Some Christmas Fun & A New Tradition

Hi there!  
Are you ready to read about some fun?  I hope so...'cause we've been having tons of it here at our house while getting ready for Christmas.  

In my post today, I'd like to share with you some of the little traditions we have at our house...the first being our sparkle box!  Now this little tradition is based on the book "The Sparkle Box"...here is an excerpt from Amazon giving you a little info about the book, and if you click the above link it will take you to the official "The Sparkle Box" website.)
Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree. - See more at: http://www.thesparklebox.com/#sthash.OVCUvBNX.dpuf
Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree. - See more at: http://www.thesparklebox.com/#sthash.OVCUvBNX.dpuf
Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree. - See more at: http://www.thesparklebox.com/#sthash.OVCUvBNX.dpuf

 
Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree. - See more at: http://www.thesparklebox.com/#sthash.OVCUvBNX.dpuf
Written by Jill Hardie and brought to life by the rich illustrations of Christine Kornacki, The Sparkle Box is a heartfelt Christmas story that celebrates the beauty and excitement of the Christmas season, while gently bringing the true meaning of Christmas into focus through a story that features a powerful Christmas tradition. Children and adults of all ages will be captivated by The Sparkle Box and forever changed when they discover the Sparkle Box is a gift that honors Jesus on his birthday. Readers moved to adopt this faith-centered Christmas tradition in their homes can put a Sparkle Box, included with the book, under their own Christmas tree. - See more at: http://www.thesparklebox.com/#sthash.OVCUvBNX.dpuf
"The moving story of an uncommon gift and how giving to others shows a little boy the true meaning of Christmas. Sam is so excited about Christmas! He's thinking about his Christmas list, anticipating holiday parties, and puzzling over one very mysterious gift -- a sparkly box sitting on the mantel above the fireplace. In the midst of the festivities, Sam and his family participate in various acts of kindness to others. On Christmas morning, when Sam finally opens the Sparkle Box, he finds only slips of paper that record the family's good deeds. Sam's parents explain that the things that they've been doing for others are, in fact, a gift for Jesus -- for Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these, we do for Him. This heartfelt story will inspire readers to adopt this faith-centered tradition in their own homes."

Our kids love the idea of giving gifts of kindness to Jesus for his birthday.  We fill it with the acts of kindness we do during the holiday season such as boxes for Operation Christmas Child, baking cookies for the people packing the Christmas hampers in our area, donating to the Christmas cheer board, etc.  It becomes a game for them to try to think of different acts of kindness we can do for others.  Then Christmas morning, we open our sparkle box and read the acts out loud reminding ourselves that these are the gifts we gave Jesus for His birthday.  I would encourage you to pick up this book and start this tradition with your own family or grandchildren!

The second tradition I'd like to share with you today is one we've just started this year...and has been creating much excitement and laughter..."The Elf on the Shelf".  
Our elf came to live with us on December 01 of this year.  The first thing we were asked to do was give him a name.  Well, it was decided that he would be called Eli the Elf...and it was game on ever since.  Our son absolutely loves getting up in the morning and starting his day with a hunt for Eli.  Although he just turned 8, he has been blessed with a fantastic imagination...and loves playing along with Eli as though he's real.  Our daughter, who is 10, just laughs at the antics and says nothing to her brother about how he uses his imagination to play along...and I'm glad because imagination is outgrown far too early these days!  So, I thought I'd share a few of the Eli's antics with you today...

He showed up under the tree the morning of December 01/13.  I
It didn't take long before he was noticed!


One morning he was caught playing the game "Twister"!


And who can forget the morning we found him with munchies and the TV remote in hand!


Once in awhile Eli does try to do something helpful...




But, then he's right back to being a little mischievous...like stealing the kids Advent Calendars and helping himself to some chocolate...don't worry, he replaced what he ate!


Eli's also been spotted driving around our daughters pink Barbie convertible, playing on the computer, sleeping in the Barbie bed under the Christmas tree, playing with the Snowman family in our kitchen, etc. And we will always remember the morning we found Eli sitting under the tree with his Adoption Certificate with a letter from Santa explaining that Eli was our own very special elf! 
 Needless to say we've had lots of fun...which will soon end as Eli heads back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve!  

I hope you've enjoyed reading about a few of our family traditions.  Memories are so much fun to make.  Feel free to leave me a comment below about one of your favorite family traditions...I'd love to hear about them!

Until next time...

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