Christmas is definitely all around us right now, and I’m sure you’re in the thick of planning and shopping! Let me provide you with a welcome break from your holiday hustle as I share my November Fabulous Finds.
These are some of my favorite things that I read this month. Some of them are Christmas-related and some are not, but all of them will encourage you, inspire you, and help you make this coming season your best one yet!
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November Fabulous Finds
10 Ways to Help Your Kids Make Christmas More About Others | Life in Lape Haven
I LOVE everything about this post! From the Christmas we were pregnant with our first child, I’ve been saying that I wanted to make sure our kids knew that Christmas was about more than just presents. I’ve seen the entitled, greedy attitudes that can rear their ugly heads around Christmastime, and I wanted to avoid that in my children.
These ideas are perfect for teaching our kids to make Christmas about more than just themselves. I picked a couple to focus on this year, and I’m excited to see the joy that I know Aidan is going to get from spreading Christmas cheer to others.
What about you? Do you want to help your kids make Christmas about more than just them? This is a post you will definitely want to read.
Related Post: How to Keep Christ in Your Family’s Christmas
Grace For Every Kitchen Mistake | Fantastically Four
If you’ve ever goofed in the kitchen, been embarrassed to serve your food to others, or given the stink eye to your Bible when reading the 31st chapter of Proverbs, then this post is a must-read for you! I laughed so hard at certain parts, but was profoundly encouraged at others. Through her own cooking mishap, Laura reminds us that we “don’t have to have it all together to be a biblical example of marriage and motherhood.” And thank God for that!
10 Homemaking Tasks You Can Do In 15 Minutes Or Less | And Then I Saved
Sometimes we think we have to devote entire days, or hours, at least, to cleaning the house, and those large chunks of time are awfully hard to come by. But I’m finding that I rarely have to spend entire days cleaning if I keep up with regular maintenance and perform little tasks here and there. I love this new system because my house is (reasonably) presentable on a regular basis and I don’t have to spend hours cleaning, which I hate.
I love this list of 10 homemaking tasks you can do in 15 minutes or less. You don’t need large chunks of time to keep your household running smoothly. All you need are 5, 10, and 15 minute increments – and those are pretty easy to find if you look with a little intention and creativity.
My favorite from this list is #9 – I definitely want to start doing this! What about you?
How to Simplify Christmas — 10 Things to Stop Doing | Treasured Mom
I found this post to be very refreshing! I feel so much pressure sometimes to create the “perfect” Christmas, with decorations up to the wazoo, a smorgasbord of Christmas treats, and Pinterest-worthy wrappings. But trying to do all that stuff just makes me stressed out and grumpy. And that’s not the kind of attitude I want on Christmas!
So I am fully on board with these ideas for simplifying Christmas. If there are items on this list that are non-negotiables for you, that’s fine! The point is that you don’t have to do EVERYTHING to have a memorable Christmas. There are things we do that we may be doing just because that’s what we’ve always done or it’s what everyone else does … but they may not be right for us. As she encourages us to ask ourselves, “are [your family traditions] serving you, or are you serving them?”
What items from this list do you think you could easily (and happily) cut out? Do it this year – I dare you!
100 Clutter Free Gifts for Everyone | Humorous Homemaking
Every year, Levon and I struggle a little bit more with Christmas shopping, especially for the adults on our list. We’ve reached a point in our lives where we don’t really want a bunch of “stuff,” so we try not to give it to others, either. But it can be really hard to come up with meaningful, non-clutter gifts! So I was thrilled when I found this list, and from one of my favorite bloggers, no less. There are some really great ideas in this list, and I think I’ll be snagging a few of them this year. 😉
Cool, Calm, and Connected, by Arlene Pellicane
This book was pheNOMenal. I keep saying that it’s a book that 99.99% of people in today’s digital world need to read, and I’m serious. People these days (myself included) are so attached to their screens, and it’s leading to a lot of unhealthy habits in all all areas of their lives – personal health, relationships, job performance, etc. Our devices are not inherently bad – they do bring us a lot of great benefits. But we need to learn to set and keep healthy boundaries.
And that’s what Cool, Calm, and Connected does. It showed me how to strengthen areas that I knew were weak, and illuminated weaknesses I didn’t even know I had! I am so glad I read this book, and I would encourage everyone else to read it, as well.
For more about the book, read my full review HERE.
The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner
I’m not quite done with this one yet — about 75% — but I had to include it because it is SO GOOD! This woman is amazing. She works full-time, runs a blog, has a young family, and still manages to spend time on her pleasures and passions every single day!
When I first started reading it, I thought she had to be one of those superwomen energizer bunny types that just go-go-go and never sleep. But she’s not! She’s just really good at setting boundaries and making time for herself. Because, as she states repeatedly throughout the book, everyone around us is better when we take care of ourselves — physically, spiritually, mentally, emotionally, etc.
I am learning so much from this book. Honestly, I’ve had the book for probably two years and am just now getting around to reading it. I didn’t think there would be anything in it that I didn’t already know or hadn’t already heard. And I didn’t think I could afford to spend any more time on myself without sacrificing my responsibilities. But I’ve picked up so many new tips and tricks, it’s incredible. This woman is a “fringe hours” genius, I’m telling you. And she can teach you to be one, too.
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, by Asheritah Ciuciu
I’m still working through this one, as well, and I’ll give a full review once I’ve read the whole thing. But I wanted to tell you what I think so far so that you can get it in time for the start of Advent.
I’m only halfway through the book, but I am REALLY enjoying it so far. We spend so much time preparing our homes, menus, and gift lists for Christmas that we completely forget to prepare our hearts. Asheritah writes in the introduction, “Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet few of our calendars would reflect that priority.” Ouch, right?
But Unwrapping the Names of Jesus will help you change that. Through daily devotions focusing on the names of Jesus, Asheritah will help you prepare yourself spiritually so you can worship Him like never before. Each day includes a Scripture passage, a short devotion, a challenge, a prayer, and Scriptures for further study, and will prepare your heart in the midst of the busy season.
There are even optional family advent activities to help you celebrate Advent as a family, which I love. And many of them are simple and practical enough for even young children, which I appreciate since my oldest is 3 1/2.
I’m only halfway through the book so far (I will be going through it a second time, following the intended schedule more contemplatively), but if the second half is as good as the first, I can confidently say that this is a Christmas book you won’t want to miss out on reading.
Now, was that worth taking a break from your online shopping or what? Did you read through some of these Fabulous Finds? What was your favorite? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
More Fabulous Finds: