Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Make Your Own Clock

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013


I never knew that you could make your own clock, until my sister sent the different parts for my kids to put together. Yes, you can make a clock to fit your home decor. This is a perfect idea for a Christmas or birthday gift, because you can take into account the hobbies and color scheme of the one who will receive the gift.

To make your own clock, you will need the following supplies, which you can easily get at most craft supply stores:

  • wood base (whatever shape you want)
  • stain or paint
  • varnish
  • quartz clock movement kit
  • extra clock hands, if you want bigger ones
  • mosaic glass gems (or numbers 1-12)
  • drill with a thick bit
  • hot glue gun


First you will want to stain the wood base or paint it. Let it dry overnight, and then put a coat of varnish over the top. Let that dry a couple of days.

Drill a hole through the middle of the base. I used a ruler to find the exact center of the base. Look at how big the clock movement kit is, to see how big your drill bit should be. Insert the clock movement box to the back of the clock, inserting the hands before doing so. The kit should come with visual instructions on how to do it. It’s really self-explanatory. Make sure to insert a battery after the clock is finished.


You will want to add embellishments like gems or numbers around the edges. You can also add small, flat decorations like 3-D stickers or doll accessories. For example, if you are giving the clock to a hunter, you can hot glue a small rifle to the clock. If you are giving the clock to a teacher, you can place a large 3-D apple sticker on it. We decided to leave ours simple. It matches our newly refurbished bathroom!


Homemade Nativity Scene (Easy & Beautiful!)

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013


When celebrating the birth of Christ, you can make a homemade nativity scene with your kids. This will focus their minds on the true meaning of Christmas. In this tutorial I will show you how to easily make a beautiful scene with figures of baby Jesus, Mary, and Joseph surrounded by an earthy, twinkling barn environment.

How to Make a Nativity Scene

For this homemade nativity scene, you will need the following items:

  • cardboard box (large shoebox)
  • white Christmas lights
  • drill
  • light brown paint with paint brush
  • mom, dad, and baby dolls
  • popsicle sticks
  • white Elmer’s glue
  • straw (or dry grass)
  • cloth
  • hot glue
  • 2 rubber bands
  • string

Cut the flaps or remove the top from the box. Paint the box light brown. Let dry overnight. Get a drill, and use a large drill bit (9/32) to drill holes in the top of the box. Space the holes apart according to the amount of space between your Christmas lights.

Assemble a manger out of popsicle sticks. My son made a “V” out of popsicle stick halves, and then glued an “X” on either side, with a horizontal bar to finish it off on each end.

Hot glue some cloth onto the dolls, making their clothes look more authentic for Bible times. Use a string for a belt for Joseph and Mary. Place a square of cloth on their heads, tied with a rubber band.

Put straw or dried grass inside the manger and on the bottom of the box. Assemble the figures inside the box. Turn on the Christmas lights, and enjoy your homemade nativity scene!

Video tutorial on how to make a handmade nativity scene:

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If you liked making this homemade nativity scene, you will love Using Simple Costumes and Props to Teach the Bible. You receive this 2-hour video for free when you sign up for the Unit Study Treasure Vault, which has an enormous Bible section!

Shining the Joy of Jesus

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012


Pulling up to the church, I walked into the sanctuary, where the rest of the choir members were gathering. This was the first time for me to ever be in a Christmas choir. When an invitation to join the choir was announced a month ago, I knew I had no time for it. My husband said, “You will never have time. Do it if you want to do it.” It meant than my husband had to watch the kids on Thursday nights for four weeks. He said he didn’t mind doing it. I loved the rehearsals. Our choir director has a fun sense of humor.

After practicing for an hour, the church members started coming in, so we descended from the stage. At the right time we lined up along the wall and stepped up to the risers. I looked out over the people. We were here to lead them in praise to God. As we started singing, I felt like I was with the angels in heaven. Joy emanated from my soul.


An elderly man came up to the stage to lead us in communion. He is one of the elders, a man with the sweetest, gentlest expression I’ve ever seen, like he has spent his whole life with Jesus. That’s the expression I want when I’m old, I said to myself. Have you noticed how elderly people are either bitter toward life (cranky and never satisfied with anything) or sweet (contented with life and easy to be with)? I want to be in the second category.


Last year this same elderly man gave the Christmas sermon. He had trouble walking up the stairs. Then he messed up several of his lines, but he quickly corrected them. And every time he finished with one of the pages of his notes, he would drop it to the ground. He apologized that he had to drop his papers, but it was impossible for his hands to turn them at his age. At the end of the sermon when the people were filing out the door, I went up to him and said, “I loved your dramatic flair in dropping each page as you were finished with it. I’ll have to remember that for when I do public speaking.” He laughed sweetly as I told him how moving his sermon was.

The elderly gentleman stepped down, and we sang our last song. “Joy, unspeakable joy rises in my soul…” Joy filled my soul, and when I looked into the faces of the people in the audience, their faces lit up with joy as they looked into my face. I must have looked like the gentleman, the one I want to be like, shining the joy of Jesus as we sang this Christmas service.

Jesse Tree

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


This year we are doing a Jesse Tree for the first time. I’ve always wanted to do one, but I wanted to buy real ornaments instead of attaching paper trash to the tree. This year I found many of the ornaments for 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and the kids had fun trying to find these specific objects that point to Christ:

Day 1 – Alpha Omega-A-Z
Day 2 – Word-Bible
Day 3 – Creation-Earth
Day 4 – Sin-Jesus has to come-black heart
Day 5 – Jesus sent to save sinners-cross
Day 6 – Jesus was the lamb of God-lamb
Day 7 – God loved us-red heart
Day 8 – Jesus was the first gift-gift
Day 9 – Jesus brings light to a dark world-candle
Day 10 – Jesus is the light of the world-sun
Day 11 – Good news of Jesus shouted-trumpet
Day 12 – Jesus is the Prince of Peace-dove
Day 13 – Jesus is King-crown
Day 14 – Jesus is our shepherd-shepherd staff
Day 15 – Jesus is the branch that grew from the line of David-tree
Day 16 – Jesus was born in Bethlehem-Bethlehem building
Day 17 – The birth of Jesus was a miracle-manger
Day 18 – Mary was the mother of Jesus-Mary
Day 19 – Joseph listened to the angel-Joseph
Day 20 – Angels announced the birth-angel
Day 21 – Shepherds praised the birth-musical notes
Day 22 – Wise men followed a star-star
Day 23 – Wise men brought gifts for Jesus-wise men
Day 24 – Jesus

I’m using Ann Hibbard’s book Family Celebrations for Christmas for the daily devotionals that go with each ornament. They are well-done.

Here is the video that I saw a couple of years ago that made me want to do do a Jesse Tree with my children. She uses slightly different ornaments. (No two Jesse Trees have the same symbols for some reason. As long as they point to Christ, it doesn’t matter what the ornaments are.) These ornaments were made by hand and are nicer than just paper trash hung on the tree:

Jesse Tree Demonstration from The Homeschool Channel on Vimeo