10 {More} Favorite Christmas Albums!

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It’s been a while since I posted about my favorite Christmas albums! Three years to be exact. And while those albums are all still favorites of mine, being a Christmas music fanatic, I’ve added many new favorites to the list as well!

Here are ten MORE favorite Christmas albums, in no particular order…

More Favorite Christmas Albums

Pentatonix – PTXMAS

This is a new discovery for us. Along with everyone else on the Internet, we fell in love with their a cappella version of Little Drummer Boy and I immediately wanted the whole album. I’m a sucker for a capella.

Casting Crowns – Peace on Earth

I love their versions of Christmas classics, but the real winners on this album are the original songs, Peace on Earth and While You Were Sleeping.

Chris Tomlin – Glory in the Highest

Well, our household loves anything Chris Tomlin does and this album is no exception. Just beautiful. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus is a special treat.

Third Day – Christmas Offerings

I have to admit, I wasn’t a big Third Day fan until we saw them in concert at Lifelight several years ago. Now I just love them. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” is a favorite.

A Very She & Him Christmas

Please tell me you know about this album?!?! I love Zooey Deschanel’s voice and this album is full of just plain fun Christmas music!

A Slugs and Bugs Christmas

This is a MUST HAVE for the kids, but I enjoy it as well! Happy Birthday Jesus is the most fun {replacing the song of the same name I have never cared for} and there are so many other fun ones your whole family will love!

BarlowGirl – Home for Christmas

These girls know how to rock, but they also put out a great Christmas album! Love their voices and

WOW Christmas {2013}

This is at the top of my want list right now! The WOW Christmas albums are always packed with lots of Christmas goodies!

Glee Christmas {Volume 2 + Volume 3}

Just like Volume 1, Glee continues to produce fabulous Christmas music on volumes 2 and 3! I can’t wait for volume 4 to be revealed this week!

Elf Soundtrack

Did you know Elf has been out for 10 years now?! I love all Christmas movies {currently addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies}, but Elf has taken my #1 favorite spot and the great music is one of the reasons why.

And I have to add one favorite song that will totally brighten your day…

Your turn! Favorite Christmas albums? New or classic?

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Getting Ready with All Things Christmas!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I know, I know, we’re not officially past Thanksgiving yet, but the countdown to Christmas is getting so close, so I wanted to point you towards a few of our favorite Christmas items so you can get them now!

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1. Truth in the Tinsel

This will be our third year going through Amanda White’s Truth in the Tinsel for Advent. It is such a simple, but powerful way to get children excited about the birth of Jesus. We’ve done the ornaments crafts included in the ebook which are SO cute. We’ve done the printable ornaments that are perfect for when you are short on time. And we’ve also done the Lego version suggested by Stef Layton which really captured the older boys’ attention! It really can be adaptable for lots of ages! When you use the code theboys at checkout, you can get 20% off your ebook purchase! {only good for a discount on the ebook, not ornaments or curriculum}


2. Winter Brick Activities

Speaking of Stef Layton and Legos, the biggest hit at our house these days has been the brick activities ebooks put together by Stef and her oldest son! We loved Fall Brick Activities, and now Winter Brick Activities is available for a whole lot of indoor fun! And, in the spirit of giving, 50% of the proceeds will be donated to Samaritan’s Purse Clean Water Programs! The Fall Brick Activities ebook is only 99¢ right now, and when you use the code BeMerry at checkout, you can get $1 off Winter Brick Activities, making it only $3.99! That’s two brick activity ebooks for only $4.98!

25 Songs of Christmas Sacred Final25 Songs of Christmas Secular Final25 Songs of Christmas Mixed Final

3. 25 Songs of Christmas free printables

I LOVE Christmas music, so a few years ago I started teaching the boys a new Christmas song every day for the 25 days of December leading up to Christmas. It was so fun, so I thought I would share it with all of you with a free printables! I posted these last year, but this is just your friendly reminder to print them out now so you’re ready for December 1st! I made three different versions: sacred songs only, secular songs only, and a mixture of sacred + secular! I hope your family enjoys them as much as we do! {click on the links above to download the one or two or three you want to save and print}

We’ll be directing our home for Christmas Thursday afternoon and Friday as per family tradition and I. CAN’T. WAIT. It really is a magical {but short} time of year!

