I wanted the Atlanta Area Truth in the Tinsel Swap Party to feel like a Girl’s Night Out instead of a oh-brother-we’ve-got-a-lot-of-work-to-do-to-get-ready-for-Christmas. The first thing to consider was decorations. We didn’t pull out all the Christmas decorations because it was hosted at my mom’s church (she’s a Children’s Pastor) and her Children’s Church room is pretty cool looking. It didn’t need a lot of frou-frou. But it did need a little tinsel, am I right?!
I brought all the ornaments my kids have made over the years and spread them out on the tables along with mason jars filled with snowy-looking epsom salt and candles! (How smart is that?!)
Then, at each seat there was a green and white Truth in the Tinsel bag!
Eek! How much to you love that?!! These were to collect all the crafts in but they also contained a few little gifts for the guests! Inside was the most fun little paper garlands from Dayspring…
Yancy’s Have a Fancy Yancy Christmas CD…
and the Why Do We Call It Christmas DVD!
Y’all. That was worth the drive through Atlanta right there!
Well, we weren’t finished! We also had a fun little craft station. Like a craft for mamas to make! No kids allowed! My friend, blogger, crafter, shop-owner, teacher and all-around super mama, Charity from The Heartfelt Home led the ladies in making this adorable button Christmas tree. (Thank you, Pinterest!)
Everyone culled through the buttons and made their own sweet trees to frame and take home. (Talk about an easy craft, y’all. All you need is a 5×8 of burlap, a bunch of leftover buttons and some craft glue!)
We even had a photo booth! (And now that I’m looking at all the pictures, I realize my kids took more pictures than anyone and I didn’t get a picture with enough of y’all!)
And of course, there was food. I catered from Chipotle because you can make tacos, burritos, burrito bowls or salads. It’s kinda easy for everyone. (Also? Yummy leftovers.) And my sisterchicks and my dad did homemade Christmas food. We’re talking Christmas food like Hello Dolly Bars, Christmas Crack, fudge and my dad’s German Chocolate cake. Yeow.
Let’s pause on the food so I can tell you what typical crazy went down—> So, 30 minutes before the event started, I sent my ever-helpful husband to the restaurant to pick everything up. He called me a few minutes later and said, “Am I at the right location? They don’t have your order.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Sure enough, he was at the wrong location–at no fault of his own–there are 2 locations of equal distance to the church and we had talked about using both of them. I never told him where to go!
My sweet husband had to drive to the other location, pick up the food and arrived about 20 minutes late. He was more stressed than anyone about it! Oops.
OK. Back to the event….
After we were full up of guac and tacos, I got on the stage to speak.
I told my story of going from Children’s Pastor of hundreds of kids to mom of 1, and how I felt lost and far away from God’s will for my life. And then how God used something so seemingly insignificant like a daily craft with my almost 1 year old to plant the fledgling seeds of the Truth in the Tinsel book and experience in my heart. And then how over 30,000 families have used the book in their homes and their Christmas celebrations. And how my heart is flattened at the thought of God allowing me to be a part of His story.
We also talked about the unique, precious and huge opportunity we have as mothers to lead our children from darkness into Jesus’ magnificent, purifying, everlasting Light! How throughout the ages, God has been taking Light to dispel darkness and wants to do so in the lives and heats’ of our kids. How Christmas is really the celebration of the Light coming to our dark world and casting out sour sin so we could be in relationship with HIm.
Truth in the Tinsel isn’t a craft or a fun thing to do at Christmas–it’s a way to introduce your children to Jesus and His Light!
Whew! It gets me excited every time. OK. Let’s get back to the party…
After a little talking and praying we played a game with a plate on our heads. Oh, yes we did!
And it was hilarious!
Then, it was time for door prizes! Y’all. I am OVERWHELMED by the amount of awesome friends who gave stuff away! I don’t have pictures of everything (for which I aplogize–next time I need to hire a photographer to capture more of the fun!) so, I’ll snag some pictures of their respective websites, ok?
Dayspring sent some of their newest jewelry line called, Everlasting Light. And I could NOT be more excited about it because it is exactly what I’ve been loving and talking about with Jesus being the Light at Christmas!
Just look at these necklaces—>
This layered shimmer necklace is my favorite one. And the verse engraved on the back is Isaiah 60:20, “The Lord will be your everlasting light.” Isn’t that awesome?
This North Star pendant is beautiful, too and has Isaiah 60:1 engraved on the back, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.”. What a gorgeous reminder to hang around your neck this Christmas!
Don’t you wish you’d been there?!!
But wait! We’re not done!
One of my fellow-volunteers and friends at church has a super creative wife who owns OneTwentyOne Designs and makes the most ADORABLE bags and baby items and dish towels and more. She sent us the cutest tote bags you’ve ever seen, some pillows and an amazing dishtowel that hooks to your stove (you know what I’m talking about? It’s genius. And adorbs.)
And Yancy sent t-shirts, CDs and devotional books:
YOU GUYS!!! It was AWESOME!!
(This is my friend, Jen from church. She’s showing how much fun we had!)
But I guess you’re wondering about the crafts? Like the whole reason we got together, right?! I almost forgot about that part!
When everyone arrived with their 22 craft supply baggies in hand, they laid them out on the appropriate spot on these tables. At the end of the night, they walked through (with their new bags) and put one of each into their bag! Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!
Thank you to my mom for hosting the event, to my sisterchicks–Staci, Mandi and Kristen, my friends Vanessa and Cassie, to my dad and husband for helping out at the party and to Lydia, Asa and Megan for being the best bag-stuffers & helpers ever. I couldn’t have done it without you–nor would I have wanted to!
Oh, and click over to read about the details (and my best tips) of planning a swap party! It’s not too late to plan your own Swap Party! And don’t forget to check out our new Swap Party Printable Pack to help you plan your swap!