Black Friday 2015

It’s Black Friday!

I’ll keep it short and sweet, ok?

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Black Friday TNT 2015

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Begin Your Holiday with GIVING

A few days ago I was at my mom’s house and she had a giant pile of Christmas gift catalogs on her couch–all kinds of stores with all kinds of goodies. I was supposed to be doing some work with the kids for school but I stacked those little catalogs up next to me because I sincerely love shopping for Christmas! I don’t love walking through the mall but the hustle and bustle of Christmas is exciting!

How are we supposed to keep that hustle and bustle fun and not turn it into a big crazy greed-fest for us and our kids? Well, the best thing I know is to simply GIVE. To take it a step further, I think it’s important to give first. Let your first act of the holidays be to give in a big and significant way.

Here’s 3 of my favorite give-first activities:

1. Operation Christmas Child

If you’ve been around me for even ten minutes, you’ll know that I adore Operation Christmas Child. If you’re not familiar with this fun organization here’s the skinny—you pack a shoebox full of fun toys, toiletries and school supplies. Then, you add $7 for shipping and drop it off at a a pick-up location. From there, the shoebox is shipped to a Processing Center (just to make sure it’s all OK) and then shipped to poor and marginalized kids around the world.


You can read a plethora of thoughts and emotions I have about Operation Christmas Child (especially lots of stuff about my trip to the Dominican Republic with them) but here’s where as a normal Christian American mom, I love Operation Christmas Child so much–-they help my kids not be greedy.

Every year, we are picking out and buying gifts that my kids would LOVE and they don’t get to keep them. In fact, the opposite seems to happen–they get excited about buying and giving away!

The best part is the National Collection Week for OCC is this week–right before the Christmas crazy starts. It’s the perfect beginning to your holiday celebration. Start your kids off looking into Christmas through a shoebox gift. It will change their heart. It’s changed my family.

2. Sponsored Kids Letters

Do you sponsor a child? We sponsor two kids through Compassion International and it is one of our favorite things we do. Every year, Compassion suggests we send our kids’ families money and we usually do. We also like to send them an actual gift–but since you can’t send big items, we try to figure out fun presents that can fit in an envelope.

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Last year we colored  and laminated a printable Nativity Scene. You can find all kinds of printable gifts and toys online (just search Pinterest!) that fit easily into an envelope.

It’s a simple thing but it can help your kids set a standard for the first Christmas card, the first Christmas gift being for someone else!

And if you don’t sponsor a child yet? It might be the best gift you and your family give this year!

3. Ornaments for Orphans

Are you in charge of decorating a Christmas tree at your church or school? Maybe your office? Instead of stocking up on Target’s latest designs, why not do something that really helps others?

Ornaments for Orphans contracts artists in Uganda to design and create beautiful handmade ornaments. You can order (free of charge!) a box of 100 ornaments to decorate your Christmas tree then, people who pass by can stop and buy an ornament for $10 each. This money goes back to O4O who then pass it on to the artists so they can provide and care for their children. How great is this?

You decorate a tree. Your friends, neighbors, co-workers and passers-by undecorate it for you and kids around the world are protected! Don’t you love it? (And if there happens to be any leftover ornaments–O4O will pay the shipping!)

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We did this at my husband’s CrossFit gym a few years ago and my kids absolutely loved decorating the tree and checking up on it to see how many ornaments had disappeared off the tree.


This picture is of the woman who  is the head of the widow’s co-op that makes all the stuffed animal ornaments for O4O. The women in this co-op are the sole providers for their families and this work enables them to care for their children. Ornaments for Orphans is actually in the job of orphan prevention because the majority of Ugandan children living in orphanages actually have a living parent or relative. But women have to leave their children at orphanages because they are too poor to feed them. O4O’s work can keep vulnerable families united by providing an opportunity for dignified income. I love it!!

I’ve partnered with Ornaments for Orphans today to giveaway some handmade ornaments to one of you!


These cute little guys are made with a fabric called kikoyi which  is a very traditional Ugandan fabric and the colors of the flag. I suggest hanging one on your tree and then giving away the other three away while sharing the word about O4O!

