Our immediate family is made up of four separate households. Two of them contain children and two of them do not. We happen to live somewhat close to each other but we still reside in four different cities. One of the things that we find very important is to stay connected. To do that we look for ways to bring all of us together. Sometimes it's going to a movie with the whole crew. Other times it is gathering at one of the houses for a big bar-b-que.
That's not so hard to pull off because those are individual events. But as we head into the Advent season we needed a way to stay close and connected to each other and the season without having to be together in one place. This year we decided to do that with the help of The Jesus Storybook Bible and The Story of God's Love For You.
Many people are already using The Jesus Storybook Bible for their Advent reading. We decided to join the crowd . . . with a twist. All four households will be using the same reading plan but the two households without children will be reading from The Story of God's Love For You and we won't be doing the ornaments.
So here's how I (the granny) prepared us all for this adventure. First I purchased the extra books for each house and then I set about printing out and making the ornaments.
|Go here to print out the schedule and the ornaments.|
After I downloaded the schedule I printed it on pretty snowflake paper. (The snowflakes were only on one side.) Then I laminated it so it would be a bit more durable for those often wet and sticky little hands.
I then printed out the ornaments on cardstock and got out my paper cutter (scissors will work fine) and cut them apart. There are handy cut lines on the backs of the ornaments that make it nice and easy.
I just happen to like the rounded corner look so I got my little tool out. This step of course isn't necessary but I liked it so I did it!
Next I decided to laminate the ornaments. We have eight kids under the age of eight and I wanted them to be able to handle them without destroying them. (We try to avoid meltdowns at all costs around here!) You don't have to do this step if you don't already own a laminator. Do you have Mod Podge? A coat of that would work just as well. Even if you have none of the above don't fret. If they get ruined you have the saved file on your computer . . . just go reprint!
Another bit of advice if you are using a laminator. Cut the ornaments apart first before you laminate. You will get a better seal than if you laminate and then cut. After laminating trim away excess plastic.
The next step is easy peasy. Just punch a hole in the top center.
Finally add a hanger for your ornament. I just happened to have some twine and beads that I picked up at the Dollar Store for another project. I added the bead to give it a bit more weight so it would hang better. If you add a bead remember to make your knot large enough that the bead won't come off! (These are for little ones.)
That's it my friends. I hope this inspires your family to do something similar. But let me also add that I am an empty-nester and I had the time to pull all of this together for my kids and grands. If you're a momma of littles trying to do this on your own and find it all overwhelming . . . just stop!
Print out only the schedule and then each night pull that sweet little one into your lap and read the story. That's the important part. The rest will come in time. But remember that the point is to teach your kids what Christmas is all about and it certainly isn't the ornaments . . . it's JESUS!