How are you getting ready for Christmas?

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Merry Larry & the True Light of Christmas!

I have included affiliate links below. When you purchase through these links, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for supporting this site and our sponsorship of our Compassion child, Samson!

I am a sucker for Christmas movies, and even though we usually wait until after Thanksgiving to get out all things Christmas, we had good reason to watch a Christmas movie together as a family last week!

Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas is the newest Veggie Tales Christmas movie and it was a holiday hit with all of us!


Merry Larry & the True Light of Christmas is a fun story of a couple of veggies hired to decorate a mall for Christmas. In the process of dreaming up decor and decking the halls, they lose sight of the true meaning of Christmas until a little girl and an elf named Larry show them what is truly important.


We all gave the movie two thumbs up, but I’ll let the boys each tell you why they loved it so much…

I liked the movie so much because I liked that Si Robertson is in it! And I liked that he said, “That’s a fact, Jack!” I liked when the “yellow guy” put up the lasers in the mall. I liked that they all learned what Christmas is really about. ~Big J

I liked that there is a TobyMac song at the end! I loved the “starburst in a box!” I learned Christmas is a great time to help people! ~Little J

I also greatly enjoyed the character of Silas the Narrator, played by Duck Dynasty’s Si Roberston. He was a great storyteller and brought some fun sayings and humor to the story! The focus on helping others in the story was very clear and impacting to our whole family.

And yes, the music at the end was awesome! Veggie Tales has really had some great music to go with their latest DVDs, including Newsboys performing The League of Incredible Vegetables theme and Owl City + TobyMac with “The Light of Christmas” song at the end of Merry Larry!

Veggie Tales has all sorts of great extras to go with Merry Larry, including a $3 off coupon to use at a retailer near you, coloring sheets {#1, #2, #3}, and two fun crafts to do together here and here!

Which Veggie Tales holiday movie is your favorite?

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Joy to the World! {Merry Christmas from Home with the Boys}

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” ~Luke 2:8-14

Happy Birthday Jesus!

And Merry Christmas from Home with the Boys!

{If you have the Power of Encouragement album from Seeds Family Worship, take a moment to listen to the song “Joy!” It is Luke 2:8-14 set to music and has become one of my favorite Christmas songs! You can also buy just that song (last one on the list) for $.99 on iTunes or Amazon! Enjoy!}

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Our First “Doctor’s Family” Christmas

The last four years, we’ve had it really good during the holidays. With The Hubby being in medical school, Christmas break was two weeks long for all of us. We could travel to both families in no particular rush with plenty of time leftover to enjoy some time off at home as well.

Now, we have entered the residency world.

Forget The Hubby’s two week vacation – he’s working on Christmas Eve AND Christmas Day! And when I tell people that, the most common responses involve that being a bummer for our family.

Sure, it IS somewhat of a bummer, but let me tell you why it’s not bothering me as much as I thought it might.

This is our life now, and one that God called us to, which makes it just right for us. It’s hard to be bummed when you know you are right where God wants you!

The real bummer would be having to be IN the hospital on Christmas. Instead of moping about The Hubby’s work schedule, I’ve been praying for the patients he will be seeing this week. And I’ve been praying for him to be a blessing to them, both on medical terms and otherwise!

Actually, I’m quite excited about some new family traditions we are starting since we will be home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day…

  • Homemade pizza for Christmas Eve dinner after church, followed by a Charlie Brown Christmas and reading Luke 2!
  • Chocolate chip scones for Christmas morning breakfast – the boys LOVE these and it will be surprise for them!
  • Brinner on Christmas night!

