Posts Tagged pinterest

How to Have Christmas Traditions without Losing Your Christmas Spirit

Two years ago, my family decided to spend an evening looking at Christmas lights. We were new to the area, so we didn’t know exactly where to go. After driving aimlessly for about an hour, my husband turned down another side street, heading back to the highway. Suddenly, my oldest pipes up, “Dad! It’s a Braums. We should stop and get some ice cream!” Tired of dealing with light hunting, we decided some ice cream would do us all some good. After our treat, we trekked back out for one more try at light gazing, and we stumbled upon the County Light Festival, a huge display of lights with accompanying Christmas music via radio. It was awesome! Last year, we drove straight to the County Light Festival without even bothering hunting for house lights. On our way through the exit, my then five year old said, “Mom, after this we should go look for that Braums again and get some ice cream!” Thus, our accidental holiday detour became a holiday tradition.

I like to make Christmas a magical time for my kids, but it could easily become overwhelming and expensive and a little stressful. A few years ago, I took a tip from one of my friends for a simple advent activity.

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I wrap all of our Christmas movies and books. I come up with a few fun crafts and events we want to attend. Then, I number everything 1 to 25. The kids open a present everyday leading up to Christmas. Over the past few years, I’ve added a book or movie to our collection, but I rarely have to spend much money to come up with 25 things. I like doing this method because I don’t get overburdened with crafts. We aren’t traveling to a new Christmas adventure every day, and we aren’t spending a ton of money (I also take full advantage of the library books, too. I wrap them up along with our own books.)

So, here’s a list of the books we are using this year:

For crafts, I found easy and fun activities from Pinterest (check out my Christmas Board here)

We are watching three holiday movies:

I also added some fun activities to our list, too. We usually call family members to sing “Jingle Bells.” We are going to have a dinner by candlelight one night, and spend an evening looking at Christmas lights (with a stop at Braums, I’m sure, before the night is over). I’m super excited for this year’s tour because this house is in our town.

We will also attend a Merry Tuba Christmas concert. Have you guys ever heard about Tuba Christmas? Volunteer tuba players from a surrounding area get together and rehearse for about an hour, and then they put on a free concert, usually outdoors, playing Christmas music. It’s quirky, fun and, best of all, absolutely free. You can take camping chairs and a thermos of hot chocolate and spend a morning with the family. Check out the website to find a Merry Tuba Christmas near you.

I hope you all enjoy this great holiday season!

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Get Pocket: A Great App for Book Lovers and Twitter Addicts

Do you guys know about Pocket (formerly known as Read Later)? It’s a favorite app on my iPhone. With Pocket, I can save links to articles, video, and photos from all across the web in one place. With Pocket, I can line up a queue of interesting articles to browse while I’m out and about or winding down at the end of a long day. It’s like having my own personalized magazine.

To use, first, you download the free Pocket app on your phone. Then, you go browse the internet or check your Twitter feed. I’ll walk you through how it works:

Let’s say I check my Twitter feed and see an interesting book list.

Using Pocket, I can simply swipe my finger to the left on a tweet,

click on the ellipses, and then click Read Later.

Then, when I have more time to read, I can open my Pocket app (or go to getpocket.com on my laptop) and read everything I saved. The interface is clean and super easy to read both on the phone and on the laptop, even more so than going directly to the sites themselves. See?

I also use the Pocket button on my internet browser to click and save things I want to read.

I previously used my Evernote account or Pinterest to save articles; however, I like using Pocket because it is simply a consumptive tool for reading. I use Evernote as my second brain (my children stole my first one), so I don’t like clouding up my brain with articles, videos, blog posts, etc. Pinterest is mostly something I use for ideas.

So far, I have only seen one drawback. I cannot use the swipe feature on my Facebook feed when I am on my phone. Other than that, it’s a great tool to use for people who are on the internet all the time!

Disclaimer: Pocket doesn’t know who I am. They are not paying me to say nice things about them. I simply love this little app and wanted to tell my friends!

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