Top Ten Questions, Tips & How-To’s for Your Truth in the Tinsel Experience

The last few weeks all I’ve been doing is answering emails and Facebook messages about Truth in the Tinsel. We do have a FAQ page that covers most of the technical, download-y kind of questions.

Today, I’m going to answer some more questions, give some tips, clarifications and even a short video of little old me walking you through the ebook!

Ready? Let’s begin…

1. What ages is Truth in the Tinsel for? Are my kids too old? young?

I wrote Truth in the Tinsel when my kids were 5 and 3. I began doing this same make-an-ornament activity with my daughter when she was almost 2 years old. Last year, kids up to 13 years old were enjoying Truth in the Tinsel!

So, to answer the question: ALL AGES!

2. Is the book the same as last year? Do we have to do the same crafts again?

Yes, the book is the same as last year. If you follow the book exactly, yes, you will do the same crafts again. However, kids like traditions. Do you make the same candy-cane-red-puffball-pipe-cleaner reindeer every year? Do your kids like it?

Also, from year to year, your supplies, your kids’ abilities and your creative spur-of-the-moment ideas will alter the crafts. Not to mention, if you missed a craft last year, you’ll probably get to it this year!

If you’re really wanting to switch it up, grab the printable ornaments!

Note: The book was updated on it’s 5th birthday with minimal changes.

3. My kids won’t sit still to listen to the Bible reading parts.

That’s ok! You know your kids best. If they can’t sit still, read while they are making the craft. Or read a few verses at breakfast, a few at lunch and the rest when you sit down to do the activity. {Check out my tips for teaching the Bible to little kids!}

Reading the Bible with your kids {using Truth in the Tinsel}

I do think it’s important to read the actual Scriptures from the Bible (and even from a Bible versus your computer) so, make an effort. But don’t get stressed out if it’s not the perfect scene you’ve imagined!

4. Does it take a lot of preparation?

If you are completely void of craft supplies, you’ll probably need to take a trip to the nearest craft store. But if you have some pipe-cleaners, beads, some fabric and a little string around your house, you’ll be ok. You can easily substitute materials and make up your own fun ideas. Check out the pictures on our Facebook page to be inspired!

5. Do I need a swanky advent calendar to go along with this?

Nope. There is a printable paper chain in the back you can use or you can make a simple one like the one we made at our Atlanta Swap Party!

6. What if my kids don’t want to do the craft?

I think a lot of this is about expectations and delivery. If you go into the craft with a smile on your face and we-can-do-it attitude, your kids will catch on. Don’t expect a beautiful craft project–let them make it themselves and let it look terrible if it has to!

tips for doing Truth in the Tinsel with your kids

The point of the ornaments is to let the kids use their hands to focus on an aspect of God’s Word.

7. Advent starts in November some years. When do we start Truth in the Tinsel?

There are 24 activities in the book to correspond with the 24 days between December 1st and Christmas Eve.

You can start on December 1st for ease of counting (that’s what I’m doing.) Or you can start when traditional advent begins. Or you can start a few days before so you have a few days of margin! (<–that is genius, right there!)

8. Am I too late?

No way! If you join the fun on December 19, you’ll still be able to participate! I have put in several additional schedules in the book so you can choose one that works for you. There are schedules to just cover the basics of the story, highlight the main characters or work through the prophesies.

9. What if I mess up?

You won’t. There is no wrong way to do Truth in the Tinsel. It’s simply a tool to help you focus, spotlight and lead your kids to Jesus. Don’t worry about doing it right, better than others or in a perfect way. Just enjoy this special time with your kids!

10. And now, I’ll walk you through the ebook…

If you haven’t bought your copy of Truth in the Tinsel—what are you waiting for?! Download it now! Only $9.99!

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 If you’re a Truth in the Tinsel alum, leave a comment & share your best tip!



  1. Dawn Sparks says:

    This is my first year to use this material. My son is 3 and we live in Kiev, Ukraine. One thing I haven’t seen here is the clothespins used in a few of the crafts. Any ideas on substitutions? I think I can get thebclotespins with a spring but wondered if anyone else had other ideas.