We’ve always read Luke 2 on Christmas Eve, but this year we will be doing it home! And we’ve always made a birthday cake for Jesus, but usually it is at Grandpa and Grandma’s house! We baked the cake today and will eat it tomorrow! The boys will open their stockings when they get up in the morning, then we will open presents after The Hubby gets home from work!

Even though it doesn’t look the same as in years past, we are getting to celebrate with extended family as well. The Hubby’s parents were here over the weekend and we’ll be travelling to see my family after Christmas!

Here’s a little look at our home in the days leading up to Christmas this year…

While we’re celebrating here at home, we wish you a blessed Christmas, wherever you may be!

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Christmas with Compassion: It’s About Giving!

You heard a whole lot about Compassion from me back in September, and WOW, that Compassion Bloggers Month made a HUGE impact! So many children sponsored – my heart just sings thinking about it!

And now here we are, in the middle of the Christmas, shopping for family, baking for parties, sending cards to friends…

What about those kids? Can’t we find a little time and generosity for them now to help them meet basic needs?

Believe me, the LAST thing I want to be doing is asking people for money, but I believe in this, friends. And Compassion has made it really easy to bless this Christmas through their Christmas Gift Catalog!

Here’s the deal: I want to challenge you, my friends, as a group, to give $100 {or more} through the Compassion Gift Catalog!

Compassion is working towards a $20,000 Gift Catalog goal and we can do our part if just TEN of us donate $10!

What can your $10 do for someone in need?

  • Help to protect 2+ children from parasites
  • Garden seeds for a family in Africa

Or maybe FIVE of you will give $20? For $20 you could…

  • Protect five children from parasites
  • Provide a Christmas gift for a mom and baby

There are gift options for EVERY budget – from $4 to $150 – and giving whatever you can is exactly what Jesus asks us to do!

Will you join us in meeting these needs and reaching this goal through the gift catalog? If you donate, would you leave a comment or email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com {I will keep names and amounts anonymous!} so we can keep track of our total?

I’m praying over this goal right now, believing God gave the folks at Compassion a vision and a mission and He wants to use all of us to help them reach it! And let’s see if we can meet our goal here by the end of today {Thursday}!

And I have one more opportunity for you to partner with Compassion through Home with the Boys!

Our sponsored child, Samson, is only our sponsored child because of the wonderful individuals and companies who advertise here on our site. I am so grateful for all who have bought sidebar ads throughout the last few years to help support our sponsorship of Samson!

Sidebar ads are only $10 per month and, based on the increase in traffic we’ve been getting lately, that is a steal of a deal! We’re keeping the prices the same because that is the number I feel God gave me and we know this is all from Him!

Looking ahead, I would love to see twelve companies partner with Home with the Boys for four months of advertising in 2013 so we can have the whole year covered in advance!

If you are interested in being one of these twelve partners or doing any advertising at all, please email me at homewiththeboys at gmail dot com to reserve your spot! I only offer four spots per month and will fill them on a first-come, first-serve basis!

Thank you for supporting such an amazing ministry alongside us!

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A Peaceful Christmas Playlist

I don’t know about you, but I’m in desperate need of some peace right now.

Fussy baby, busy holiday season, a house full of boys, the events of last week…

Peace doesn’t seem to stick around for long.

Music is one of the things that brings me peace, so I’ve put together a playlist of peaceful Christmas music that I an turn on whenever I need to quiet my soul.

Here is what’s on my list… {song, artist, album}

And in case you’re looking to buy some new Christmas music this year, I noticed a few of my very FAVORITE Christmas albums are just $5 when you buy the MP3 version on Amazon! Among the 100 albums on sale are A Very She & Him Christmas, Peace On Earth by Casting Crowns, BarlowGirl’s Home For Christmas, and When My Heart Finds Christmas by Harry Connick, Jr.!

What Christmas songs bring you peace during this busy season?


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What I Wore: Christmas Party Casual & A Super Cute Cuff!

