Patriotic Activities for the Family

We are a very patriotic family and I thought it would be fun to pull together some of the best patriotic activities for the family to do together. These would be perfect for Memorial Day, July 4th and Veteran's Day. Don't forget about Flag Day, and Patriot Day!

Patriotic Activities for the Family | www.joyinthehome.com

Patriotic Activities for the Family

There is nothing more patriotic to do than to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.  This printable Pledge of Allegiance will help your children understand what it means while they work to memorize it.

Our family loves patriotic music. One of our favorite collection of songs is Wee Sing Book & CD. It has so many patriotic songs that kids will just love to learn how to sing about our country, flag and message.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the best tips around the web for families to do together. Patriotic holidays are days that family should be together enjoying one another and the freedoms that our past, present and future military sacrifice to uphold for all citizens.

Raising your children to have some wonderful family memories around these patriotic days are a wonderful way to raise children who are thankful for their country and their military.

PATRIOTIC CRAFTS

4th-of-July-Craft-Idea-Patriotic-Kids-Blower-fb-600x600


Patriotic Kids Blowers Craft Idea
is a fun way to get your children creating and having fun with the patriotic colors of red, white and blue.

Bald Eagle Craft is a great way to introduce your family to our national bird.

This Patriotic Cutting Practice printable is a great way to get your younger kids involved with the crafts as well.

Your toddlers may love this Patriotic Discovery Bottle.

Have fun competing to create the best American flag with this Red, White, and Blue Homemade Play Dough.

PATRIOTIC BOOKS

I love reading to my children. These are some great books to read around any patriotic day that will give them a heart for their country.


PATRIOTIC DECORATIONS

I love seeing patriotic decorations. I thought it would be fun for me to share some a few of my favorite ones that I want to do with my own family.

These are just adorable!

 

I could so pack these for our annual picnics at the local park.

 

 

PATRIOTIC FOOD

Almost every year, we go to enjoy watching outdoor concerts and fireworks on July 4th. We take a cooler full of refreshing food, and I have been so inspired by some of my finds on Pinterest that I may just go over board this year.

You just have to love these ideas!

 

 

 

 

 

PATROTIC FUN

I have some many memories of sparklers, streamers and laughter leading up to the firework for the 4th of July. It is one of my favorite memories as a children that surrounds a holiday. My dad served in the military, as did all of his brothers and his father. Patriotic holidays were important in our family, and I have made it important in my own family, as well.

Glowsticks and Glow wands seem to be as popular today. I love that they help to keep your kids lit up when it grows dark.

Enjoy parades, concerts and fireworks, if they have them going on in your area.

My last recommendation is something that I hope you will do all year long with your family. If you come across a veteran (they often wear hats to share their service) or a solider in uniform, take a moment and thank them for their service to our country.

The recognition isn't something that they expect but when you do it, it brings pure joy to their eyes like you wouldn't expect to see. The one act of kindness can impact a veteran or current soliders life in a way that you don't even understand.

7 Ways to Spread the Christmas Spirit

Christmas spirit. We heard this term often, but do we really stop to consider what it looks like or feels like? I know that for most people, the Christmas season is spent with shopping lists, purchases, parties, wrapping and longing for the season to pass to get back to a normalcy to live.

Several years ago, our family took a step back and evaluated the Christmas season and what it looked like to our family. It was during that time that we replaced our tree with a manger. It seemed like a perfect solution for our young family to keep the reason of the season in front of us, as we made some transitions.

7 Ways to Spread the Christmas Spirit - Want to help your family ponder the reason for the season? These ways will help you do just that! | www.joyinthehome.com

7 Ways to Spread the Christmas Spirit

I don’t know many people who don’t love Christmas. In fact, I know quite a few that get so excited about decorations, lights, baking, gift giving and more long before the weather even really changes.

As a Christian, I love to see people getting excited about the season that is related to the birth of our Savior, but many times He is forgotten in the celebrations.

It is a family focus of ours to do what we can do to help spread the Christmas spirit, you know the reason of the season, to those that are within our path to reach.

If you are like our family, and you desire to really make the most of this season to bring joy into other’s lives, you will love these family fun ideas to spread the Christmas spirit each holiday.

