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Celebrating a Simple Christmas: A few things we’ve enjoyed this season


Inspired by Little House on the Prairie, we made bear pancakes for Christmas week. Kathrynne thought they were the neatest pancakes ever. Talk about an easy and simple way to bring a smile to a little girl's face!


We made some of our favorite Brown Sugar Biscuit Twists to take to a Christmas gathering this week and will be making more for our Christmas morning brunch. These are just so delicious and relatively easy to whip up, too. I posted the recipe here.


December just wouldn't be the same without Christmas music! We love it and listen to it almost constantly as soon as Thanksgiving is over with (well, sometimes I can't wait and have to turn on some before then!). One of our favorites is the CD my sister recently produced in conjunction with The WILDs. (Listen to clips here.) Read more about some of the other CDs and music we've enjoyed this season here.


Cozying up on the sofa with a stack of books and hot drinks has occupied many of our December afternoons. We always tackle quite an eclectic mix of books, but we've enjoyed a number of Christmas-y ones in the last few weeks. You can read about those here.

(By the way, I requested most of these off of PaperBackSwap–one of my favorite sources for building our family library! And since the girls love books so much, I've stashed some of the books away that we've gotten in the mail from PaperBackSwap recently and will be wrapping them up for Christmas presents. They will love this and it's about as frugal as it gets when it comes to Christmas presents!)


And finally, one way we've sought to keep a Christ-centered Christmas this year is by doing a Jesse Tree. If you've never heard of this concept before, you can read more about what it is and how we're doing it here.

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  • Honey says:

    Neat ideas! Have you ever done any kind of an advent calendar? I’m going to check out the Jesse tree with your link! I wanted to share an idea with you. On my kids birthday I try to make a meal that they request. This year we had a big breakfast for my girls (age 6). While I was standing there making the pancakes the Lord gave me a creative idea to make two of the pancakes into the shape of their letters (A for Abigail, V for Victoria). I put those and the others on the plate and acted very surprised that “some of these pancakes came out in shapes!!!”. The girls thought these magic pancakes were really fun! I was an only child and my mom was not big on traditions, but I really like doing fun things for my children to create memories. It sounds like you are creating memories galore! Thanks for the ideas.

  • LANA says:

    The bear pancakes are cute!

  • Carina says:

    does pancakes look so great. 🙂

  • Lizzie says:

    Great ideas:) How very cool that your sister made a CD with the Wilds. I LOVE music from The Wilds–especially Mac Lynch;)!

    Merry Christmas!

  • MaryEllen says:

    Neat to hear about your sister’s CD! I love music from the Wilds, and I do some music arranging myself, so it’s always exciting to see other people producing music for the Lord’s glory!

  • Stephanie says:

    My children love it when I make shapes with their pancakes. The chocolate chips are a bonus too 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your simple Christmas celebration. I am enjoying seeing another family simplify!

  • Coby says:

    I made your brown sugar twists for breakfast this morning and they were so yummy and easy to do!

  • Allison says:

    I LOVE the WILDS music too! I accepted Jesus as my Savior at summer camp at the WILDS so it has a very special place in my heart. A favorite CD of ours this Christmas is called “The Glory of Christmas” from Majesty Music.

  • Tara G says:

    We regularly make pancakes in all sorts of shapes at our house- Harry and David have some neat pancake molds as do some of the kitchen stores at outlet malls; they’re nice because they’re usually non-stick and have a little handle (check Lillian Vernon, too). I’ve also picked up large copper cookie cutters (just got a snowflake at Williams-Sonoma today on sale) or even those larger Wilton ones. Have fun!

  • Mom is Broke says:

    I love the Jesse tree idea. I have never seen it before. I would love to do this next year. I think I will use my same fake tree I already have, and add the Christmas card photos that friends and family send us too. I already punch holes in the corners of them and hang them from a garland on the stairs. But this might be a lovely place to add to a Jesse tree too. Then it is the bible stories, and the people we love the most all in one place.

    One side note. I was so proud of my daughter last week. During church when they were lighting the pink candle on the advent wreath, she leaned over to me and asked, “What does Santa have to do with Christmas when it is about the birth of Jesus?” I almost started to cry I was so proud. That is another reason why I think we need a Jesse tree in our house. Thank you, and have a blessed and safe Christmas. Michelle at Mom is Broke

  • LeAnna C says:

    Totally love The Wilds!!! They have some beautiful, God honoring music! How neat your sister has a CD, it is beautiful! Thanks for all the great ideas! Merry Christmas!

  • Stephanie says:

    I just checked out PaperBack Swap and I am hooked!!!! I have already swapped 4 books and I just started yesterday. Thank you so much for taking the time to share all your great ideas!

  • Crystal says:

    Wow, Paperback Swap is great. 🙂 I have 2 used bookstores in town and this beats even their prices. Thanks for passing along the information.

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