The boys and I went to a playgroup Christmas party this morning, and while I’m not one to get TOO decked out in Christmas attire {I left that behind with my elementary school teaching days!}, I do like to put a little Christmas spirit into my look! And that usually means some sparkle or Christmas colors! Today I went with color…

I have plenty of red in my wardrobe thanks to living in Husker Nation, and I adore this green scarf from Lands’ End! My black skinnies and black riding boots are a can’t-miss combo – I can throw on any top with them and feel great for the day!

And then I added my new favorite accessory…

This beautiful leather cuff was made by my new friend, Amber! Amber is a fellow doctor’s wife whom I connected with in this wonderful blogosphere! She is so sweet AND talented!

Amber recently opened an online shop with a gorgeous line of leather cuffs like mine…

Choisi = Chosen in French.

Such a lovely – and needed – reminder to keep around my wrist, especially on those days I don’t think I can handle it all. God CHOSE me to be The Hubby’s wife, the boys’ mom, a homemaker, writer, and more. And He CHOSE me as His daughter. I’m getting all emotional just pondering it now.

Amber has several other phrases on cuffs, including “REDEEMED” and “BE STILL.” I love the chunky look with a pretty flower to top it off – parallels my life as a girly-girl boy mom, don’t you think?! 

There are two sets of snaps on each cuff, so it will fit any wrist just right!

Each cuff is only $24! You can also get a cuff without a flower for $20 and a petite floral cuff for just $18.50!

Hop on over to her shop to finish up your Christmas shopping and add one for yourself! Use the code HWTB at checkout for free shipping!

OOH! And Amber is giving away one “BE STILL” cuff to one of you! Leave a comment to be entered!

For extra optional entries, “like” The Unconventional Doctor’s Wife on Facebook or follow her on Twitter and leave a separate comment telling me you did so!

This giveaway will go fast – get your entries in before 9:00 p.m. CST Thursday, December, 13th! One winner will be chosen at random and notified by email!

And stop by The Pleated Poppy for all of the What I Wore fun today and every Wednesday!


*I received a cuff to review, but I only share because I LOVE! I was not compensated in any other way for this post!


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10 Christmas Children’s Books to Love

We have a whole stack of Christmas books that come out the day after Thanksgiving every year along with the tree, decorations, and music! Reading Christmas books with the boys is a true delight of the season for me! Here are a few of our favorites, some old and some brand new to us this year…

Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate

This adorable board book is written from the perspective of the animals in the stable awaiting the arrival of a special guest on Christmas Eve. I love the anticipation of Jesus’s birth the book portrays in the animals – it has always made the boys excited as well!

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones

This book is written by the author of the Jesus Storybook Bible – enough said, right?! Song of the Stars shows all of Creation rejoicing at the coming of the Savior – lions and trees and stars and more!

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa T. Bergren

We love all of Lisa’s God Gave Us books, but the Christmas is super sweet. Inquisitive Little Cub starts by asking his mama, “Who invented Christmas?” and she goes on to answer his many questions about the holiday. Little Cub reminds me of our own curious boys!

The Friendly Beasts: an old English Christmas carol

I’m just noticing how many of our favorite Christmas books involve animals…

This beautifully illustrated book also comes with a CD featuring Rebecca St. James singing the featured Christmas carol! The boys recognized the song right away as the music played by their Veggie Tales nativity! They love the animals and I love that we are learning the song better!

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Emma Kragen

Not a single spiritual thing about this book, but I had to mention it because the boys sing through it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. They absolutely love it. There is also a movie by the same name, which we have enjoyed as a family as well!

One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham

A new book for us this year, we were totally captivated by this story of a boy who gets stuck in a mountain cabin during a snowstorm and hears the Christmas story for the first time, told from Creation through the Resurrection. It is a gorgeous book and one we will read every year!

The Legend of the Candy Cane: The Inspirational Story of Our Favorite Christmas Candy by Lori Walburg

The boys always turn their candy canes upside down to show me they turn into a J – and they quickly add “J for Jesus!” That’s the same focus this book takes – telling the legend of the candy cane that points to Jesus! This is a delightful new addition to our Christmas collection this year!