I hope you use one of these great ideas to begin your holiday. I think it’s kind of a “firstfruits” thing like with tithing. When you give to God first, it sorta evens out everything else. If nothing else, put it to the test and see what happens when you give first this Christmas!

OK, now, use the widget below to enter! (You really wanna follow all these great folks, anyway!)


Truth in the Tinsel Atlanta Swap Party 2015: The Recap!

It’s been almost a month since we had our Atlanta area Swap Party. Why has it been a month since I’ve written about all the fun we had? Because the DAY OF the Swap Party was also the day we moved out of our house! (You can read more about that here.)

It was by far, one of the most stressful weekends of my life. Even still, the party itself was so fun, the women so encouraging and I left with a full heart that night!

If you’re not familiar with a Truth in the Tinsel Swap Party—think Cookie Exchange, only with craft supplies! We all come with bags of Truth in the Tinsel ornaments ready to make in little baggies. Then we line them all up on a giant table and each take one so we have the supplies for every craft ready to go! (You can read more about how to do your own swap here–there’s a few more helpful details!)

My main goal in the Swap Party is to give mamas a fun night out with good food, good people AND get their entire Advent celebration organized in just one night! So, the basic order of the night went like this:

First: EAT.

I had the party catered by Zoe’s. If you don’t have Zoe’s in your area, I’m sad. We ate yummy chicken kabobs, rice, hummus, pita and a Greek salad that was so good my daughter took the leftovers to school!

Second: CRAFT

Now, I know a lot of you think you’re not crafty. In fact, Truth in the Tinsel scares a lot of people because it’s craft-heavy. Well, I am a firm believer in anyone-can-craft because the end result is not really the goal. It’s the process.

Anywhoo–tonight’s craft was SO INCREDIBLY easy and it turned about even cuter than I thought it would.

It requires only three supplies.

easy advent calendar copy

Each person needs 24 clothespins, a few colors of washi tape and some cute ribbon or twine. Then, all you do is put a piece of washi tape on the front of clothespin and hang it on the twine!

easiest advent calendar ever

Can you even believe how cute that is??? The washi tapes fits perfectly on the clothespin so there’s no measuring, cutting or messing up!

This is the ideal calendar for the daily clues included in the Truth in the Tinsel ebook because it’s so simple and small. We didn’t have enough clothespins for me to make one, but the kids and I are making one this week. I love it.

TNT swap atl 2

Party Planner Note: My bff, Staci was at the party helping out with this craft and she had a great idea for next year. Instead of having a table set up just for crafts, put all the craft supplies in the middle of each table and after everyone has eaten, they can simply begin doing the craft right where they sit. It doubles as a centerpiece! I’m totally doing that next year.

Third: TALK

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I talked. It’s what I do, I guess.

I wanted to encourage everyone in not being tired this Christmas. I wanted them to see that Advent is parenting. And it’s making an eternal difference in the life of their children.

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I hope you know this for yourself, too. You can do this Truth in the Tinsel-thing!

Party Planner note: Those beautiful Christmas chalkboard posters behind me are from Caravan Shoppe. You download them for about $5 and then print them at Staples for $7. It’s just paper–how cute are they??


I had some fabulous, amazing and generous sponsors of this event. At every chair, there was a super cute bag from my good friend, Yancy. Yancy is a singer songwriter who loves kids and God’s Word. Not only did she give everyone a fun Yancy-bag, she also gave them one of her super cool worship DVDs.  (Can I just say: CHRISTMAS PRESENT ALERT! CHRISTMAS PRESENT ALERT! You need to snag this stuff for your kids!)

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Also included in the cute little Yancy bag was the brand new Galaxy Buck DVD from Whats in the Bible?. The kids and I just watched it and I loved it so much! What’s in the Bible? also included a free month to Jelly Telly–where you can stream Bible-based kids’ shows and movies. (CHRISTMAS PRESENT ALERT!!!)

We’re not finished yet! My friend Tricia Goyer also included her book, Prayers That Changed History. It’s a family/kid devotional type book about famous people and the prayers they prayed–AND how God brought about miracles because of those prayers. (CHRISTMAS PRESENT ALERT!!!)


And if that wasn’t enough, we also had some fantastic door prizes!

