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prepare HIM room

Let every heart prepare HIM room. A phrase that is definitely on my mind this year. A phrase that I want to go from just being something I think about to something I live out. But I struggle every year as the busyness of the season rushes in. I want to quiet my heart. I want to slow down. But instead I tend to fill up my calendar and procrastinate on the things that need to be done and the busyness often overwhelms me. I prepare room for parties and programs and Christmas shopping and Christmas baking and all the fun which is involved in Christmas. And those things are all good. But where I struggle is that I prepare room for all those things and don’t leave any room for Jesus. And you know what? When I am not preparing Him room in my own heart it means my kids aren’t either. I want my kids to know that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus. How we do that in our home will probably look different than how you do it in your home. The important thing is that we are preparing room in our hearts for Jesus this Christmas season…and always. And that we are walking alongside our kids so they learn to do the same.

A friend and I each made a felt nativity together last year. Levi liked it last year but he is really getting into it this year. Everyday there are verses to read with a keyword that tells you what piece to add to the nativity scene. Levi was getting really stressed out each day that it wasn’t time for baby Jesus. Soon! Maybe he got a little taste of what it was like to wait for the Savior!

This year I also bought the Truth in the Tinsel ebook. We are not following it exactly. We have actually only made a few ornaments so far (the blue crown on the tree is one that we made)…I’m hoping the next two weeks we will have time to make a few more. We are making our ornaments to go along with the felt nativity and what we are reading that day. It is fun to have a little craft project to do though! I think Levi will like this even more next year when he is a little older.

Our collection of Christmas books is growing. Last year I asked you to recommend your favorite Christmas books that help teach the Christmas story. You had so many good ideas! I am going to compile the list and post it for you later this week. I’ll tell you which ones are our favorite too!

We also have a Little People Nativity for the boys to play with. They both love it. Griffin has mastered putting the angel on top and he claps for himself every time. Levi has been carrying the little people all over the house. Last night he was changing baby Jesus’ diaper and making them all pancakes. They are well taken care of! 🙂

I usually end up doing most of this stuff during the day because for us it gets to be too stressful in the evenings with Joel’s unpredictable work schedule and other commitments. It would be more ideal to do this all together as a family but this just works better for us. Did you see the free advent chain printable to go along with the Jesus storybook Bible (our favorite Bible!) that Heather made? So great! We made one for Levi and Joel to do together before bed. That way they can do something special together too!

I know these pictures might make it look like we perfectly prepare our hearts for Christmas. We don’t. I fail all the time. Some days I forget to make time. Some days our house is full of sick or whiny kids and it is hard to get anything done, let alone advent activities. Some days the projects are a bust or my kids won’t listen to me. And most days Levi is in his jammies not a cute Christmas sweater. 🙂 But it is my job to train up my kids and make Jesus known to them and help them prepare their hearts for Christmas. And really we should be making room for Jesus everyday. Definitely something I am praying about as far as what that should look like in my home as the new year is right around the corner!

How are you helping your family make room for Jesus? I would love to hear…you will probably give me some new ideas too!

  • Erin Guiltner - We’re enjoying “Truth in the Tinsel” too. I’m modifying the ornaments based on what we have on hand. Even though my girls are only 2, they are really enjoying it. I’m looking forward to seeing your book list. The only one we have right now is “The Animals’ Christmas Eve,” a Golden book.ReplyCancel

  • Cindy - Are you just using scriptures for the verses? I’d like to make my own nativity for my grandkids. I have the Little People Nativity too and they love it and take such good care of baby Jesus just like your boys do. I love how you’re teaching them that Jesus is the reason for the season.ReplyCancel

  • Allison - Honestly? With a new baby, we’re barely even celebrating Christmas this year. No decorations, very few gifts, and we can’t go as a family to church because our little guy was a preemie and we aren’t willing to expose him to 300 people and all their germs during flu/cold/RSV season. BUT I love your felt nativity! Maybe next year I will make one.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I loved this post! Our hearts do need preparing for this season that can get so materialistic and stressful. Also! Did you create your own nativity pattern?! Or would you mind sharing where you got it from?! I really, really love it!ReplyCancel

  • Erin - We are following the advent readings from the Jesus Storybook Bible at night, and during the day doing an advent activity. We do sprinkles of Santa but bigger doses of the main guy! I blogged our advent activities recently. I am constantly amazed at how saturated our world is with Santa. You have to be very intentional about it for sure.ReplyCancel

  • Michelle from Australia - We arrived home on Sunday morning. Jetlag has meant we are all really sleepy during the day and awake at 3am. I have 8 bags to unpack and the more I look at them, the more they don’t unpack themselves 🙁 I don’t know if our Christmas decorations will make it up this year. But I hope we still celebrate Christ’s birth well, decorations and jetlag or not. M xReplyCancel

  • Katie - Lovely post. Did you use any tutorial or patterns for your felt nativity? I love it!ReplyCancel

  • Mel - This was so encouraging. Thank you so much for sharing. I always love coming to your blog. I so needed this reminder. The true reason for this season….that is so easy replaced with the commercialism of the season. I too want to teach my little boy that Christmas is about celebrating Jesus…and making room for Him. Thank you. And I love all your ideas and traditions.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I LOVE the felt nativity!! So cute! 🙂 We have the same books and Little People nativity that you do. Looks like your little guy is enjoying all of it!ReplyCancel

  • Cathy - I, too, was wondering if you had a pattern for your felt nativity. Your kids are beyond cute and I so enjoy reading your blog.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - I love your felt nativity board! You did such a good job! Is “The Tale of 3 Trees” on your book list – it’s my favorite!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I too am doing Truth in the Tinsel although I must admit that MY heart is not as quiet and soaking it in and prepared to welcome HIM and make space for HIM this year and I am trying to swim through that struggle.

    We are doing a very modified version of Truth in the Tinsel but we’ve done more than the three days we did last year when he was 1 1/2 so I feel good about that and am thankful for a resource that can grow with us and we can adapt as the years go by. I have a pinterest board for Truth in the Tinsel as I’m modifying crafts and stuff and I am making “lesson plans” (the teacher in me coming back out – I loved writing lesson plans) for each day that we do. Most of it is taken straight from her ebook and some of it incorporates a Christmas book that we have that we read instead of doing a craft or sometimes we do something like get out and play with our Fisher Price nativity instead of doing a craft.

    I have also switched the order of the days mostly at the beginning because I was trying to accomodate a library book that needed to be returned. 🙂

    I have been wrapping the book/nativity/craft supplies either in wrapping paper or a brown lunch sack and then cutting out the clues intended for the advent calendar and putting them on the front and also using a clipboard with numbers printed out on paper that he gets to cross off (because right off we had a super busy December 1st with no time to do something together) so we are working on recognizing numbers too. 🙂

    Your felt nativity is really pretty! Merry Christmas! Kelly

    p.s. we too mostly do ours during the day without Daddy but there are seasons, right?!ReplyCancel

  • blair sorrells - Is there a pattern for the felt nativity?ReplyCancel