Madelin enjoying her new sundress

I love that ALL the sponsored children through Compassion International receive a special Christmas gift from funds pooled together by all the sponsors.  Bryan’s response to receiving a mattress just brings me to tears. Aswathi in India has written thank you’s the past couple of years for the new churidar traditional dress that she received, which have been very precious gifts to her.

For my World Vision children, I can send small gifts directly to their country.  The sheer joy on Madelin’s countenance for receiving the sundress that I sewed for her (though worn backwards!) spoke a thousand words to my heart.  What a transformation from her sad face in her other photos!

 In addition to gifts, here are a few of my favorite Christmas paper gifts and printables for children.

Advent Calendars

advent_spanishI loved having an advent calendar as a child… such delight and anticipation for opening each little door!  Vermont Christmas Company is a wonderful source for purchasing advent calendars of all sizes… and such beautiful one too!  I especially love this one, Noche de Paz, not only for the adorable artwork, but because it’s in Spanish.  Check out their clearance calendars too.

Printable Nativities

crecheCréchemania is my favorite source for beautiful vintage creches to print out for my kids.  Many of their designs are available as free downloads.  I’ve started a tradition of sending them a different one each year.  This was last year’s crech that I chose.  Rather than sending them unassembled,  I cut out each one and taped the pieces together, and folded them flat for mailing.


I love this simple nativity set done in lovely watercolors…  It’s the first set I’ve seen in watercolors, as well as the first to have the animals all sleeping!  You can choose the full color version, or opt for b/w set for your child to color himself.

nativity-finger-puppetsHere’s a sweet set of nativity finger puppets that I sent to my younger children one year.  My older children received the beautiful nativity set pictured below to color for themselves.  One thing I like about this set is that all the pieces are designed to stand up by themselves… no extra strips are required.  You can add double sided sticky squares to the closing tabs for the people, which can be found in scrapbooking supplies.

Here is another variation of a sweet nativity set for your child to color and cut out… this one has lots of sheep!


Christmas Decorations

I loved making these Scandinavian Christmas Hearts years ago for decorations.

Swedish_Heart_OrnamentAnother childhood favorite!  Old-fashioned Christmas paper chain garlands to make easily with the sets from Oriental Paper Trading.


Other Christmas Playsets

Here are the most adorable gingerbread houses!  My favorites are the these two, the forest scene by Shirley and the frosty gingerbread house by Jennifer.

forest-gingerbreadhouse frosty-gingerbreadhouse

Nativity Coloring Pages

Don’t forget a Christmas nativity coloring page…  there are so many wonderful pages to choose from!  This is one of my favorites because of all the beautiful detail for the scene.

manger_scene_coloringAnd I love this one of the children gathered around to bring their gifts to baby Jesus.


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Next… the Winter Season

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