Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Free Tools to Prepare for Christmas + Gift GIving Ideas

We kick off the holiday season in two days. Two. Days. I didn't create anything new for my shop or blog this year. I had so many ideas and plans. But then I paused for Thanksgiving. And now Christmas is upon us. I'll just save those ideas away for next year.

In contrast, last November I was very productive in the area of Christmas printables. It was so much fun! In collaboration with a friend and coworker we created some amazing, free resources for the Advent season. All you need is a printer and card stock, or a friendly Staples Copy & Print employee. Mine knows me by name! (Upload the file to their website and pick up your order the next day.)

These sets of Advent Countdown cards were part of a craft kit created for women at our church who hosted Christmas Open Houses in their homes with their neighbors last year. I love these so much! They are perfect for a simple Open House craft, or for making up a small gift for a neighbor, teacher, or friend as we kick off the holiday season.

Download Advent Countdown cards.
Step-by-step guide to creating this Advent Countdown craft.
Download the entire hostess kit on Amy Lively's site How to Love Your Neighbor.

This Isaiah 9:6 Christmas printable is one of my absolute favorites, and we made it available on our church website during Advent last year. I gifted 5x7 prints to teachers, MOPS childcare workers and relatives. It looks absolutely stunning printed on bright white linen or recycled speckle tone card stock. {Trust me, it's all in the paper quality!} This printable is available in three sizes.

Isaiah 9:6 Christmas Tree | 4x6
Isaiah 9:6 Christmas Tree | 5x7
Isaiah 9:6 Christmas Tree | 8x10

One last idea I ran across just the other day... We have a Jesus Storybook Bible and my boys love reading out of it at night. {This Bible would make a great child's gift!} Each story in both the Old and New Testament points to Jesus. The illustrations are beautiful. Faith Gateway is offering a free Advent Printable, which includes illustrations from the book, and an Advent Reading plan. Go here to download the printable and reading plan. I'm really looking forward to using this reading plan and decorating with the illustrations this year!

Besides the fact that they are all free, the best part about these printable ideas is that they are all Scripture and all point to Jesus, bringing our hearts right back to the reason for Christmas. I know I need that reminder daily as my attention is constantly diverted to the lesser important things of this world.

For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given. And his name shall be called wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

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