The true story of Christmas

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I will never cease to be amazed by the ability of the Bible to speak to, in millions of different levels, in hundreds of different languages and being able to answer the same questions that men have been asking themselves from the dawn of time.

Over the years, our children have had access to some versions of the Bible, written exclusively for children.
I often read them aloud to my kids and, depending on their age, I tried to introduce them to the knowledge of this book, “The Book of Books,” as I call it with them, the lens to watch world through.

In my childhood, spent in a Christian school managed by nuns, I was strongly influenced by a dark and completely incoherent religious atmosphere . This has highly determined the impact of my future relationship with spirituality. I do not want this to happen to my children.
What I wish for them is the living value of joyful and absolutely positive attitude that lays in Christian precepts.

Unlike what many people think, and unlike many people have forced to think about, the Bible contains many references to Joy . Reading the stories of the Gospel, everyone can’t avoid to notice how much Jesus was a man of great charisma and character, and certainly joyful man. I do not think many people would had followed him and he would not certainly had been invited to so many parties (remember, as instance, the wedding of Cana ?) if He had been one of those curmudgeons who do nothing but remembering people how earthly life is boredom and full of suffering … (has anyone ever invited Leopardi to any party?). I don’t think so.

I always thought that Jesus was a man of great humor , a sense of humor, of course, strictly related to His times, but perfectly in line with that Jewish culture he belonged to. With its simple and straight behaviors, He showed others as the living testimony of hope that we all need to put in life : the hope of consolation, not only the hope of a life after death, but in life on earth, in our daily experience of relationships with others, of the ups and downs, of “good days” and “bad days”.

The actual history of Christmas, is not simply the story of the birth of a baby in a manger, but the story of the birth of hope for mankind.
On that cold, cold, dark, first Christmas long ago, God has given to men without hope and comfort, the gift of eternal faith in the form of a small child, which would change the world. And this miracle, this gift of hope and joy, takes place every year from that time until today.

Sure, God has not given us the assurance that everything would have been smoothly for us and we would have been having only positive experiences (and the Bible and the Gospel are actually filled with notable examples in this regard!). But it is precisely in those experiences of suffering and in the middle of all our troubles, that God is present and comforts us. Living with joy is in fact a choice that belongs to us, not to God the hope of being heard and understood, however, is our greatest security.

In this context this year we decided to celebrate ” the birthday of Jesus ” with a special project, the e-book Truth in the Tinsel. An Advent Experience for Little Hands by Amanda White . This is an e-book in which children can make their own history of Christmas and the birth of Jesus, by listening to the stories of Christmas and through creative projects, in the course of 24 days. For every day, from December 1st to 24th, there are instructions to create ornaments, decorations and creative jobs, in line with the story of the day, and through some thoughts, you are allowed to meditate twith your children effectively on the main aspects of the history .

The book is written in plain English, but ,for those who do not know English well, I assure you that is not a big problem: in fact, the extracts can be easily found on your own Bible and the Gospel in your own language. And the instructions are absolutely simple to understand even for those who do not chew English well. If you run into any problems or difficulties, I will be happy to help you, through my email .

In the book is also included a list of what tools are needed during the month (and they are mostly everyday objects and recycled materials) and also a detailed list divided by day and by project. The beauty of these creative works is that they can be customized as you wish, depending on what you have available.
And you are not forced to do them all! You know, Christmas season is busy, and in fact we do not believe we will manage all 24 projects, but we will try to be consistent in reading the passages, in order to fully immerse ourselves in this Christmas atmosphere. However, we will be engaged, no more than a quarter of an hour a day, maybe at bedtime.

If you click” Like” on the you will see the photos updated versions of our projects, so if you want, share your photos and comments of projects or the ideas that maybe your kids have expressed during the day.
In addition,on the Facebook page of Truth in The Tinsel , you, can join several group of families, all over the world that are participating in the project and

Are you ready to celebrate Christmas with your children in this special way? We look forward to begin!

** I really believe in this project, and since I find Truth in the Tinsel in line with the idea and the spirit of vitadimamma, I decided to become an affiliate, so if you decide to buy the e-book, after clicking link found in the sidebar next door, I will receive a percentage from the sale. Thanks in advance. **

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DIY Advent Calendar

Nothing makes more Christmas season than the Advent calendar!

And there’s no real and true Advent calendar if there isn’t an everyday surprise and a chocolate gift!
Actually, we have never been so much interested in the ready-made ones, we highly prefer the DIY ones.
That’s why, since my children were just babies, we made our own versions of it.

