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Top 20 Subscription Boxes to Gift This Year

12/13/2017
Coming up with ideas for gift giving isn't always easy for me. I have nieces and nephews that I don't see often, and I don't know what toys or games or books they already own. I have family members and friends that I'm sure don't need anything, but I want to give some kind of gift. Even with my own children, I know that they have everything they need- and often many things they want, and it's hard to think of something meaningful and creative to give.

Subscription boxes for gifts

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Enter the subscription box. Subscription boxes are monthly- or occasionally bimonthly- boxes of goodies that are mailed to the recipient's house each month. Although many of these used to be primarily for kids, there are all kinds of subscription boxes to be found now. You can find boxes tailored to men, to women, to families, even to dogs!  If you're looking for a unique gift this year, try a subscription to one of the many subscription box options available. In this post I've rounded up my top twenty and grouped them in categories for you.

For Kids


Green Kids' Crafts- Provides a monthly box with hands-on art and science projects for ages 2 to 10. You choose your age range. Kids receive a themed box STEAM projects, needed supplies, a magazine, and a book that go along with the projects. Holiday gift options are available.

Kidstir- Brings a cooking-themed box to kids each month. Each box contains three recipes, shopping lists, kid-sized cooking utensils, educational pages, games and puzzles, and other fun activities. If you subscribe for at least twelve months, you'll also get a free cookbook binder to keep recipes in. Holiday gift options are available.

My Pretend Place- Have a child who loves to play pretend? This site sells dress-up clothes and pretend play resources and also has one to three month subscription packages. Each box comes with a dress-up outfit, a craft or activity, and a book. You can choose boy, girl, or gender neutral dress-up options. Free holiday shipping is available

Kiwi Co.- Provides monthly boxes filled with creative and educational activities for kids from 24 month to 16+ years. They have five levels of activities to choose from. The boxes contain STEAM activities and all supplies that fit the selected age group. There is a special holiday offer.

The Story Box- Is a monthly book club for families and kids. You can choose three types of packages, based on the age of the child(ren) you're buying for. Each box includes two books and a parent guide or challenge card (with activities to do with your child.)

STEM Reads Book Club- Brings kids ages 4-8 fun STEM themed books, as well as activities, surprises and notes from STEM book authors.

Kids Busy Bag- Provides kids with books, toys, crayons, games, projects, and more each month. They also have seasonal items during holiday months.

Science Unboxed- Brings monthly STEM projects for kids ages 6 and up. The boxes have hands-on activities along with instructions and digital content.


For Grownups


The Rockabilly Box- Brings fans of the 1950s cool surprises each month. There are two choices of boxes, and goodies will include hair accessories, sunglasses, jewelry, and more.

My Purrfect Gift Box- Is the box for cat lovers. Each month's box brings two to five kitty-themed gifts, depending on the type of box you choose.

The Nailed It Box- Provides monthly nail art supplies for nail art lovers. The box comes with jewels, glitter, tapes, foils, and more to add to any color of nail polish.

The Bath Benefit- Brings four to seven handmade bath items each month. There are bath and body products perfect for baths or showers.

The Homestead Box- Provides resources for those who want to live a more simple life or try homesteading. Three different types of boxes are available and include gardening resources, DIY resources, and more.

Dazz Cleaning Tablets- This subscription brings a monthly supply of three all-natural, safe cleaning supplies. The first month will bring a starter kit, and each additional month will provide refills.

Subscription boxes for gifts


For Families or Anyone


Joyful Devotion- Brings subscribers a monthly box that contains a Christian book or Bible study as well as several inspiring art projects. It also includes an invitation to an online book club.

Coffee and a Classic- Is a box for any book lover. Each month you can get a book as well as a snack and something to sip. You can choose fiction, nonfiction, or children's books.

Show Biz in a Box- Gives Hollywood and Broadway lovers a collection of show biz goodies each month. Each box contains souvenirs, books, celebrity addresses, upcoming performances information, and more.

The Happy Family Box- Is a box that brings crafts, games, books, and more to your family each month. Each box has supplies for a family with four children, as well as a goodie for mom each month. All of the books and activities are themed to help families learn and practice the habits of happy, healthy families.

Cutiesox- Have any sock lovers on your gift list? This monthly box brings cute character socks to the recipient each month.

