Better late than never…
Hope you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m looking forward to dusting off this little old blog and sharing more with you (Lord willing!) in 2016!
DaySpring Gift Guide
There is still time to shop at DaySpring! Here are some of my favorites at DaySpring right now. A little gift guide for those of you who still have some shopping to do…
JOY Letterpress Block Set – The letterpress blocks are such a fun gift idea. Pick a favorite word or phrase in a set or customize your own set! Such a perfect personalized gift!
Lisa Leonard Hope Anchors Necklace – This necklace is new at DaySpring and I love it so much. I love everything Lisa Leonard and the verse on this necklace is my favorite…one I have clung to many times! We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 Keep reading to find out how you can win one of the necklaces for yourself AND for a friend!
Lisa Leonard Gold Chevron Necklace – This is one of my favorite necklaces to wear. I love the chevron and gold!
Daily Grace Dessert Plate – Really, anything from the Daily Grace line would make a perfect gift. Fill these little plates with cookies for neighbors or give as a hostess gift. I have given lots of Daily Grace as gifts this year!
Together Dessert Plates – I love these dessert plates so much. I have a set and have given them away too. Perfect for family or friends!
We All Belong Globe – This is such a beautiful globe to display in your home. I love the lettering and message!
Better Together Pennant – I love the pennants that I see popping up everywhere. Such a fun way to display a message in your home.
Part of God’s Story Leather Journal – I saved this beautiful journal for last because it’s one of my favorites. Such a sweet gift to remind someone that they are part of God’s story.
* * * * *
I am giving away TWO Lisa Leonard Hope Anchors Necklaces (one for you and one to give as a gift!) over on Instagram. You can find me @jessmcclenahan for all the details and to enter the giveaway.
If you are finishing up your Christmas shopping, make sure to check out these deals that are going on right now. Remember you can only use one coupon code per transaction, so make sure to pick the one that gives you the best deal:
Use code STOCKUP to get 50% of clearance! Deal ends Friday, December 18.
Today is free shipping day! Use code FREESHIPDAY to get free shipping on any order. Deal ends Friday, December 18.
There are still some Deal of the Day promotions going on. Find those here.
Use code JESS20 to get 20% off anything in the store (clearance excluded). Deal ends Thursday, December 31.
Happy last minute shopping!
I first heard about Star From Afar while listening to The Happy Hour Christmas Special. Jamie Ivey’s podcast is so fun…you need to check it out if you haven’t already. I love listening! Anyway, Star From Afar was part of her 2015 shopping guide. In the past I have done a felt Advent calendar with the boys. They have always loved it and so have I. But this year I had visions of Jake tearing it off the wall everyday and stealing the pieces and the big boys screaming in dismay and I just couldn’t do it. So when I heard Jamie and Jen (Jen Hatmaker is on the Christmas Special too!) talking about Star From Afar I knew it might be my answer for Advent this year.
I had a feeling that you guys would love Star From Afar too so I contacted Natalie Ard (the mom who created this meaningful Christmas game) to see if she would be interested in partnering with me and she said, “Yes!”.
Star From Afar is just as amazing as I expected. It comes with an activity book, a wooden Star, a full wooden nativity scene that matches the artwork of the book, and optional scripture to use throughout the month.
The wooden nativity is beautiful. I love it so much! I think we put some of the stable pieces on backwards because those little black words shouldn’t be showing. We like it that way though. 🙂
It is hard to find a nativity that the kids can play with and that is pretty to have sitting out. This definitely is both.
On the last day of November I read the book to the boys.
As I read, I introduced the pieces of the nativity. The pieces match the artwork of the book which I think is so great! At the end of the book it tells the children that every day the Star will be hidden in a new location and it is their job to find it. Once they find the star they are to move the Wise Men close to that location and wait for the Star to move again the next day. There is a page in the back of the activity book that explains everything.
The boys thought this game sounded awesome. They were really excited!
I took the Star and told them that I would hide it and the next morning it would be their job to find it. I was really surprised that they both remembered right when they woke up the next day.
And then the fun part began. The star has been traveling all around our house ever since.
The boys love searching for it….minus a few tears that have been shed when they weren’t the first one to see it. But you have to have some tears with every Advent activity. Am I right?!
I love that this is not only meaningful but so easy too! I need easy these days. If I forget to hide the star the night before, I just tell the boys to close their eyes and hide it somewhere that morning.
The Star even has a hook on top so you can be creative and find places to hang it too.
On Christmas Eve I will place the Star on the stable roof above Baby Jesus. The boys will know exactly where to find the Star that morning!
I love that this game is fun and helps my boys focus on Jesus throughout the Christmas season. There is so much you can do with this game too…stick the daily Scriptures in your Advent calendar to read daily, work on memorizing a Christmas passage like Luke 2 each day as you find the Star, or incorporate this game with other traditions you already have established. Natalie dreamed of finding a way to bring a little more Jesus to Christmastime fun and I think Star From Afar does just that.