  2. If your local craft store doesn’t carry them, try a department store or home improvement center. Bring a photo so they know what you are looking for. You can always improvise by gluing a small wooden ball to a piece of wooden dowel. And of course, I think you could use a spring loaded clothespin! I think one key point of the activities is that “anything goes” — there is no right or wrong, just guidelines. 🙂

  3. Hello! This is my first year doing this! My kids are 8, 6 & 3. I’m excited. Thanks for putting this together. And I have that exact same advent calendar you showed in your video and I have never known what to do with it…now I do! 🙂

  4. Is there a misprint for the day 1 scripture? I see Isaiah 9: 2-7 for both day 1 and day 2. It doesn’t seem to correlate very much to “light.”

  5. Hello
    . I went to enter details and pay for your E Book – Truth in the Tinsel but I could not. I am in New Zealand . I entered MasterCard details. Please can I do this from New Zealand.

  6. I downloaded the book last year, so I’m not sure if it’s changed this year–does the older version have the additional schedules in it? Or are they posted somewhere? I’m havinga hard time finding them.

  7. I have the book from 2 years ago, has it changed?

  8. I purchased the ebook and printable ornaments last year. My kiddos loved it 🙂 We moved early this year and now I cant seem to find the ebook on my computer or in my emails. Is there any way to recover them? Or will I have to purchase it again? Thanks!

  9. I find it easier for me to be consistent and stick to the daily routine of this to plan ahead. I am not a full time stay at home mom, so some days especially in the advent season it feels busy. I usually would on weekends look at the week ahead and our calendar. If there were days that we had church or something and would only have 20 mins to work on ornament I printed to coloring one. Hands down buying all the supplies at the beginning is helpful, but looking ahead each week was great for me.

    Making space for your kids to be creative, ask questions etc was a beautiful lesson for me to learn as well. My kids LOVE doing this and long for advent this year after last. Yet as a mom if I am not careful I can make it a daily chore and rush them on. THIS IS TEACHING your child the gospel message. My daughter now almost 5 and son 3 learned that story through this hands on advent.

    HAVE GRACE on yourself, if you miss a day do two. Kids don’t need perfect they need consistent and they need you to be excited about it too. Blessings for a wonderful light and life filled advent

  10. April Tucker says:

    Do you have a copy of the book printed that I can purchase?

  11. We have done TnT twice now and loved it. Last year I got a head start and organized all the supplies needed for each activity in brown paper bags for each day. I sealed them so each day was a surprise. It really didn’t take too long to organize what we needed. This kept us on track each day so we didn’t have to go fishing for items last minute. There were a few days we missed but we just made it up when we had time. I love seeing how their ideas and abilities changed from one year to the next. We kept a small fake tree in our kitchen where we hung our ornaments. This year I am considering doing a journal/picture drawing option instead.

  12. I have an interesting situation. I am a military wife in Okinawa, Japan. I teach Sunday School, along with another military wife. We teach at a Marine Corps Base chapel. I just found out on Sunday that because of the government shutdown, there was no money to order curriculum for our kids! I saw that there is a discount code for the family version of Truth in Tinsel Town, but I wondered if you had a code for the Church version. I think this curriculum would be perfect for the next few weeks.

  13. emily pellowe says:

    help…. i can’t find any place to send an email. i bought it through paypal last night and i have it on my mac, but need to download truth in the tinsel to my computer. my email address for paypal is not current and only serves as a login..but no where did your website ask for my i still need the confirmation and how to get my book on a place that i can use it.
    please help by replying to my email address:

  14. Jeanine Cazares says:

    Greetings! My 5 year old and I are doing a different advent program this year (LY we did Truth in the Tinsel)…the bottom line is she won’t stop asking me to go back to last year’s program as she is finding this year’s unnamed different one boring…but I can’t figure out how to access my copy!! Please help!!

  15. hi, i bought the book last year, and use it. It was awesome. When I went to go and unpack it for this year I noticed that some of the pages had water damage. Do I need to buy it again, or is their a link.
    Thank you,
    Cindi Bailey

  16. I’m confused… I’m not seeing the option to buy the actual book? And I can’t even find it on…

  17. I cannot access the templates on my ebook. How can I access them?

  18. It would be very helpful if you posted the list of supplies needed online. If I could look at the supply list, that would help me decide if I should buy the book and if it would work for us. Since I live overseas, it can be difficult to find things I’m accustomed to.

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  22. What if we want to buy an actual T in the T book (paperback or hardback) and not an ebook (I’m not a fan)? Is this an option? Also, how would something like this compare to the Jesse Tree and their ornaments? I’m a little hesitant with the crafts, since my kids do not do well with those, rather more physical/movement type activities.

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