Celebrating the Season: Joseph {Day 22}

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Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


This album has been one of my favorites for years.  It's the perfect background music for the holidays, whether you're a fan of Big Band/Swing music or not.  In The Christmas Mood (you'll want to get volume II, too) breathes new life into 23 holiday standards.  I love how the album is instrumental, but the songs are still lively enough not to put you asleep.

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Use today to foster your musical side, by singing or playing Christmas carols on an instrument.  Form a little group and spread the love door-to-door with your neighbors, or bring some cheer to a hospital or nursing home nearby, or even record your performance to send to loved ones who live far away.  Don't play an instrument, and sing with a voice more like a Screech Owl instead of a Nightingale?  Fake it like Milli Vanilli and play recordings of carol singers while lip-synching your heart out.

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



I'm so glad my parents saved my copy of this book from when I was little, because I've already enjoyed reading the sweet story about an angel who gives of herself to help others to Gv.  See if you can find a copy of Little Lost Angel yourself and enjoy reading this less-common tale to your own little angels.

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



This movie is a classic for good reason.  Sure, its theology is all wrong, but that doesn't mean that it's not full of kindness and feel-good moments.  It's a Wonderful Life is a wonderful movie, and one that is perfect to watch year after year.

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 22 - Joseph
Read Matthew 1:18-25 to read about how Joseph dealt with the big news and consider what faith it took for him to respond the way he did.

Add your hammer sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this twenty-second day of Advent?  Do you have any musical talent, or will you be going the Ashlee Simpson route?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!

Celebrating the Season: The Visitation {Day 21}

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


I don't quite know where Harry Connick Jr. has been lately, but you'll be swinging right along with him and his band as you listen to this fun collection of holiday songs.  I Pray on Christmas reminds me of an old gospel spiritual, Parade of the Wooden Soldiers places you right in the heart of Santa's toy shop and (It Must've Been) Old Santa Claus is my favorite and just a rollicking good time.  When My Heart Finds Christmas is a jazzy addition to your musical library and one I look forward to listening to each year.

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Whether you use a kit, a box of graham crackers and pre-made icing, or slabs of homemade gingerbread, today is the day to build your best gingerbread house creation.  I've actually never engaged in this holiday tradition myself, so when I do, I'll be sure to peruse a great post like this one for some tips and ideas. 

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



I bet you'll never guess which movie I have for you today...but before you watch it, read this book.  How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a Christmas favorite of kids (and adults) everywhere and has inspired many a young girl to create her own Cindy Lou Who hairstyle to wear to pajama day at school (at least in my experience).

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



Ever since the Jim Carrey version came out, it has been a standard for teachers to play during the last days of school before winter break, but I could just never enjoy it as well as the original animated version.  Even if you like the newer movie, do yourself a favor and make this classic a part of your Christmas movie marathon this season.

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 21 - The Visitation
Read Luke 1:29-56 to read about Mary's visit to Elizabeth while they were both pregnant.

Add your pregnant gals sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this twenty-first day of Advent?  Do you like the newer Grinch movie, or prefer the classic version, like I do?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!

Celebrating the Season: The Annunciation {Day 20}

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


It seems everywhere I turn, someone is talking about this album.  So of course I had to check it out for myself and I can certainly see what all the hubbub is all about.  That's Christmas to Me features the group's incredible harmonizing of beloved Christmas carols, as well as a few other fun winter tunes.  Mary, Did You Know? is beautiful and probably my favorite version of that song, but my top pick on this album is Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  That's right, a group of five singers covering a wordless classical music piece.  It's just pure magic.

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Yesterday you shopped till you dropped and today it's time to put a wrap on all those gifts for this year.  Turn the volume up on your Christmas music playlist, gather all of your wrapping supplies and end your productive session by checking "presents" off your to-do list.

Oh!  And if you're looking for some creative wrapping ideas, check out these ideas over at They're Not Our Goats. 

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



I am a complete goofball.

Really.  G refers to me as "Cartoon Mommy" all the time.

So naturally a book showing a goofy camel whose facial expressions grow sillier and sillier with the turn of each page is right up my alley.