Zonderkidz sent us so many cool Bibles and books from their Adventure Bible line. (It’s the Bible my daughter has!)

adventure bible

They even included lots o’ cute Christmas books and the Jesus Storybook Bible. (Which is literally, the best book I’ve ever read.)


Yancy is so generous and gave away more CDs and devotional books. (My favorite is Roots for the Journey and Taste and See(Eeeek! Use code TRUTHINTHTINSEL for 25% off your purchase at Yancy’s site!

yancy faves

My friend Kam from One Girl Design Shoppe gave a beautiful tabletop block from her Holiday Collection. She hand paints signs (even gorgeous custom orders) on reclaimed wood. I can’t wait to put one in our new house!

Tabletop Block Christ Is Born Hand Painted Christmas Gift from

Jessica from OneTwentyOne Designs donated the cutest zip pouches I’ve ever seen.  Jessica sews all kinds of lovely bags and other yummies from vintage fabrics with vintage buttons. Every thing she makes is adorable. (Oooh! And hey–she’s got a coupon code for YOU! Enter TRUTHTINSEL15 for 15% off any purchase–including custom work! Expires 12/31.)

Vintage Fabric Zip Pouch Christmas Coupon from OneTwentyOneDesigns.Com

(Stay tuned below for a fun giveaway from these sponsors!)

Last: SWAP

Now it was time for the whole reason we were there! We grabbed our little Yancy bags and filled it with all the supplies for every day of Truth in the Tinsel! Aren’t you jealous??

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A big special thanks to my mom for letting us use her children’s church space at her church and for all the other bazillion things she did that night–including take care of my two kiddos and running the sound. Thank you to Staci, my BFF who is just well, really and truly the BEST. Thanks to my kiddos for being so helpful and obedient on a crazy hard day. And thanks to my husband who moved us into our new apartment while I hosted the party.

And of course, thank you to all the ladies that made their crafts, came to the party and generally loved on me knowing it was a stressful day for me. You buoyed my spirit and I had so much fun with you. I love you all!

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Now, are you ready? I’m giving away a few items from our sponsors. One super special person will win:

  • Yancy’s Roots for the Journey CD 
  • Zonderkidz’ The Legend of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall
  • Tricia Goyer’s Prayers That Changed History book
  • Galaxy Buck DVD
  • $25 to OneTwentyOne Designs
  • $50 to One Girl Design Shoppe

If you win, it will almost be like you were with us at the Swap Party! Just use the widget below to enter!

TNT Swap Party SWAG Prize Pack

Happy Birthday, Truth in the Tinsel!

happy 5 anniversary tnt

Five years ago I went to a blogging conference and felt this blazing fire inside of me to release an ebook about the Advent activities I’d done with my kids. I had some bloggy friends look at it, encourage me and when I got home I rallied the troops (my mom, brother, husband and kids) to help me get this book ready for real people to read and use.

Since that time tens of thousands of families have experienced this little ebook during their Christmas celebrations. Did you hear that? TENS OF THOUSANDS. I seriously cannot even comprehend that number. God has taken a few pictures, a few words, a few experiences and used them to further His Word and His great love for the world. It’s literally a Christmas miracle.

Over these past five years a lot has changed. As I looked through the ebook, read emails and saw updates from mamas using the ebook, I realized it was in need of an update! My brother/designer from Buzzhive gave the paper chains an update, there’s been some more tightening and editing AND a few crafts have been tweaked.

In fact, it was a news story from July that really pushed me to spiffy up some of the crafts. What happened in July? Bubble Wrap began it’s departure. (Can you even believe that?!!) On day 3 of Truth in the Tinsel, bubble wrap is an integral part of of the craft and lesson. It was one of my favorite crafts of the whole month, actually! *sniff*  But never fear, it’s merely been updated–not done away with! And the idea came from all of you smart mamas who over the years substituted buttons, duct tape and band-aids for the hard-to-find bubble wrap!

zechariah collage

I also decided to update day 7 about Mary’s Song. In the ebook, we decorate a CD to remind us that Mary sang a praise song to God. With Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Music and all manner of streaming, I began to wonder if kids even equated music to a CD. Not to mention, we don’t get sample CDs, promo CD-ROMs in the mail or taped to cereal boxes like we used to in the early 2000s. (Man, we’re old!)

marys song collage

Instead of a CD, your child makes a sweet thumbprint craft of music notes. I love handprint and fingerprint crafts and I think this will be a treasured ornament from your sweet kiddos!

