A Few of My Favorite Things

Don’t you just adore Christmastime? The music, the smells, the treats, the traditions—it all swirls into one superbly jubilant festival of light in the middle of the dark. I’ve had a year now to treasure hunt the most delicious gifts for your holiday season. Wishing you a glorious riot of Christ this month as you seek Him out and are found by Him!

Some December gifts to point you toward

Christmas Blog Posts: By the Girls of (In)courage

I couldn’t pick just one… believe me, I tried. So I’ve put these three together and wrapped them up for you with a cute little bauble as a free stocking stuffer. Read one a day or enjoy them all at once with a warm cuppa. For the One Who Has Everything (by Kristen Etheridge) is a touching piece about how we can be both shepherds and wise (wo)men in our gift-giving. I loved Holley Gerth’s What Introverts Can Give Our Wild World During the Holidays because of the thoughtful, inclusive approach and cute graphic. And if you are drawn to the festive hymns of the season, you need Tsh Oxenreider’s The History Behind Five Great Christmas Carols in your life. She even includes links to her favorite versions of each!

Tradition: A Jesus Tree

Ann Voskamp’s concept originated here, but I’ll sum it up. One year, her family chose to decorate a second Christmas tree in their home and surround it with practical “birthday gifts” for Jesus: acts of kindness, sacrifice, and generosity toward others. It taught them to be intentional in their remembrance of the true Gift throughout the season. (And the idea of two trees is just too fun to pass up.)

Sermon Series: Andy Stanley’s An Unexpected Christmas

If you’re connected to our church at all, you get free, unlimited access to RightNow Media (the Netflix of Bible Studies).* One of the series of messages available is perfect for anyone struggling with the—well, perfection—of Christmas. If you think your people have issues, get a load of the Savior’s family tree! Bonus: this church puts on phenomenal drama acts before each sermon that add to the theme (think sitcom meets gospel). If you’re short on time, play it as you get ready in the morning or while cleaning the house. I know you’ll get a kick out of it.

Spotify Playlist: Christmas Bling

A compilation of my festive favorites—with a twist! By the fifteenth time I hear Nat King Cole sing his soulful tune, I’m ready to pull some hair out. I need some originality (or at least an original take on a classic), and this playlist is stuffed with both to get you through decorating your tree, filling out your Christmas cards, or unwrapping another fruitcake… all without becoming a fruitcake yourself. You’re welcome.

Pinterest Find: Mini Gingerbread House Cocoa Toppers

Look how cute and tasty! I can’t even deal. Why have normal hot chocolate when you can create tiny winter castles to adorn your mugs? Make every sip adorable.

*If you’re part of Green Valley Crossing, send Riley your email address to get in on this crazy good stuff. The church is already paying for a subscription; we might as well put it to good use, right?

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