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Now that Thanksgiving is over it's time to start thinking about Christmas, and my favorite tradition is the Advent Calendar! I did a similar post to this last year where I shared the best printable advent calendars of 2018.
This year I'm just going to share some favorite advent calendars I've found.
And I'll remind you of these two we made and shared with you last year. A printable punch card with scriptures to read each day. And a reusable, felt, countdown chain.
Best Advent Calendars of 2018
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints makes this calendar each year to help us focus on the reason for the season, Jesus! It's always service oriented and this year is really cool because each week they have us focusing on a different way to light the world, starting with the world, then local community, then family, then yourself (self-care ya know!)! I love it and I'm excited to do it with my family.
And there you have it! my favorite advent calendars of this year! Do you do advent calendars? What are your favorites?
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I think I may have mentioned a time or two that I love Christmas. I love the magic and the decorations, the giving, the food and the fun. Most of all, I love the reason for the season, and that is to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Consequently, I love Nativity Scenes. I have a few of them that I put up each year, and some of them have special meaning for me. One ceramic set I have was painted for me by my sister. Another Nativity was painted for me by Maddy when she was very young. She had solicited help from her dad to make it a hinged piece that I absolutely love.
Because I want my children and grandchildren to remember and know the true reason that we celebrate Christmas, I gave each of my children’s families a Fisher Price Nativity last year. It was great to give them a set that they can touch and learn the true story from the New Testament and retell themselves. I know that some people make it a tradition to get a new Nativity each year, whether big or small, a stand-alone set or an ornament. I am toying with the idea of doing that for my grandchildren, just as a reminder that we can feel the Joy of Christmas, and joy and hope in every part of our lives because Jesus Christ was born.
Do any of you collect nativities? Which ones are your favorites?
I have come up with a list with links for you of some of the nicest Nativity Sets for 2018. Some are very reasonably priced and some are a little pricier. I hope that you find it useful as you prepare for Christmas with your family and if you are looking to add a beautiful reminder of whose birth we are celebrating.
Kid Friendly Nativities:
Melissa and Doug Wooden Set This is a colorful, durable wooden set with 11 figures and a 4 piece stable. On the package is a retelling of the Christmas story. (Or, you can turn to Luke 2 for any of the sets!)
Delton Felt Nativity in a bag I love the cute lamb in this set!
Fisher Price Nativity The LIttle People are always so cute and easy for kids to hold. This is a smaller set than the one I got for my grandchildren.
Another Fisher Price, This is the set I got for my grandchildren. It has a few more pieces. I love that the star lights up and it plays "Away in a Manger."
Wall hanging with moveable figure If you don't have a lot of table space, this could be a great solution. It has 18 figures and a pocket in the back to store them.
Peg Doll Nativity is from LittleBlackMarketCo on Etsy. It has 9 peg dolls in a stained box that has a stable scene on the inside.
Nativity Advent Calendar This instant download from TimeSavers on Etsy is a digital download advent and Christmas Story.
Snow Globe Nativities
Dollar Tree Snow Globe If you have a lot of people to give them to, you can't beat $1.00! If you order them online, there are 24 in a case.
This one Plays Little Drummer Boy I found it amusing that someone only gave it one star because they had never heard of the song!? Otherwise, it had high ratings.
San Francisco Music Box Company Beautiful work on this globe. It plays "Oh LIttle Town of Bethlehem."
Peanuts figures I have a soft spot for the Peanuts Christmas Special. I have always loved how Linus recites Luke 2 on the TV special. This snowglobe is a sweet reminder of that.
Precious Moments I am also a sucker for Precious Moments figurines. This one plays "Oh Holy NIght." (One of my favorite Christmas songs!)
Large Statement Nativities
This 17.5” 3 piece Nativity makes a beautiful display. It has excellent reviews and would definitly become a family keepsake.
The largest piece in this set is 5.5”. It comes with 11 figures.
I absolutely love this Thomas Kinkade Nativity Tree. It is a beautifully handcrafted 16" tree with over 40 figures on it. It plays Silent Night. This picture is too small to appreciate it. Click on it to see how beautiful it is.
Here is another Thomas Kincade Nativity. It moves and plays 4 songs!
Driftwood Creche 14”x8.5” This is another beautiful table top set.
Here is a cute pattern for a Crocheted Nativity pattern. It is from AmigurumiBarmy on Etsy. If you are a crocheter, it looks like something that wouldn't be too hard. What do you think? Do you think you can get it done by Christmas?
If you feel like you need something a little smaller, here is a smaller felt option I found on Craftgawker, who got it off of Wild Olive. .
If you really like the Peg Doll idea, here is one you can make yourself! It is called Made-by-Me Peg Doll Nativity.
This link will take you to the popsicle stick nativity figures I made for a 3 year old class at church! It was easy and fun to make and the kids loved the sets I made for them.
There's my list of favorites! Whether you buy or make a Nativity for your family, or have one that you already have passed down through the years, I hope the Christmas Story is a part of your Christmas every year!
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On my side of the family, Scrabble is the family game. I was raised on it, as were the rest of my siblings. My mom, who recently turned 95, is always up for a game. I would venture to say that playing Scrabble all of these years has contributed to keeping her mind as sharp as it is at her age. She is kind of a Scrabble snob, I am sorry to say. She gets disgusted if you only use 3 letter words or if you don't get loads of points from two directions with your "S". She doesn't like it when someone always refers to a dictionary to find their words. But, even so, we have a blast when we play together! When we play without her, the defining rule is that if my mom has used the word, it is legal in Scrabble.
Often, when we travel to California to visit my side of the family, the Boltons, we will gather at my brother's house and have a Scrabble Tournament, with 2 or 3 games going at once and winners playing each other in a round robin type competition. It is always so much fun. One year, Alicia and I made everyone t-shirts that had Scrabble tile holders on them with letters like this one:
I have noticed that Scrabble Tiles are popular things to make crafts and decorator items with. That leads me to believe that there are many of you out there who love to play Scrabble as much as my family does. Since today is officially Scrabble Day, our Friday Fave question is this:
What is a favorite item you have seen or made with Scrabble Tiles?
I have seen some adorable Christmas ideas using Scrabble Tiles! Look at these Christmas trees!
By the way, in order to make any of these crafts, there are a couple of ways to get the tiles without raiding your Scrabble game.
Now, when you order these, no fair slipping an extra "O" or an "E" up your sleeve for the times that you have a set of letters like the one in the game above!
We also found some really adorable Scrabble themed items on Etsy!
Look at these sweet pillows for only 4.99 a piece!
Who knew that these simple little tiles could enrich our homes so much! I know that Scrabble has helped me to be a better speller and problem solver! Now it helps me decorate my home as well, LOL! I love it!
So, maybe you can craft a thing or two with some Scrabble tiles, or if nothing else, be sure to enjoy a game of Scrabble to celebrate the day! Let us know if you have any great ideas using these letters.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to ten and counting! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, and my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!
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