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!

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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 Facebook live broadcasts 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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Happy almost Christmas, friends! 


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 and Easter sneak up on my every year, so go ahead grab a copy so you’re ready when it sneaks up on you, too!

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. 🙂


Here’s What We’re Gonna Do…

Traditional Advent begins November 28, 2017 and some of us will begin Truth in the Tinsel on December 1st (read: SOOOOON)! 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.

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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…

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


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 I’ll also be doing some Facebook Live broadcasts throughout the month. We’ll talk about Truth in the Tinsel and some of my other favorite Christmasy stuff.

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!

Truth in the Tinsel GERMAN

Last year a reader from Austria emailed me and asked if she could translate Truth in the Tinsel into German so she could use it with her kids and share it with the kids in her community. It took all year but it’s finally here!

It makes my heart squeeze to think about a little Christmas tradition with my daughter that has turned into a tradition for families literally around the world!

Truth in the Tinsel German

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Get the Spanish or English version here.