Give Baked Goods to Your Neighbors

As long as I can remember, making baked goods for others is a part of my history. When we bought our first home, I was eager to pass on this tradition with our own neighbors and share some of the goodness of the season with those that often times can be strangers.

It is simple to do.

Just purchase some heavy duty red plastic plates and plastic wrap, and added a few types of baked goods to each plate for the number of houses that you want to bless. Add a little note to each, and deliver it. There is no need for them to return any dishes!

Go Christmas Caroling

I remember Christmas caroling when I was a teenager. I loved it!

A few years ago, my family church went caroling in our neighbor. We delivered baked goods at the same time, along with an invite to join us for church.

We actually have good friends because of it!

I remember one family actually said, “I didn’t realize people actually do this!” Then they tipped up. We just added it to the church funds.

Volunteer at a Soup Kitchen

Our daughter cooks for the homeless once a month, and loves it. There are always opportunities to volunteer within your community. Seek out a church that does outreach opportunities and ask for referrals for places you, too, can serve.

Donate Toys, Food or Clothes to the Needy

Donating is a wonderful way to spread the Christmas spirit. There are a lot of ministries that do this thing, but if you know of someone personally, why not just purchase them somethings and drop it off on their porch in a box, without a note.

We did this before, and it was one of the best things we did as a family.

Visit an Elderly Person Your Family Knows

We are blessed to be in a church that has many older people in the congregation.

Our culture is so busy for them, and they love how much we enjoy to just sit and visit with them. Hearing stories of their childhood, and hardships are the highlight of our time together.

You may be surprised just how much spirit this one thing can give to you, and to them!

Invite Your Friends, Family and Neighbors to Church

I’m often convicted that I don’t enough to spread His joy to others. Christmas is the perfect time to invite others to church, because it is the one time of the year where Christ gets some thought. The season alone often softens the hardest of hearts.

Did you know that most people who don’t attend church would be open to attending but they often don’t know where to go, or feel welcomed?

You can make a big difference with an invite!

Acknowledge Those that Keep Christ in Christmas

Our family enjoys a Nativity Scavenger Hunt each year (I share the printable for free). A reader emailed me and told me that they have a tradition of acknowledging those who keep Christ in Christmas by displaying a manger, or nativity scene. She was sweet enough to let me share this idea with you.

I created a free printable for you to carry on this wonderful tradition with your own family! Get yours here: Christ In Christmas!

In the end, it is people who carry the Christmas spirit and it is our responsibility to demonstrate the love, joy and peace that makes this season so special.

The more we do for others, the more His light will shine during this season and the rest of the year.

 

A Book List for a Meaningful Christmas

I love taking the month of December as a way to read to my children and have a meaningful Christmas, inspired by stories perfect for this time of the year. This has been a tradition for our homeschooling for over 15 years and one that I look forward to with excitement. I have so many memories of finding picture books that I thought were going to be just good reads with beautiful illustrations, to only find me crying as I read them to my children. This is what keeps me coming back to reading Christmas books each year.

A Book List for a Meaningful Christmas | www.joyinthehome.com

A Book List for a Meaningful Christmas

Christmas Tapestry is a story about how a tapestry that was used to cover the damage left behind from a leaking roof, lead an old Jewish woman to recognize the importance of this tapestry.

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story is about a boy who hope and waits year after year for a desired package from a train that delivers gifts to children. This book brings the true story of Christmas to the reader.

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale is a warm book that is full of beautiful illustrations of what it could have been like the night Jesus was born.

Jacob's Gift is a cherished book of mine, as it shares the truth about giving our best in what we do for others.

The First Christmas Night is a book with beautiful illustrations of telling the story of the birth of Jesus.

This Is the Stable is a fun book that shares the story of the Nativity in lyrical verses.

Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent is a book full of suspense and adventure, as it leads you through the Advent season and ends in the same town that the Messiah is born.

Bartholomew's Passage: A Family Story for Advent is a story that is spun off from Jotham's Journey and one that will have you just as captive, as it guides you through the Advent celebration.