Make sure to check out the Star From Afar website for more details, videos, resources, and ordering information. I noticed right now they are offering free gift wrap and a hand written note using the code BESTGIFT. I think this would be such a fun gift to give to a family or to grandchildren. I would have loved receiving this!
Natalie is letting me give Star From Afar away to one of you over on Instagram! Head on over to my Instagram account (@jessmcclenahan) for all the details and to enter! Yay!
My goal for next year is to actually start sharing photos of my family and what we have been up to on the blog again. Ha! In the meantime, I hope you love DaySpring products as much as I do. And I hope you love giveaways too. I mean, who doesn’t love free stuff?!
I love Christmas traditions and figuring out ways to help my family (and me!) stay focused on Jesus during the Advent season. I feel like my family is still in the beginning stages of forming our traditions. And honestly, they have looked different each year depending on the ages of my kids. What has worked one year sometimes doesn’t work the next year. DaySpring recently sent me a few Advent resources and I am so excited to share them with you!
I have heard so much about Ann Voskamp’s book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. I couldn’t wait to look through it!
This book is so beautiful! The illustrations are amazing. It reminds me so much of The Jesus Storybook Bible, which we love!
We started late, but I have read a few of these with my older two boys. It kept their attention and they loved the illustrations. I think it will be a little better next year when they are each a year older, but we will definitely keep reading through some of it this year too!
Each day ends with thoughts to discuss and family activities. I love this because it helps you go from just reading something to applying it to your life!
There is also a sculpted ornament set and a paper ornament set (which is what I have!) to go along with the book. These coordinate with the daily readings from the book through the Advent tradition of a Jesse Tree. I also heard that you can download free paper ornaments for your kids to color. So fun! I think I will do that next year.
The Twelve Names of Christmas is another great resource. I love this one because it is all about Jesus and discovering who He is. And it is perfect for the little ones! The box says ages three and up. I think Levi (6) is still young enough to love this too.
“O come let us adore Him.” We love to sing it at Christmastime, but what does it really mean to adore Christ? Psalm 8:1 gives us a clue, “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
I think a lot of us as grown-ups struggle with knowing who Jesus is and understanding what it means to truly adore Him. How great to focus on discovering who Jesus is with our kids?! This set includes a book of twelve, easy-to-follow, illustrated stories and twelve corresponding ornaments (the garland and countdown bags are mine and are not included with the set).
Each ornament has a verse on the back. You can hang these on your Christmas tree or hang them somewhere else around the house. These would be perfect to stick in an advent countdown calendar to open each day if you already have one!
This is a twelve-day devotional, so if you were wanting to do something with your kids for Advent but haven’t started yet, this is for you. You still have time! My sister is doing this with her kids and she started at the beginning of December and will read each one twice. Such a good idea for the little ones who need repetition!
Either of these would make such a sweet gift for a family. Or plan ahead and start a meaningful tradition with your family next year. You will be all set to go when December first rolls around. Hopefully I can help one of you out with that because I am giving away $100 to DaySpring! It’s like an Advent shopping spree!
$100 to DaySpring
ONE winner chosen at random
ONE entry per person
Giveaway ends Sunday, December 13th at 10PM (CST)
To enter, visit DaySpring and then leave a comment on this post telling me what you would buy with your gift certificate? Christmas presents? Something that has been on your wishlist? Something for Advent?
DaySpring is also doing a special discount for my readers. Yay! Use code JESS20 to get 20% off anything in the store (excludes clearance). Coupon code good through 12/31/15.
disclaimer: affiliate links used
Don’t miss today’s DaySpring deals!
Nativity Hurricane Candle Holder Trio
Daily Grace Mug
Steadfast Love Wooden Candlestick Holder
DaySpring added a few more of my favorite Daily Grace pieces to the Black Friday Specials! You can find all the Markdown Specials here.
Daily Grace Creamer
Daily Grace Dessert Plate
Daily Grace Bowl
Daily Grace Sugar/Candy Bowl
Hope Anchors Necklace
Well With My Soul Necklace
Be Thou My Vision Necklace
By Grace Alone Necklace
There are even some Lisa Leonard pieces on clearance right now. These end up being a great deal with the additional 30% off!
Gold Diamond in the Rough Necklace
Gold Freedom Necklace
Gold Joy Banner Necklace
Courage Leather Cuff
And I just had to mention these too because my boys love Color Wonder…and who doesn’t love that they are mess-free?! I’m going to put these in my boys’ stockings. They would make a great gift for your kids or grandkids too!
Bible Stories – Crayola Color Wonder Coloring Pad For Boys
You can find more Color Wonder coloring pads and markers here.
And don’t forget…
Mugs are Buy One Get One Free through the weekend – expires Sunday (12 CST). No code needed, the second item in your cart will automatically be free.
Use code 30FRIDAY15 to get 30% off site wide (including clearance!). Yay! Monday is the last day for the Black Friday Markdowns and 30% off site wide. Don’t miss out on these great deals!
**disclaimer: affiliate links used**