Whew. That feels like I’m giving a State of the Union address. I just wanted you to know about these changes for two reasons:

1. If you’re doing a Swap Party, some people will have the 5th anniversary version of the book while others will have the classic edition. The lessons remain the same, it’s just the craft that’s altered. It doesn’t matter which version you do, which version they do. You don’t need to buy the 5th anniversary edition if you already own the ebook! If you have any questions about it, you can email me.

2. I really think about what it’s like to do these activities in your home. I want this to be a peaceful, empowering experience for you. Not something where you are worried you’re not doing right or confused because you can’t find the supplies. I also want your kids to understand and identify with what’s being done on a daily basis.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing all kinds of fun Truth in the Tinsel tips, Christmasy ideas, giveaways, fun traditions, deals and more on the Truth in the Tinsel Facebook page. Plus, I’ll be doing weekly live Q&A livecasts (co-hosted by some of my fave Truth in the Tinsel alums) so we can chat about the ebook, Advent and all manner of Christmasy-ness. Make sure you’re locked in with my on Social Media so you don’t miss any of the fun!

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Interact on Facebook
Chat on Twitter

Happy almost Christmas, friends! 


Atlanta Area Truth in the Tinsel Swap Party 2015

Less than 100 days till Christmas?! Are you kidding me? That means Truth in the Tinsel is like…well, I’m not good with math but it’s getting closer and closer!!!

And to kick off the pre-pre-pre holiday season, it’s time for our our Atlanta Swap Party!

If you’re in or around Atlanta and want to come to my Truth in the Tinsel Swap Party you can sign up NOW!

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But first, a few things you should know…

1. The party is on Sunday, October 18 at 6:00 pm. It will be held at Mount Paran North1700 Allgood Road Marietta GA.

2. There is a $10 registration/I-promise-I’ll-be-there/help cover a few things donation/fee. There are only 44 spots available right now, so sign up as soon as you can! I’ll close RSVPs on Thursday, October 8th!

3. In order to attend, you must sign up to bring craft supplies for 22 children. Each available party slot is a craft. For example, you may sign up for “Day 1 – Candle” and bring all the supplies for 22 kids to complete the candle craft.

4. You must sign up per child. If you have 3 children, sign up for 3 craft slots. Basically, you walk in with supplies for 3 kids, you walk out with supplies for 3 kids.

5. Some crafts require many supplies and others only a few. As you prep each bag, make sure you have the appropriate size and amount of every supply. You may need to make one craft just to help you know how to pack it. (For example, how much yarn will be needed to make those crazy sheep?!)

6. Some crafts require weird supplies. Sorry! If you’re looking for small jars, or lots of old CDs or some other random thing you can’t find (or can’t find for cheap), get creative! Go to thrift stores, ask your Facebook friends to look around their house, scour Craigslist. It’s ok if supplies are used, I’m all about recycling. But please do your best to keep the supplies as close to the ebook as possible. It might look like an easy switcheroo substitute to you, but maybe not to the mama who’s taking your craft home and won’t open it for two months.

7.  If you saw our party last year, you’ll know how cool it was–lots of swag, good food, a fun craft and giveaways galore! It will be well worth your time and money!


Christmas and Easter

This Christmas has been lovely. We didn’t have any spectacular, change-the-world conversations over Truth in the Tinsel. Just normal, happy, God-is-with-us-and-we-like-Him talks and feelings.

christmas 2014

Maybe you’re like me and you want to continue this focus on God’s Word with your kids. Maybe not EVERY SINGLE DAY, am I right? But maybe Truth in the Tinsel made you realize that impressing God’s Word on your kids’ heart isn’t as hard or scary as you thought. Maybe you saw, for the first time, your child respond to God on their own. Maybe you saw their little minds work and their little hearts open. Maybe you saw the living and active word of God actually come alive in the life of your child.