A Christmas Prayer by Amy Parker

Perfect for younger children, this board book features a small child praying prayers of thanks and blessing on Christmas night. The child mentions each of the important figures in the Nativity as she prays, and the charming rhyme will be fun to read with your own child!

Christmas Angels (Read and Share) by Gwen Ellis

From the popular Read and Share series from Tommy Nelson, Christmas Angels tells the stories of the angels that had important jobs throughout the Christmas story, including Gabriel and the angels who greeted the shepherds to announce the Savior’s birth!

The Real Twelve Days of Christmas by Helen Haidle

I hesitate to add this book because it is out of print, but it is just so unique and wonderful, I had to include it! There is a lot of history behind this Christmas carol, but I didn’t even know a tenth of it until reading this book! The Real Twelve Days of Christmas explains the Christian symbolism found in the song, which was actually used to teach Christian doctrine to children in 16th-century England when persecution was happening! If you can’t tell, this book fascinates me!

What are your favorite, must-read books at Christmas time?


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Jesus Storybook Bible: Advent, Curriculum, Collector’s Edition, and More!

It’s definitely the favorite story Bible in our house. There’s no contest in that catergory.

I even hesitate to call the Jesus Storybook Bible a “children’s Bible” because it has been just as powerful for me as it has been for the boys!

The way every single story points to Jesus is just what we want our children to learn. And to live. Everything we do should point to Jesus. I feel like this Bible brings a new level of understanding of the Good News of the Gospel to all who read it.

I first wrote about the Jesus Storybook Bible two years ago after I learned about it at the Relevant Conference and then found an Advent reading plan using it. The reading of the first 24 stories in this Bible at bedtime during Advent has become one of my favorite family Christmas traditions.

I’ve put together this free printable for you to use if you are following the Jesus Storybook Bible Advent reading plan! You can print it out as one sheet and hang it somewhere, or cut apart each day {tiny strips – sorry about that!} and place them in/on your Advent calendar! Click on the image below to download and print this plan!

I’ve also found many more reasons to love the Jesus Storybook Bible since then…

There are several different editions which make great gift ideas in several different price ranges and packages!

The Jesus Storybook Bible original hardcover edition was what got us started. It is wonderful just as it is.

The Read-Aloud Edition is similar to the original, but larger overall, including bigger pictures – great for reading to groups or even your own children!

The newest edition is the Collector’s Edition

Just when I thought the Jesus Storybook Bible couldn’t get any better, this bundle came about and I swooned when I opened the package.

Included in the Collector’s Edition are the original Jesus Storybook Bible, three audio CDs with each of the 44 stories narrated by David Suchet, AND an animated DVD with every story! We can use this SO many ways!

Zondervan also just released a leather-bound edition that is gorgeous. What a beautiful gift or keepsake for a loved one!

Now, for those of you who teach Sunday School or homeschool or want to use the Jesus Storybook Bible for teaching in some format, I must recommend to you the Jesus Storybook Bible Curriculum Kit.

I am just blown away by the work that was put into this Bible curriculum for early to middle elementary age children. The 44 lessons are creative and well-planned, the activities are fun AND educational, and the introduction and instruction for teachers are very helpful! Included in the kit are:

  • 1 DVD-ROM containing 44 printable lessons (both teacher material and student handouts)
  • 44 bonus animated videos, promotional materials, as well as instructions for implementing the curriculum
  • 1 hardcover The Jesus Storybook Bible
  • 3 audio CDs containing David Suchet’s recording of The Jesus Storybook Bible

I will be using many of the lessons from this curriculum as part of our Advent study this year! We’ll be learning more about the Old Testament, prophecy, prayer, and so much more!

If you don’t own a Jesus Storybook Bible for your family yet, I highly recommend adding it this year! And join us in reading through it this Advent season!


*I received these products to review from Zondervan. I was not compensated in any way for this review, and all opinions are 100% my own.

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