But even though this story first drew me in with its fun illustrations, it is a sweet tale of one of the camels in charge of transporting the wise men to see Jesus.  Poor Humphrey has lost his blanket (thus the reason behind the crazy distraught camel faces on each page) and I bet you've watched enough CSI episodes to realize what he'll do with that blanket in the end.

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



Let's play Jeopardy for a moment.  The answer to the question is, "Out.  The cold air makes them grrrrow!"  As for the question, you'll just have to watch today's movie selection to come up with it.  Miracle on 34th Street is my favorite classic non-musical holiday movie and I love how it handles the whole Santa quandry.

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 20 - The Annunciation
Read Luke 1:26-38 to read about the big announcement and just think for a moment what you would have done if Gabriel had visited you with the same news.


Add your angel sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this twentieth day of Advent?  Do you have the question to my Jeopardy answer?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!

Celebrating the Season: John the Baptist {Day 19}

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


I'm not too much of a country music fan, but I still really dig this album.  Like so many of my other favorite Christmas CDs, Beyond the Season includes a mixture of standards along with some great original songs.  I think Garth's version of Go Tell it on the Mountain is fantastic, but I really love The Old Man's Back in Town and Santa Looked a Lot Like Daddy.  They're both just so catchy and upbeat.

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Shop for gifts together as a family.  Now, I don't expect you to tackle every gift on your list in one day, but it's much more fun to watch a loved one open a gift that everyone helped pick out.  Choose just a few to brainstorm and purchase as a group. 

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



Have you ever heard the lyrics to a song wrong?  Well, in Olive, the Other Reindeer you can read about a time when one little dog did just that.  This adorable book has become such a popular picture book, it even has its own companion DVD and Advent calendar to go along with it.  I haven't seen either of those yet, but if they're anything like the book, they're sure to be cute.  

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



Vermont must be lovely this time of year...all that snow...
Whether your dreams are produced by a turkey sandwich or liverwurst, you'll exclaim over Vera Ellen's impossibly tiny waist and magical feet as you watch this popular movie classic.  Go watch it now in all its Vista-Vision glory.

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 19 - John the Baptist
Read Luke 1:5-25 and 57-80 to read about John the Baptist's birth and how he'd prepare the way for the Messiah.

Today's study also includes a prophesy fulfillment.  Read Isaiah 40:3 and Malachi 4:5-6, then Matthew 3:1-2 and 11:13-14 to see how Jesus lives out Matthew 5:17 (see verse in graphic below) and brings the kingdom to hand.

Add your scallop shell sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this nineteenth day of Advent?  Do you have any funny stories about songs you've misheard the lyrics to?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!

Celebrating the Season: Jonah {Day 18}

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


Anyone with a name like "Bing" must have something going for him and if you don't have a few of his tunes in your listening library, then we need to have a serious talk.  He has several Christmas albums to choose from, but I knew I wanted The Voice of Christmas because I didn't want to have to choose; I wanted everything Christmasy he'd ever done.

This is his complete holiday songbook and it hasn't let me down once since I bought it over a decade and a half ago. .I love how many less common songs are on it, like O Fir Tree Dark, Marshmallow World, and Poppa Santa Claus (just to name a few).  My two favorite songs, however, are Snow and Mele Kalikimaka, both found in movies I'll soon be featuring.

Can you guess which ones?

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Get thee into the kitchen, throw on your most festive apron and whip up some holiday treats today!  Whether baking, candy-making, nut-spicing, or snack-creating is your thing (or even all of them), spend some time cooking up something delicious to share with your friends, family, co-workers and neighbors this season. 

I'm still fine-tuning my list, but so far I know I'll be making my delicious and easy coconut-milk caramels, yearly standards like spiced nuts, eggnog cheesecake and tarts, Christmas cookies and an assortment of dips, as well as trying a few new recipes (I'm planning to modify this one and this one, for starters.)  Let me know if you want the recipes for any of them before next year.

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



What I enjoyed most about this picture book as I read it to Gv is that I learned something new.  In all the books focusing on Christmas traditions around the world, I'd never read about the posadas in Mexico before.  It's easy to see why this book was a Caldecott Medal winner and especially interesting to find out that it was first published back in 1959.