I hope so. I pray Truth in the Tinsel wasn’t just another THING for you to do at Christmas–but a real and true introduction to God’s Word and his GREAT LOVE for you and your kids! If you’re interested in continuing these kinds of activities and conversations with my kids, I’ve got all kinds of fun devotional series on my blog that focus on sections of Scripture in ways your kids will love. Check out my Armor of God, Fruit of the Spirit, ABCs and Superhero series!

But if you really wanna continue the story of Jesus’ life and purpose, you’ll want to make sure you celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection at Easter this year. Probably one of the most common questions I’m asked after about December 23rd is, “Where’s the Truth in the Easter Basket book?!!” Well, ask no more! If you’re looking for a meaningful Easter experience with your kids, I have written an ebook called, A Sense of the Resurrection. It is a 12 lesson journey through the last week of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Each activity is connected to one of your five senses and it even includes printable flags to make a beautiful Easter decoration!

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Lent begins on February 18—which is SOON! And Easter is April 5! That’s just around the corner, y’all! So, I’m giving a 20% off coupon code for my Sense of the Resurrection ebook to all my favorite Truth in the Tinsel friends (that’s you!!). All you have to do is fill out this little, super quick survey about Truth in the Tinsel (see below or click here—and if you’re on a mobile it might not work right!) and when you’re done, you’ll see your code!

Thank you, friends. Thank you for journeying through Truth in the Tinsel with me. Thank you for sharing your pictures and stories with me. Thank you for being a like-minded parent that is raising a generation of God-loving, Christ-honoring, Bible-loving kids! Don’t forget to sign up for my monthly-ish newsletter for more fun impress-God’s-Word-on-your-kids-heart ideas & my free Pray for Your Kids ebook. :)

The Answer to the Santa Claus Dilemma

This post includes affiliate links. If you click through these links and purchase anything, I make a small commission. Thank you for supporting Truth in the Tinsel!

source: Kevin Dooley

source: Kevin Dooley

When I  had my daughter, my husband and I decided there would be no Santa in our Christmas celebration. Neither of us had believed in Santa and I just didn’t want it mixing up our Jesus-is-born holiday.

I was pretty strict about it and basically didn’t say the word “Santa” for two years. Even when my daughter would point out Santa hats on people we’d say, “Oh, look! They have a Christmas hat!”. We didn’t even listen to “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” because I just didn’t want those words in her mind (“He sees you when you’re sleeping…he knows when you’re awake…”).

On my daughter’s 2nd Christmas, she saw a tall traditional, velvet-y, fur clad Santa statute at a store and pointed at it yelling, “Noah!!” As in “and the ark”. Yeah, I did a good job shielding her.

As she got a little older and we let her see Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and read The Night Before Christmas, we continued to push Santa as a fun, fictional character similar to Rudolph or Frosty or even Mickey Mouse.

One day on the way home from church when she was 3 she said to me, “I can’t wait for Christmas!”.

I said, “Me, too, baby! What made you say that?”

She replied, “Santa is going to come down our chimney and give us presents!”

I whipped around in my seat and said, “Who told you that?!”

She said, “My teacher at church said Santa comes down your chimney and gives you presents.”

I was dumbfounded. I looked at my husband with wide eyes and then back to my daughter and said, “That’s not true.”

I went on to explain who-knows-what about Santa but could not believe that in one second my daughter completely bought into the Santa story with a simple push from her teacher! I’m not blaming the teacher at all–she probably just said, “What’s Santa bringing you?” and got started on a conversation that my little girl had never heard before!

After this conversation, we started talking about the real Saint Nicholas and how his story morphed through the years. We’ve watched Veggie Tales’ Saint Nicholas and probably even read a book or two about the real guy. My kids (now 8 and 6) don’t believe in Santa and honestly are a little confused at kids who do.

I tell you this whole story (because I felt like I finally needed to get it out into the internet) but also because I’m not exactly sure the best way to tell your kids about Santa. My father-in-law says “for every mile of road, there are two miles of ditch”. And I think that’s how the Santa debate has been. There’s the group of people who pull off elaborate stunts to perpetuate a lie about a jolly man who comes down your chimney and the others who equate him to Satan.

Where is the balance and the real education–not skewed by tradition and personal feelings?

I think I found it.