Tabitha's Travels: A Family Story for Advent is the third book in this set and true to the adventure and suspense as the other two, as their stories are spun together. This too will guide you through the Advent season.

Legend of the Christmas Stocking is a book that will share the legend of how the Christmas stocking tradition started and will bring giving from the heart a focus.

The Legend of the Candy Cane is a wonderful story about the beginning of the candy cane. This story will make one of the most popular Christmas candies one of your favorites.

 

The Crippled Lamb is a wonderful book about acknowledging God's purpose for all of us and that things that make us different from others can be used for His purpose.

The Christmas Star is a simple book that tells of the star that lead the Wise Men to worship the Messiah.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is an inspiring story that brings a broken and lonely man to a place of enjoying Christmas again, as he carves a special nativity scene for a mother and her son.

J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told is the story of the candy cane and how it represents our gift in Jesus.

Lucy's Christmas is a book set in the turn of the 20th Century, when Christmas was a simple holiday of giving homemade gifts and traditions that most children do not have personal experiences with and family was the focus.

AN Orange for Frankie is a story that will have you reaching for tissues.  This true story is one that I think about each Christmas season, as its story of giving is played out through the book. I love it so much that I wrote about it at the Homeschool Village and created a printable for your family to be like Frankie! (Don't miss the opportunity to get the free ebook, by subscribing to their blog)

Desire a Christ focused Christmas? These resource will help you create it with hands-on activities focusing on Christ!

Truth in the Tinsel ebook

A Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt

I love nativity scenes. I own three already, and I’m always looking for one to add to our yard.  Our family loves going to look at Christmas lights together, as I'm sure most families do! Over the many years of this tradition, we have noticed how nativity scene are harder to find, and more Santa Claus and Disney things are making their way into decorations.

A Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt | www.joyinthehome.com

A Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt

We started to make it about a game to see who could spot a nativity scene, or baby Jesus first. The kids really were enjoying the hunt we embarked on every Christmas season.

In the attempt to saturate our family with a Christ Centered Christmas, I have created a Family Nativity Scavanger Hunt for us to do together, while keeping that excitement to ‘seek Jesus like the Wise men did long, long ago’.

Get your Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt.

You can print one per family or one per person.

You may want to take a clip board or hard books to use as a hard surface. And don't forget a pencil or pen to mark off your finds.  You may just be surprised how much of a hunt this turns out to be.

Your children may love to dress up as ‘wise men', as they go out looking for the nativity.

To add to our family tradition, we like to bringing some hot cocoa and snacks, with Christmas music playing in the vehicle!

I hope your family will enjoy the hunt as much as we will.

Do you want more Christ centered activities? These resources will help you do just that!

 

Truth in the Tinsel ebook

10 Water Activities – No Pool Required

Everyone loves beating the heat, but not everyone has a pool at their disposal.  Although we can go to a pool often, I know my boys would love to have some refreshing water activities to enjoy the summer months and so I went looking… on Pinterest, because where else would you find such good ideas?

I wanted some new ideas, ones that my children may not have enjoyed yet and I found some!

10 WATER ACTIVITIES - No Pool Required - Bring some new ideas to your summer! | www.joyinthehome.com

Here are 10 Water Activities – No Pool Required

  1. Sponge Water Bombs – These are as fun as they sound and I can't wait to bombard my husband when he returns home from a long hot day, because we roll that way in our home.
  2. Water Balloon Pinatas – This idea takes water bowls (one of my families favorite summer fun) to a whole new level of fun.
  3. Hand Eye Coordination Play – My son absolutely loved this summer fun – all year long! And he still does!
  4. Marble Run Water Slide – What a ‘cool' idea to get the kids playing outside, splashing in the water and having fun together.
  5. Roll Six and SPLASH! – What a fun game that can be played and enjoyed by the youngest and oldest members of your family.
  6. Bobbing for Nemo – This twist for bobbing for apples would be a big hit in our home.
  7. DIY Water Slide – One of my children's favorite thing to do is summer is to attach a hose to our play set and create their own water slide.  They will go up and down that slide for as long as we allow them to run the water.
  8. Water Balloon Slingshot – We picked up one of these at the summer clearance sale and we were smart enough to buy two of them. Instead of ‘dodge ball' we are going to play ‘dodge balloon' and I. CAN. NOT. WAIT!
  9. Water Table – This was a great invention for little ones! They just love to pour and dump.
  10. DIY Slip N' Slide – Purchase a good size tarp, add a small amount of dish soap and then the water. This will prove to be a great cooling off activity the whole family would enjoy!  Of course, you will need to see who slides the furthest, so consider water prove shoes as markers. If you have a lot of space, you may want to purchase the world's longest backyard slip n' slide!