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



Holiday Inn is one of my all-time favorite movies.  Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire, in one picture?  Fabulousness, complete with singing and dancing, as well as a battle over a girl.
I love the whole premise of the movie - Bing's quitting the showbiz world to get some peace and quiet out in the country, only to wind up in a sanitarium from all the work.  Ha, too funny.  I love the exploding preserves, the catchy song-and-dance numbers, and the "short-cut to the short-cut."  This movie is actually where the song White Christmas debuted.
The only thing I wonder about each year when I watch it is how some of the parts like the housekeeper and Lincoln's birthday number are taken by others today.  I tend to have the same conversation with my friends and family each year, discussing whether my sensitivity to movies like this one, Gone with the Wind, The Jazz Singer, or the original Amos and Andy Show are shared by others, or whether they're just labeled differently because of when they were made.
Do you have any opinions on this subject?  I'd love it if you (respectfully) shared them.  .

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 18 - Jonah
Read Jonah to remind yourself of his story and then read Matthew 12:38-41 for Jesus' reference to him and a New Testament connection.

Add your big fish sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this eighteenth day of Advent?  Do you have any specific food treats that you make every year?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!

Celebrating the Season: Daniel {Day 17}

Some of the links on this site are affiliate links. This means if you click on a link and purchase something, I'll receive a small affiliate commission at no cost to you. Thanks so much for supporting my efforts with this blog!


Welcome back to Celebrating the Season!  If you're new around these parts, be sure to catch up on all the other posts in this series here.  Also, if you don't want to miss a single minute of the fun from here on out, sign up for free updates and then look forward to having each post, as well as some free printables, delivered right to your inbox.

Songs to Get You into the Spirit of the Season


This kind of gives away today's movie choice, but after watching the Muppets do their thing onscreen, you'll want to sing along with the flick's tunes for days to come.  The Muppet Christmas Carol is a great addition to your holiday music collection because all but one song (Good King Wencelas) is original and all are great to sing along with.

An Activity to Add to the Jolly Atmosphere

Today's activity is pretty obvious for me to do with my family, but I really think it would be great fun for anyone.  

Go ice skating together!    

This is the time of year when I wish we lived someplace where dressing in tank tops and flip flops to do the Christmas shopping wasn't the norm, because there's nothing better than feeling the wind swoosh through your hair as you glide across an outdoor rink or pond!

As for us, I'm (not so) patiently waiting to find a pair of skates small enough for Gv.  Until then, I'll just have to be content with zooming her around the rink and taking her for a spin myself.

Some Reading Sure to Garner a Great Response



One final version, this time for those members of your family who want to "read it myself!"  This sumptuously illustrated book is perfect for young readers to scurry off with on their own, especially after reading the unabridged version together as a family.

Read Stave 5 today for the conclusion (and happy ending) to this classic tale.

A Movie to Get You in a Merry Mood



The Muppet Christmas Carol is easily my favorite version of this story and one of my favorite all-around holiday movies, as well.  Not only does it star some of my favorite fuzzy pals ("Light the lamp, not the rat!  Light the lamp, not the rat!"), but Michael Caine portrays Scrooge as well as you'd hope the legendary actor would.  And your children will love it.  How do I know?  Let's just say I'm currently wrestling a certain toddler away from the computer right now because she can't stop touching the screen and doing a little dance of excitement at the above photo.
I may just have to go put it on for her again.
Even though we just watched it.
Twice.

Faith Focus to Put You in a Festive Frame of Mind

If you haven't downloaded them already, make sure to grab your free coordinating printables to go along with this portion of the series.  



All you have to do to get your free Celebrating the Season Faith Focus Printables is subscribe to Syncopated Mama (also free) by entering your email here!

Day 17 - Daniel
Read Daniel 6 to see how God intervened despite a stone sealing Daniel in with the lions (Daniel 6:17).  Then read Matthew 27:66 for a New Testament connection where a stone seals Jesus in, as well.

Add your lion sticker to the tree to serve as a reminder for today's verses.


What will you be doing to observe this seventeenth day of Advent?  Do you have any place to ice skate outside?  Have you ever done it?  I'd love to hear!  Leave a comment or email me at lisahealy (at) outlook (dot) com.

Join me throughout the rest of this season for more great ideas to incorporate into your family traditions to help celebrate this special time of year.  Be sure to pin the series landing page so you can find every post, or better yet, sign up for free updates so you don't miss a single suggestion and to get your free printables!