Christmas Past & Christmas Present

Last year our 15-month-old spent Christmas in an Ethiopian orphanage.  She didn’t even know we were pursuing her adoption.

But a few months later, we travelled to Addis Ababa and adopted her as our daughter!  What a whirlwind trip!

This year we will enjoy Christmas through the eyes of our newly adopted 2-year-old!  What fun 🙂

Easy DIY Christmas Blocks Gift

‘Twas the week before Christmas and I was a tiny bit miffed

Trying to come up with a last minute gift!

Does this describe you?  Here’s a fun DIY that is simple and quick.

DIY Christmas blocks

I love my little Christmas blocks.  I have some for during the rest of the year too that I can tuck on ledges or shelves with a few inspirational words to catch my eye during the day.

These are tiny blocks — like the kind you would find in a Jenga game.  But grouped together, they make a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift

This is a great craft for kids to make for their teachers or grandparents!

{Affiliate links are included in this tutorial, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you choose to make a purchase.}

Here’s how to make these adorable Christmas blocks in no time at all.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift

Yes, these blocks are the size of Jenga blocks, but I wouldn’t recommend buying an official Jenga game, or you will have “Jenga” carved into your pieces.

Instead, you can buy a cheaper no-name brand of the same game here or here.  And if you shop with Amazon Prime, these can be on your door step in only two days!

With about 48 blocks in each game, you can make dozens of these gifts from one set.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift

Now paint your blocks.  This step is so relaxing!  Get the kids involved and start painting.  I just use Apple Barrel paints which cost about 50 cents each at Walmart.  Or if you’re in a pinch, you can get them here at a higher cost.

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift

If you have some stamping supplies lying around, now’s the time to put them to good use.  Have you ever stamped or embossed on wood?  Why not?  It works just like it would on paper.

Use an embossing stamp pad to stamp your word onto the wood block.

Immediately cover the wet stamped mark with embossing powder.  Dump the excess powder off your wood block.

Using a heat tool, carefully set the embossing powder.

You’re done!  Wasn’t that easy?

easy DIY Christmas blocks gift

This is a cost effective gift and one that you can make assembly-line-style to save time.

Even if you have to buy all the supplies for this project, each three-block set will only cost you about $3.22!  The price just goes down from there if you own any of the supplies already.

Happy crafting!  Check out my Pinterest DIY Gift Idea board for more projects.




Jesus Tree for Advent

What a wonderful time of the year to focus our hearts on God’s story — more specifically the upper story.  We live in the lower story and easily get distracted by the tinsel and bright lights.

Jesus Tree advent 

But since Christ came that first Christmas, we know God will keep His promises and Christ will come again.  And during this season of Advent, of celebrating His birth, we look with anticipation to Christmas Future.

jesus tree for advent

A helpful practice for the whole family during this special season is to focus on the significance of the names of Jesus.

Did you know that in the Old and New Testaments, it is possible to find over 100 names and titles for Christ?

jesus tree for advent

Using a Jesus Tree can be a helpful visual for everyone in the family.

This is an easy DIY project that can be started at any time leading up to Christmas day.  No need to run to the store, just use what you have on hand.  Let the kids help.

jesus tree for advent

First, gather branches from the yard and put them in a recycled jar.

Find some extra Christmas ornaments or make your own from paper.

Jesus Tree advent 

Add one name and the Scripture reference to each ornament.  If you learn about one each day until Christmas, you will need 24.  You could do more or less, and don’t worry about starting too late!  Just do something.

I used this Names of Jesus unit study to create my ornaments.

Jesus Tree advent 

Each day we hang one new ornament on the tree.

We keep it simple by reading the Scripture and discussing one new name each day.

Jesus Tree advent 

The Jesus Tree has been a useful tool to help our family to focus on Christ during the Advent season.

What do you do in your house during Advent?