You may also like How to Make Summer Learning Feel Like a Vacation

How to Make Summer Learning Feel Like a Vacation - Fill the months of summer with learning that is fun for the whole family! | www.joyinthehome.com

7 Ways to Remove Holiday Stress

Christmas can easily be the most stressful times of the year, yet we all love the season. It is so important to learn how to remove holiday stress before it takes away the things we love best about this season.

7 Ways to Remove Holiday Stress | www.joyinthehome.com

  1. Limit Holiday Parties – Everyone throws parties this time of the year, but if you already decided that you are only going to attend a certain number and stick to it, you can help limit the number of parties and thus the stress of being out of the house so much.
  2. Do Shopping Online – Shopping in your PJs is priceless. We love our Amazon Prime Membership because we can get our items in two days, with free shipping.
  3. Bake with Friends – Why not get friends together to bake! Have each friend bring their own recipe and ingredients. You each work on your own recipe or help each other until the baking is done, while enjoying the fellowship of each other.
  4. Put Addresses for Cards in Your Computer – Organizing the address to those you send cards to every year can cut down a big chore, once it is done. My favorite place to get holiday photo cards will even mail them to your individual list, but they need the list first. Do it once and it is done.
  5. Put Up Less Decorations – Decking your halls can be so overwhelming, both in setting up and taking down. Why not decorate the main portions of your home with minimal decorations and let less be more!
  6. Learn How to Say NO – The holiday season is so easy to get overwhelmed with over committing. Learning to say ‘no' to the pressures around you is so important to keeping the holiday stress low.
  7. Include Some Quiet Traditions into Your Calendar – Our family loves to add quiet traditions to our holiday season. These are the best things for our home when the stress of Christmas gets out of hand and we need to pull ourselves together and regroup.

7 Ways You Can Buy for Others While Spending Less

Christmas shopping can get really expensive when you are buying for so many people.  Finding ways to give to those on our list is always important to keeping our budget in place and keeping us spending less.

7 Ways You Can Buy For Others While Spending Less | www.joyinthehome.com

  1. Shop Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales – I'm always amazed at the prices that come out on Black Friday (or trigger happy Thursday these days) and last through Cyber Monday (or Cyber week so it seems).  Even if you don't like to hit the roads and fit the crowds, you can take advantage of all kinds of deals online during these amazing sales days.  It is important to have your list ready and ready for the sales to take advantage of these.
  2. Sign Up for Emails for Your Favorite Places to Purchase Gifts – I have my favorite stores for shopping for loved ones, so I make sure I am signed up for email deals to these places, and check them often to ensure that I know what is on sale and who I'm shopping for on my list.
  3. Exchange Names for Extended Family – Buying gifts for your immediately family can always hit you hard financially, but then you have the extended family to buy for and it can be financial suicide if you aren't careful of your spending. The best way to stay on top of your spending is to exchange names with your siblings and their children.  Sibling picking for siblings and cousins picking for cousins. It can really make a quick difference in spending less and everyone will have a gift on Christmas. When clean up is done, pick names for next year, but be sure that you always end up with different names than what you just had.
  4. Bake for Friends, Neighbors and Co-Workers – Baking holiday goodies is one of the best way to spread the holiday budget. Always make your best recipe or two… okay, maybe three!  Divide the recipe up with the number of people you are blessing and put them on dollar store plates and festive color wraps to make them look amazing. They will love getting something homemade, and your budget will be happier.
  5. DIY Gifts – Make something instead of buying it! DIY ornaments or aprons can be cherished for years. You can spend the year making gifts for loved ones and enjoy quiet celebrations while everyone else is going crazy shopping the holiday season away.
  6. Consignment and Yard Sales – Our family loves to visit consignment shops and yard sales. It is amazing the kind of things you can find there, including things that have never been used. Sometimes, you can find things that would be perfect for a DIY project that would be just what someone on your list would want and cherish for years. One of my favorite things is picture frames, just add the right family photo!
  7. Shop Christmas Eve and After Christmas Clearances – Often times, the stores will have great last minutes sales for the procrastinators. You are taking a gamble of what you can get for a good price, but often times worth it. I love purchasing holiday themed gifts during the after Christmas clearance season.