Does that sound like crazy hyperbole? (I’VE FOUND THE ANSWER TO THE SANTA DILEMMA!!!)

If you’ve been around me for any amount of time you know I love What’s in the Bible?. They produce the most amazing (hilarious) DVDs that walk kids straight through the story of the whole Bible with real and rich details. It’s like a Bible college lesson rolled into a bite-sized piece for a kid.

Anywhoo, their Christmas DVD, Why Do We Call it Christmas? does the same thing with Christmas–addresses all the traditions and their histories. This year, Phil Vischer (creator of WITB and Veggie Tales) released a new picture book called, Why Do We Call It Christmas?.

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At first, I thought it was going to be a simple paper-and-ink version of the DVD. In fact, it’s quite different and really really good.

In the book, Buck Denver (famous news anchor and star of all the What’s in the Bible? DVDs) is confused about Christmas because it seems to be two different holidays–the Jesus holiday at church and the Santa holiday at stores.

Buck’s friend, Sunday School Lady uses her magic flannelgraph (see how funny this is?!) to explain the word “Christmas”. She then begins the story of “Saint Nick” and how the Catholic Church gives certain people their own special day, like Saint Nicholas Day.

She then explains that Saint Nicholas Day is on December 6 and since Christmas is on December 25 and other churches didn’t always celebrate these special saint days–but they liked the traditions of them (hello! gifts left in stockings!) they just combined the two days. And bad-a-bing bad-a-boom we have our American Christmas traditions.

So. If you’re familiar with the Santa story, this might not seem like new information. It’s not the Santa-background that’s so great in this book. I know lots of people that celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. I’ve read all the books that tell Saint Nicholas’ true story. Instead, this book gives the explanation of WHY we celebrate Santa and Jesus on the same day. I love the clear delineation of the two celebrations.

When I finished reading the book, it was like a breathed a sigh of relief. There was no dancing around the story, or trying to walk on eggshells about should-you-or-shouldn’t-you believe in Santa. It is simply the story of how the Santa legend has arrived to 2014. Period.

why do we call it christmas book review 1

I think it’s so important to teach kids truth–in all circumstances. Not showing them too much, or inappropriate themes. But truth. This book will help you do just that–whether Santa is a part of your celebration or not.

If your kids have been confused about Santa–maybe they don’t believe and don’t know why he’s not included in your celebration, or they aren’t sure what to say to their friends, or maybe they do believe and you want to tell them the truth, or maybe they believe and you just want them to know where Santa’s story all began–this book covers all those bases.

Grab this book today and read it before Christmas gets here! (And while you’re over there, get the DVD, too!) What’s in the Bible? has their Black Friday sales already online! Go get ‘em, friends!


Advent is Parenting

parenting in advent002

The best part about Advent is that you take time every day for a whole month to focus on the birth of Jesus. The hardest part about Advent is that you take time every single day for a whole month!

If you’re doing Truth in the Tinsel for your Advent celebration (and I hope you are!) that means you’re sitting down with your kids, reading a passage of Scripture and making an ornament craft with them EVERY DAY. Maybe you’re just reading a devotional (I’m doing Liz Curtis Higgs’ Women of Christmas) by yourself. Or maybe you’re reading a storybook like Jotham’s Journey with your kids (we started this one and I love it so far!). Or maybe you’re unwrapping a picture book everyday and reading them in front of the tree. Maybe you’ve got a paper chain or a light-em-up idea or even a little chocolate calendar.

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And maybe, like me, you’ve breathed a heavy sigh and said, “We didn’t do our Advent stuff today!”  or you had a busy day and your kids said, “We can’t go to bed now! We have to do our Advent calendar!” and you know that the best thing you can actually do is put your over-tired kids to bed. Or maybe you just don’t want to get off Facebook or get up early to read your advent Bible readings.

There are simply days that just because it is December and Advent doesn’t mean you actually feel like celebrating or always have the time and space to make time and space!

{read the rest of this post at my personal blog,}


Scripted Simplicity

@oohamanda instagram

@oohamanda instagram

Tonight, as I walked down the stairs from tucking the kids in, it was so lovely seeing our little Truth in the Tinsel tree (a mini white tree I bought 50% off after Christmas a few years ago), the lighted garland on the banister and our big live tree downstairs. It’s magical seeing the twinkling lights and the meaningful ornaments.