Escape the Crate- Provides an escape room type game for the family bimonthly. If you love the idea of an escape room, these one hour long challenges will be fun for the whole family.

Subscription boxes to give as gifts



28 Advent Resources to Help Your Family Count Down to Christmas

12/03/2017
Advent. The dictionary defines it as "the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event". Most Christian churches consider Advent as beginning four Sundays before Christmas. Many families begin Advent traditions sometime between the weekend after Thanksgiving and the first day of December.

It's an exciting season. Whether you are looking toward the celebration of Christ's birth or just anticipating the coming of the Christmas holiday, it's a time of building anticipation. It's a time of looking forward to the joy of what's coming.

Advent countdown resources
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I love our family Advent traditions. They are a way to build the excitement of the season as well as a way to have some awesome family time through what can turn into a really busy season. Over the years we've done some of our favorite Advent activities over and over. And, occasionally we've added some new activities during the Advent season that have become favorite traditions.

If you're looking for some new traditions to celebrate this Advent season with your family, look no further. Here are  28 Advent resources that will help you to celebrate all season long.

Advent Books


Countdown to Christmas: Unwrap the Christmas Story With Your Family in Fifteen Days by Lisa Appelo is an Advent devotional and allows you to build a Nativity Scene as you countdown to Christmas.

The Christmas Countdown: Creating 25 Days of New Advent Traditions for Families by Margie J. Harding has devotional readings and activities for families as you count down to Christmas.

Christmas Countdown: A Story a Day for Twenty-five Days by Steve Englehart has a Christmas Around the World story to read for each day.

Look!: A Child's Guide to Advent and Christmas by Laura Alary isn't an Advent countdown in and of itself, but it's a book that looks at Advent traditions and how they point to Christ.

24 Christmas Stories to Welcome Jesus is a book filled with stories, some from the Gospel accounts of Christmas and some from Advent and Christmas customs. There is a story a day beginning the 1st of December.

Advent Calendars and Countdowns


I love the idea of using books to countdown to Christmas. No Time for Flashcards has twenty-five Christmas books with accompanying crafts that you can use to countdown to Christmas.

If you want a unique way to countdown the days until Christmas, try an activity Advent calendar. Wendelonia has some printable activity cards that you can use. She uses a cute little house with boxes- similar to the tree here- but you could put your cards into anything you make and save some money.

Learning Mama has another set of free Advent activity cards that you could use for an activity Advent calendar.

Have Lego lovers? Little Bins for Little Hands has an awesome Lego Advent countdown idea that involves giving kids a challenge to build with Legos each day of Advent. She has instructions, as well as suggestions for what kids can build each day. You could supplement your Legos with a Christmas set if you wanted to make sure kids had some Christmassy colored bricks.

I Heart Naptime has  a cute idea and instructions for a 25 Days of Service Advent countdown. Each little card in this countdown has a service project for the family to do together.

Want a yummy Advent calendar? Kitchen Counter Chronicles has instructions for a Christmas cookie countdown. 

I love this paper sack and clothespin Advent countdown because you can fill the sacks with anything you like!

And I know the kids would love this idea of having small, wrapped packages to open each day as you count down to Christmas.

The Reason for the Season Traditions


Because our church uses an Advent Wreath throughout the season looking forward to Jesus' birth, we've always used one in our family as well. Often people associate the use of the Advent Wreath with Catholic Christmas tradition, but we go to a Presbyterian church that has a more formal worship service, and the Advent Wreath has always been a part of Christmas worship. You can find some good instructions for setting up and using an Advent Wreath here at Feels Like Home. The wreath is an awesome way to spend time as a family and build anticipation as we approach Christmas.

Mommy Justine also has some great kid-friendly readings for the Advent Wreath.

Use Scripture to countdown to Christmas. Encouraging Moms at Home has a printable calendar of twenty-five Scripture verses that you can use for Scripture memory or even copywork for the whole family as you build up anticipation for the celebration of Christ's birth.

When my children were younger, I read about the Jesse Tree Advent countdown and immediately knew I wanted to adopt this as a tradition. The Jesse Tree counts down to Christ's birth by looking at Scripture all the way from the beginning and following God's redemptive plan throughout. It's an awesome big picture way to look at the importance of celebrating Christ's birth at Christmas. I wrote about our Jesse Tree for the Family, Faith, and Fridays blog here.