I linked up at Thrifty Thursday.

7 Quiet Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Season

Christmas can seem so loud with activity and busyness that often times, we aren't really enjoying it.  It can be such an amazing time of the year, if we just allowed ourselves time to be quiet and simply enjoy the season with family.

7 Quiet Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Season | www.joyinthehome.com

 

7 Quiet Ways to Enjoy the Christmas Season

  1. Watch the Snow Fall – Assuming you get snow in December! We all love the first snow of the year.  It is mesmerizing to just watch it fall. I love to take photos of it coming down and covering the tress. There is nothing like a December snowfall, so taking time to just stop and enjoy its beauty should be one of the first things you do when you notice it falling.
  2. Listen to Christmas Music with Only the Christmas Lights On – There is just something about soft Christmas music playing while all the house lights are off and only the lights of Christmas illuminate the house. It is so relaxing and refreshing. Children can quietly play with their toys on the floor and you can just take in the sweetness of a quiet evening and the blessings of family.
  3. Read a Christmas Novel with Your Family – I love to read Christmas themed books, both for myself and for my family. I have my favorite picture books that I love to read to my younger children every year, but I also have some books that are perfect for the Advent studies.  I also have some that are my own books.
  4. Make S'mores by the Living Room Fire – One of American's favorite dessert that has been bringing families together for a long time, is also a perfect way to usher in a quiet evening with the family. It would be the perfect time to share your favorite family stories.
  5. Watch Christmas Movies – I absolutely love the Hallmark movies for Christmas. There are some movies that are by far my favorite that I enjoy watching with my family time and time again.
  6. Go for a Drive in Your PJs to Look at Christmas Lights – We love to go for a drive to look at Christmas lights, but have turned it into a nativity scavenger hunt. We may just have to take it to the next level and dress in our PJs, since we are always so tired by the time we return home.
  7. Look at Family Photos of Christmas' Past – Our family loves to look at family photos. Christmas is the time of year that just makes the tradition more inviting to just settle in and laugh over the photos that mean most to us.  You can even make a photo book of your favorite ones together and give them as gifts.

How to Make a Manger

Have you ever considered having a manger to celebrate Christmas? If you are looking to make a manger yourself, here is how we made ours.

How to Make a Manger | www.joyinthehome.com

Our daughter wanted to make her own headboard out of barn wood, so my husband asked his relative in Pennsylvania if they had any laying around that she could use. He blessed us with many planks of 100 year old wood that was harvested on the family land, which makes it have it own history for our family and beautiful.  We decided to make another manger with our left over wood.

How to Make a Manger

Here is what you will need:

  • 2 – 25 inches long wood, at least 8 inches wide
  • 2 – 12 inches long wood, at least 8 inches wide
  • 1 or 2 pieces of wood to make the bottom
  • Angle tool
  • A table saw or another saw to cut with
  • Nail gun or hammer
  • Nails

Manger angle the cut | www.joyinthehome.com

My husband angled each cut 12.5 degrees. You can either use an angle tool, like above or an attachment on the table saw, like below, to easily do the cut.

manger table saw cut | www.joyinthehome.com

Once you have two pieces for the long side (25 inches before the angel cut) and two pieces for the short sides (12 inches before the angle cut), you can begin to construct them together, using a nail gun or hammer and nails.

manger putting it together | www.joyinthehome.com

After you get the walls of the manger put together, you will need to put a bottom on it. Measure yours to be certain of the length and width needed. You can use one or two pieces to make the bottom. You can see that we used two pieces of our scrap wood to make our bottom.

manger bottom | www.joyinthehome.com

That is all it takes to make a manger!  It took us about an hour to put ours together and we absolutely love sharing the story of how we got the wood.

manger complete | www.joyinthehome.com

Check out Why a Manger Replaced Our Christmas Tree.

