didn't call for it, my daughter wanted to make an ornament. We stopped doing the book about halfway through the month (it wasn't that fabulous) but kept reading the Christmas story from the Bible and making an ornament to go with it. We continued the tradition (with a little more advanced prep) the next year and then the ebook was born a couple of years later!
I love it because little kids (even big kids!) can't meditate on a Scripture or study it the way adults can. They need to create and play and experience. That's what this book has done--helped my kids experience the true story of Christmas.
What is your biggest tip for mamas or families who are just getting started with their advent journey.
Plan ahead. One of my mentors says, "If you aim at nothing, you'll hit it everytime." I find when I don't plan activities or special events they don't happen. This doesn't have to be a big scheduled thing. It can be as simple as reserving a book at the library, setting craft supplies out or buying ingredients to make a fun treat. I always have great intentions, it's my follow-thru that needs a little push. I'm happier, more relaxed and more excited about doing meaningful things with my kids when I have it planned beforehand.
You have an amazing blog year-round. Who do you write to and what do you write about?
I write for the mama who wants to impress God's Word on her kids' hearts but isn't sure how to do it. Maybe she's a new Christian, a new mama or just in a new season of life. I want to create experiences for families that will help parents impact their child's spiritual life. All my writing flows out of what I'm doing with my own kids and my huge passion for leading kids to love God and His Word.
Any tips for keeping advent simple and to the point while also still making it special?
I think parents get a little freaked out about making sure they do it "right". People are concerned that kids won't get the real meaning of Christmas. Or sometimes they are juggling the secular and sacred parts of the holiday and can't find a balance. Here's what I know: this is the only time of year where praises of Jesus ring out everywhere. You hear them in stores, see them in decorations and on television. My advice is directly from God's Word, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates." Simply make the story of Jesus' birth a part of your everyday life this December--talk about it, focus on it and surround yourself with it. Use books, music and simple conversation to make sure your kids know their best present is Jesus!
What has been your favorite Christmas memory since starting your own family?
My daughter is 6 and my son is 4, so for me all the "traditions" seem new. But for them, it seems like everything we do is a big huge tradition and memory. I love watching them discover ornaments from the year before, remember Christmas songs or the opposite--not remember a book we read or a snack we made. What fun to shape their memories and traditions!
Trust me, trust me - this is only the beginning of her grace-filled wisdom.
If you want to (and trust me - YOU WANT TO) pick up your own copy of Truth in the Tinsel, Amanda is offering all Naptime Diaries readers a 20% discount today using coupon code NAPTIMEDIARIES. Head over there today and soak up all her gracious goodness.
and pssst: due to a massive amount of orders + wanting to get everyone their Naptime Diaries advent calendars in plenty of time, we are only take NINETY more orders for advent calendars (as of the morning of 11/21/12). If you're wanting one - go grab yours quick!