I know this feels like a stretch but I really feel like the decorations help me worship and stay focused on Jesus at Christmas. I mean, yeah, the Mickey Mouse ornaments on the tree are for the kids and the stocking holders I found at Pottery Barn for $5 each are there because they are just pretty.

But there’s something about transforming your whole house into something decidedly other. Even for the kids’ birthdays we don’t decorate the way we do at Christmas.  Christmas has this yes, weird and American and commercial thing of Christmas decorations, but somehow, in some way, in my little heart–I feel like it’s part of the big birthday, the big thank-you, the big celebration of Jesus!

My new friend Rachelle from Scripted Simplicity thinks so, too! When her little girl came home to them by adoption, Rachelle wanted a piece of decor in their home that would showcase a Scripture about adoption and God’s great plan for her daughter. She couldn’t find what she wanted so she and her husband created one together.

Now, she makes wedding, Scripture and holiday art. I love all her Christmas pieces because they push me to worship!

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She’s also got a new line of Christmas gift tag ornaments that are just super adorable. (I had to add that Georgia tag in…)

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Rachelle says, “my prayer is that Scripted Simplicity will bring beauty & warmth to your home while reminding you that the plans for your life are scripted by The Giver of all good things whose desires for you are simply that you seek Him with your whole heart. ” Isn’t that what we want for our own kids at Christmas and all year long? I want my kids to seek God with their whole heart and recognize that He is The Giver of all good things–especially the best present of all, Jesus!

scripted simplicity

So, wanna add a beautiful Scripted Simplicity piece to your Christmas celebration this year? Rachelle is also a giver of good things because she is giving away a 16×11 “Wonderful Counselor” piece to one of you!! It is a GORGEOUS piece (I know, because I have one on my mantel right now!) and the perfect addition to our Day 2 Crown ornament, no?

Plus, she has a 20% off gift code for YOU! Head over to her shop and enter code TINSEL20.

Use the widget below to be entered to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here’s What We’re Gonna Do…

Traditional Advent begins today and most of us will begin Truth in the Tinsel on Monday! One of my favorite parts of Truth in the Tinsel is that people around the WORLD are doing the same thing everyday. It’s so fun to see how the crafts look differently, how kids and parents react and how we’re all celebrating Jesus together!

So, if you’re on Social Media, make sure to update with pictures so we can all see! Use the hashtag #truthinthetinsel on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see what others are doing (you might make a new friend!). You can also tag me @oohamanda on Twitter or Instagram. And make sure to tag @truthinthetinsel on Facebook.

instagram logo

Plus, every day on our Facebook page,  I’ll do a “roll call” of some sort and share our craft from the day. I’d love for you to chime in and tell us what you’ve done! (My kids absolutely love seeing that other kids are doing the same thing as them!)

Or you can post a picture on the POST bar at the top…

Screen Shot 2014-11-30 at 2.04.24 PM

and then it will show up on the POSTS TO PAGE section on the left. Here’s a screen shot so you can see where it is (Facebook kinda hid it…)

posts to page

I’ll also be posting on our Facebook page about fun supplements to go with each day–maybe an appropriate book, a song or an alternative craft PLUS, all the fun gift guides, Christmas book suggestions and meaningful Christmas suggestions that I’ve been sharing this season. So, stick around the Facebook page this month!

But here’s the thing I’m super excited about! This Friday, I’m hosting a Google Hangout for all of us to chat about our first week of Truth in the Tinsel! My friend Heather from God-Centered Mom is going to co-host and there will be a special guest and some fun prizes! You’ll be able to interact with us and even ask questions. I’m SO EXCITED! Mark your calendars for THIS Friday, December 5th at 12 noon EST. It’l be like having lunch together. (Or coffee, if you’re on the West Coast.)

tnt hangout noon
Plus, I’ve also got some fun blog posts and giveaways planned for the blog. I can’t wait to share some fun Christmas folks and resources with you! Make sure you’ve got us in your feed (either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter) or bookmark us so you can keep up with all the fun!

You ready?!! Let’s go!