A Collection of Nativity Activities

Our family replaced our Christmas tree with a manger, and ever since, I love finding good ideas that surround the nativity story.

A Collection of Nativity Activities | www.joyinthehome.com

A Collection of Nativity Activities

Matchbox Manger Craft by The Craft Train
Journey to Bethlehem Small World Play by Adventures in Mommydom
Little Drummer Boy by Every Star Is Different
Handprint Angels by My Little 3 and Me
Simple Cheap Nativity That Children Can Really Play With by My Mundane and Miraculous Life

Nativity-Sensory-Bin

 

Nativity Sensory Bin by Golden Reflections Blog
Sun Catcher Nativity Scene by Peace Creek on the Prairie
A Felt Nativity Story by Stay at Home Educator
Nativity Ornament Tutorial by Crafting and Creativity
Nativity Wood Chip Style by Create It! Go

familynativitylead

A Family Nativity Scavenger Hunt by Teachers of Good Things
Painted Rock Nativity Set by Painting Rocks
Stable Ornament by Adventures of a DIY Mom
Free Printable Bible Town and Figures by Bible Based Homeschool
A Manger of Their Own by Teachers of Good Things

toilet-roll-nativity-set

Toilet Roll Nativity Set by Happy Hooligans
Truth in the Tinsel by Oh Amanda
Celebrate Jesus Resources by Homeschool Encouragement

A Summer Project to Benefit Orphans

Summer is a good time to get out of the books and into serving others. I would love to share with you a summer project that we are going to be doing in our home this summer and ask you to join us!  You won't be sorry if you did and you will be teaching your children the joy of blessing others.

A Summer Project to Benefit Orphans - It doesn't take much to make a world of difference to an orphan. | www.joyinthehome.com

There is an orphanage in Palawan, Philippines that is close to my heart.  This orphanage, Door of Hope Palawan was started by my childhood Pastor's family and is being ran by them today.  I would love to introduce you to them and share a summer project that is easy and rewarding, but most importantly it will benefit the orphans who call Door of Hope Palawan their home.

I would like to share with you the words of my childhood Pastor, John Stutzman:

“The vision for this work came to me very suddenly and with great impact in a most unlikely place. It was the year 2001 and I was at the fruit and vegetable market in Puerto Princesa, the capital city of the island of Palawan. At this market poor children can often be seen selling large plastic bags to people who use them to consolidate their purchases. One of these children approached me and, as was my custom, I gave him much more than he asked, and told him to keep it to buy some food. He didn’t leave immediately, but stood a few yards away staring at me with a smile that made me wonder if he thought I was an angel or something.

What happened next effected my life dramatically…”

Read the rest of his story here.

What makes Door of Hope Palawan Worth Your Summer Attention?

Most orphanages are started by the hearts of missionaries living in the locations they are serving and seeing the needs, just like Door of Hope Palawan.

I can personally speak to the hearts of John, his daughter Anne and her husband, Luke, who run Door of Hope Palawan. They love people and love serving them, as they share the love of Jesus with them.  They are missionaries first and have a heart for these fatherless children.

Within a small and faithful church in New York, this pastor's vision was started.  They didn't approach me for help, I asked them how I could help them.  You see, when you read YWAM missionary stories to your children, you can't just sit back and believe that God will meet the needs of those doing His work, without you.  We all have a part to play in His plan… and this is my part!

What is your part?

Door of Hope Palawan Orphanage

A Summer Project to Benefit Orphans

Door of Hope Palawan has many needs, but nothing as important as sponsoring an orphan. They are not licensed to offer adoptions, so once a child comes to their orphanage, it is their child to raise and disciple for the Lord. We joyfully sponsor one child and would love to show you how you could do this easily for a summer project.