Scripture Confident Living has more good resources for the Jesse Tree if you have preschoolers.

Focus on the Family has a cool printable set that counts down to Christmas with Scripture readings and a Nativity scene to build.

The Elf on the Shelf and Alternatives


The Elf on the Shelf is a wildly popular countdown to Christmas. I have to admit that I never got into this one. My kids were a little too old when the Elf came out, and I thought the whole set up each night thing seemed a little intimidating. But...if you like the idea of the Elf, Pinterest abounds with ideas of what to do with your Elf.

I like the Truth in the Tinsel alternative to the elf. This is an ebook set that has Scripture reading, talking points, an activity, and a printable ornament for each day.

Reindeer in Here comes with a cute reindeer that arrives the first day of December. Instead of having to remember to set up your reindeer each night, the idea is that the child carries the reindeer around throughout the month so that the reindeer can get to know the child and let Santa know when he arrives with gifts on Christmas Eve.

Melk the Christmas Monkey is another alternative that turns the focus to Christ. Melk is a cute monkey that comes with a book that has Bible lessons and activities for the whole family.

The Shepherd on the Search is an activity set that comes with a shepherd and a book. Each night the shepherd is hidden for the kids to find the next day. The idea is to move the shepherd closer to the nativity scene as you progress toward Christmas.

Homeschooling Throughout Advent


Make your Christmas countdown educational with the Christmas STEM Challenge printable at Schooling a Monkey. This is an awesome calendar-style printable with twenty-five (or more) STEM activities that you can do throughout the Advent season.

If you are homeschooling preschoolers, Tales of Beauty for Ashes has some great daily ideas of fun and learning activities for preschoolers  for each day of Advent.

Everyday Graces has a beautiful Advent book filled with Charlotte Mason inspired activities for every day of Advent. There are hymn studies, handicrafts, copywork, and many more fun family activities. This is a great resources to help you homeschool throughout Advent.

Scripture Adventure has a cool Christmas countdown resource for homeschoolers. Each day you'll learn about a new symbol of Christmas and how it relates to the birth of Christ.

Advent countdown resources

What are some of your family's favorite Advent traditions? I hope you've found some awesome new resources that you can use to build new traditions this season.



Free and Frugal Christmas Books for Your Kindle

11/25/2017
I love to collect Christmas books. Over the years I've built up a pretty big selection. Although I love the feel of a paperback or hardback print book, buying my Christmas books for the Kindle means I can hold on to more books at a time. It also means I can find books more inexpensively because there are so many free and cheap Kindle reads. If you'd like to build up your holiday book collection, you can find some free and frugal books for your Kindle here.

Free and Frugal Christmas Books for Kindle #Christmas

{This post may contain affiliate links.Read my disclosure here. }

All of the books I've listed are under $5 at the time of posting. (Please note: If the listing says free for Kindle Unlimited, you don't read it for free unless you're a Prime member. You can learn more about becoming a Prime member here. I've made sure that the actual prices listed are under $5.) If you don't have a Kindle and want to take advantage of these book deals, download the Kindle app for any mobile device or for your desktop here for free.

If you're looking for a great Kindle option for kids, the Kindle Fire Kids Edition is a great choice. It's a fully functioning Kindle Fire, but it also includes a one-year subscription to Amazon Free Time Unlimited where kids can access apps, movies, and books for free. It also has awesome parental controls that allow you to choose exactly what content kids can access.


Christmas Stories for Kids by Uncle Amon (PreK-elementary)





The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Michael and Jan Berenstain (PreK-elementary)




Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson (PreK-early elementary)




Clifford's Christmas by Norman Bridewell (PreK)




Christmas Stories for Kids by Shyla Weston (K-elementary)




The Deep and Snowy Wood by Elwyn Tate (PreK-K)




Goodnight Christmas Tree by Sharlene Alexander (elementary)




The Christmas Owl by Angela Muse (PreK-early elementary)




The Itsy Bitsy Snowman by Jeffery Burton (PreK)




The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll (early elementary)




Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh (preK-early elementary)




Turkey Claus by Wendi Silvano (preK)




Sneezy the Snowman by Maureen Wright (early elementary)




A Christmas Surprise by Jennifer Carter (early elementary)




Oscar's Lonely Christmas by Holly Web (elementary)






Free and Frugal Christmas Books for Kindle #Christmas

 
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