This is our newest.
If you wonder how to to make it, here’s a tutorial.
Let’s go sewing!

Materials:

– about 10 m red ribbon
-about 3 m rick rack
– red thread
– about 110-120 cm of fabric (exceeded measure)
– Your own choice of colored felt numbers from 1 to 25, or some scraps of felt, to make your own appliqued numbers
Or, if you prefer painting to sewing, glittered fabric paint crayons.
– about 2m of thick twine
– 25 funny clothes pin

Step 1

Cut 10×20 cm 25 fabric pieces (fist make 5 20×10 cm strips, then cut every strip in 10 20×10 cm rectangles)


Step 2

On the piece of felt scrap, trace numbers silhouettes on the felt scrap. Or, just paint the numbers on half of the rectangles with the glittered crayons.


Step 3

Sew the rick-rack on the upper and shorter side of every rectangle. You can use chain sewing technique, to save time.

Step 4

About 12 cm from the top of the fabric, begin sewing the applique on the right side of half the rectangles, with a decorative stitch and a contrasting thread (I used red thread)

Step 5

Cut out 25 strips of ribbon (15 cm long)

Step 6

Pair all the rectangles right side together.
Insert one strip of ribbon in every longer side of paired rectangles, at about 4 cm from the top of the fabric, raw sides together, making sure the strip is parallel to the upper side of the fabric.

Step 7

Sew 3 sides of the paired rectangles, starting from one longer side, with 1 cm seam allowance, Make sure you won’t catch the rest of the ribbon in the sewing.

Step 8

Flatten both sides of the sachet, finger pressing the triangle you have made and sew a stitch at 7 mm from the top of the triangle, back-stitching at the beginning and at the end. Cut the upper side of the triangle at about 5 mm from sewing. Turn the sachet to the right side.


Step 9

Only for even numbered sachets, sew the handle: attach a strip of red ribbon on both sides of the upper edge of the sachet.

Step 10

Stuff the sachets with lovely cards, poetries, stickers, chocolate gifts, candies or other swets of your choices. Hang up the thick twine in place and pin up the sachet with the decorative clothes pins.

Horizons

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As someone rightly pointed out, September is the true New Year .
Moment in which, even more than earlier this year, we focus on the good intentions of new projects on different attitudes.

September for us in the family, is particularly rich in changes : a son who will make the jump to the elementary school, another who will begin the third class, the dreaded third, in which, it is said , he began to study seriously, with a lot of lessons to be repeated!
For another September will be the month in which definitively abandon the stage of infant and starts getting more of the daily rhythms from their rhythmic inclinations and taste of the game, and last but not least, the routine of school older brothers.

It ‘also the month of my (partial for now) return to work: an important time of growth for all of us, in which I put to the test again and experiment on what terms is possible to reconcile the different areas and the different roles of my personal and family life.

After the birth of baby in February, actually this is the first time when everyone in the family, rushes towards new challenges to conquer new balance outside of our family .

Nothing can guarantee that the result will be entirely positive. None of us can be sure that their forecasts of mind, their rational calculations, that their expectations illusory, have any hope of matching with the reality of the facts. And that each of us is actually ready for the leap that awaits him.

I’ll be fine in the new school? Will I be able to learn many new things? Will I be able to still be a good mother? We made the right decision for our family? We will nevertheless a happy family

These are the questions that haunt these days in our souls as we speak, and quarrel, while we watch each other without being noticed.

To these questions we did not answer yet. We are on the edge and wait for the time to jump.
But one thing is certain: that there will never be a right time for this, a time when we will be better prepared, in which we will be more sure of ourselves or we will be ready.

Sometimes you have to take off and let it teach us how to open your wings and learn to fly.

And maybe understand that those obstacles that seemed insurmountable are then overcome and feasible, and instead discover that what we thought was rather exciting and challenging for anything in line with their values and their dreams.

What is certain is that much of what we have experienced until now, in this summer ‘long, full, adventurous, exciting, and in other ways extremely difficult and tiring, soon will be completely different.

Why change is the only real constant in our lives and to oppose it or fear it, not serves to distort our true essence and impoverishing the sense of our passage in this life.

“… Because I do not hope, I have faith.” writes a great poet of our times.

Then choose to store again at the top of my questions and those of my loved ones. I choose to rely on the infinite knowledge our little snarls soul and look confident that the reality of the facts illuminate the horizon that is already looming before us.