  • Sponsor One Child for $25 a month – It still amazes me that the basic need of a child in the Philippines can be met with only $25. This may be something your own family would like to do on your own, like we do. It is easy to do through Paypal.  If you ever find that it isn't something you can still do, you can easily cancel your sponsorship and know that you have helped a great deal already.
  • Sponsor One Child for a year for only $300 – This is a great summer project! Raise money from those you know to unity to sponsor one child for a year. This can be done as a homeschool group, a church's youth group, young adult group, a church, or a neighborhood.  Take a mason jar to the events you go to and ask those there for just their change (some may be dollar bills in their and that is okay) because most people carry change and will easily give that to a good cause.
  • Donate to a Current Need – Door of Hope Palawan has current needs in addition to providing and caring for their orphans.  I would encourage you to help spread the word to local businesses to donate what they can for these needs.  It is a write-off and many times they are looking for great causes to support for just this reason.

Sponsor a Door of Hope Palawan Child for only $25 a month www.joyinthehome.com

Please help spread the word and use the icons below to Pin this, Tweet it, Share it on Facebook and more.


Get involved in other charities year round, with A Yearly Schedule for Family Charity Fun

A Year Schedule for Family Charity Fun - Raise children that think about their community and helping those that are less fortunate with these easy ways to make a big difference. | www.joyinthehome.com

10 Meaningful Last Minute Gifts

I know a last minutes shopper or two. I think most everyone does. You may be one yourself. If you are, these 10 meaningful last minute gifts could help you when you are trying to get everything on your list done quickly.

10 Meaning Last Minute Gift Ideas | www.joyinthehome.com

Here are 10 meaningful last minute gifts:

  1. JewelryNecklaces are great for women and watches are great for men. However, rings and earrings are also a great last minute idea.  When I bought my husband his watch, I also bought a stuffed animal and put it around the neck of the bear and wrapped the scarf of the bear around the watch. It took him a little while to see the watch but when he did he was really surprised!
  2. Bible – Have their name added to it, for a more meaningful gift. Most Christian Book stores can add a name to it within a few minutes. I purchased one for my hubby a few years ago and had my nickname for him put on the Bible. The man doing it asked me a few times if I was sure that I wanted to put ‘that' on the Bible. I assured him that I did and my husband loved it. I call him ‘Smexy' – which is a combination of ‘smart' and ‘sexy'.
  3. Coat/Jacket – A dressy coat or jacket would be a meaningful gift that will keep you in the mind of the receiver for a long time.
  4. Scarves – Infinity scarves are becoming very popular for women. Men are starting to wear more dressy scarves with their dress jackets, as well.
  5. Electronics – Who would love something electronic, like an ipod, ipad, Kindle Fire or an upgrade on their smart phone? If you are splurging on some electronics for a music lover, don't forget to purchase an iTune gift card to get them started with their favorite music!
  6. Perfume – Buying a fragrance that you love for the one you love, even if it is a last minute gift will be one that will bring a smile! I remember the first time I bought a cologne for my husband, we were engaged. He let me wear his sweater home on night, a few weeks before we were married and I slept with the sweater, just to keep smelling this fragrance that make me think of him!
  7. Kerigs – With the love of specialty coffees, the Kerig is one appliance that seems to quite popular in many homes. If you don't have one, it could be a great last minute gift idea that would be sure to please. Don't forget to get a good supply of flavors.
  8. Camera – In the world of digital photography, so many are falling in love with taking their own photographs and finding hobbies in photography.  You could always start with a point and shoot camera or a DSLR camera, like Nikon (I love mine!).  If they already have a DSL, consider accessories like an upgraded lens or a tri-pod.
  9. Tools – Both men and women need tools – men need them for the garage and women need them for the kitchen.  I'm not very good with knowing what tools my husband needs, but I remember one Christmas surprising him with a miter saw! Most women love Kitchenaid Mixers and high end knives.
  10. A Getaway – Giving a getaway that is a last minute gift idea will be one thing that looks like you spent a long time putting together. If you go with this idea, be sure to add a few gifts under the tree for an outfit or two that can be used on the getaway.

Did you know that you could try Amazon Prime for 30 days for free and it comes with 2 days free shipping on thousands of items? It also includes unlimited streaming of popular TV series and movies, plus free borrowing of ebooks.