2021 Countdown to Christmas Day #17 and #18: Celestial Gifts for Dads, Kids, and Others

Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager - Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat for Shoulders, Calf, Legs, Feet, Hands, Home, O...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

OK to make up for yesterday’s missed countdown blogging and to blog for today I’m sharing more Celestial Gift ideas. I did ideas for moms/grandmas over here. All of these can be found on amazon because amazon was invented for people like me who hate to shop at the mall and need things in two days. It’s too late to order from anywhere else and get it in time for Christmas.

My brain is too tired to categorize these gifts for dads, teens, and little kids. So I’m just lumping them all together. I am not paid to blog about any of this, and none of these links are affiliate. I’m just sharing what I think is cool.

First off, the shiatsu massage pillow above from Zyllion. Such a gift from heaven! The red ball-shaped things heat up and rotate, kneading sore muscles into total bliss. Do like I did two years ago and give it to your husband with the intent of sharing, of course, hee-hee! I’m using one right now as a I blog! You can also use it in your car with the cigarette lighter. It sure saves energy when you and your husband are both so tired at night and you want a massage from each other but don’t want to give one :-).

Sponsored Ad - BMAG 120 PCS Magnetic Building Blocks, 3D Magnet Building Tiles, STEM Construction Building Set, Stacking T...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

I saw these magnetic tiles at my sister’s house years ago and loved them. Of course I had to get some too the next time Christmas rolled around! I’m excited for my grandchildren to play with them next week when they are in town for the holidays! (They are knock-offs of the original, much more expensive tiles called Magna Tiles.)

I love gathering around a fire to chat with family and friends. Give this gift below of light and warmth that encourages heartfelt conversation. We’ll start with the smallest (translation = least expensive) possibility for this and go upwards in size (and price).

First off, look at this amazing mini portable firepit, designed by two dads in Maryland. It’s called City Bonfire. You could just use cardboard and paraffin wax in a tuna can but that doesn’t look or sound nearly as glamorous does it?

photo credit: amazon.com
Best Choice Products 22in Steel Fire Pit Bowl, Outdoor Portable Folding Firepit, Small Wood Burning Bonfire Pit, Camping B...
Photo Credit: amazon.com
Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit - Smokeless Large 19.5 Inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Firepit | Portable Backyard Natural Wood B...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

If your motto is “Go big or go home,” then the Solo Stove Firepit above is the one you’ll want. It’s $299 on amazon, and looks amazing! No smoke!

Sponsored Ad - Wise Owl Outfitters Camping Hammocks - Portable Hammock Single or Double Hammock for Outdoor, Indoor w/ Tre...

This hammock looks wonderful. Get a bunch so you can give to every outdoor adventurer in your life.

Sponsored Ad - Gaiam Ultimate Balance Ball Chair (Standard or Swivel Base Option) - Premium Exercise Stability Yoga Ball E...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

This ball chair encourages more healthy posture while sitting. Great for those who have lots of desk work.

Grill Armor Oven Gloves – Extreme Heat Resistant EN407 Certified 932℉ – Oven Mitts/Pot Holders for Cooking, BBQ, Grilling, Baking, Camping, Fire Pit, Smoker & More – Grey
Photo Credit: amazon.com

These heat-proof Oven Armor barbecue gloves might encourage someone in your house to grill more, which would be awesome, right?!

Spirograph Original Deluxe Spirograph Art Set
photo credit: amazon.com

Was I ever happy to find this blast from my past while thrifting last month! It’s Spirograph! I loved this toy as a kid. Seeing it brings happy memories. The blue “desk” inside is not that sturdy so I just draw the designs on a table. I ditch the tacky stuff to supposedly keep the plastic pieces in place. This one is a reissue of the original from the ’70s.

Fashion Plates is another blast from my past. I remember my grandma giving this gift to my sister one year.

Fashion Plates Classic Styles
Photo Credit: <a href="http://"Fashionamazon.com

While we are talking about toys from my childhood, I may as well promote the Hoppity Ball. So fun!

AppleRound Space Hopper Ball with Air Pump: 28in/70cm Diameter for Ages 13 and Up, Hop Ball, Kangaroo Bouncer, Hoppity Ho...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

This game below is made by the maker of Code Names. It looks like Pictionary but more fun, because everyone draws and guesses at the same time. Here’s what amazon’s description says, “In Pictomania each player is assigned a word to draw. Your goal is to guess the other players’ words while drawing your own. That’s right: Everyone is drawing and guessing simultaneously! No one has time to draw a complex masterpiece. The player who can sketch the essence of a word with a few lines will have more time to figure out the other players’ drawings.The simple scoring system rewards you for a drawing that is easy to guess as well as for guesses made quickly and accurately. But regardless of your score, you are certain to get a laugh out of your fellow players’ drawings.” Sounds hilarious!

Czech Games Pictomania
Photo Credit: <a href="http://"Czechamazon.com
CGE Czech Games Edition Thats A Question
Photo Credit: amazon.com

I’m so excited about the above game! It’s under the tree for a certain someone in our family. It looks like it combines strategy with getting go know people by prompting conversations with questions. It promotes creative thinking because you get rewarded by asking tougher questions. It also uses cute squirrel tokens.

Sponsored Ad - LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
Photo Credit: amazon.com

If you’re looking for some practical items, the LifeStraw fits the bill. It’s a water filter in a straw. Use it to drink from any body of water as a straw, knowing the filter is at work so you won’t get sick. How practical is that?! I love it! Such a great gift for the prepper in your life or for your own family so you can start to feel like one.

【2021 Newest】RunningSnail Emergency Crank Radio,4000mAh-Solar Hand Crank Portable AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with 1W Flashli...
Photo Credit: <a href="http://"【2021amazon.com

Last but not least, another item for prepping. It’s a combo radio/cell phone charger/flashlight that you can power with solar energy or by hand cranking. Another item that is under out tree! My family never reads my blog so I can confidently share this without spoiling the surprise.

I’ll conclude by pointing you all to my “My Three Gifts Guide” outlining one of my Christmas traditions. It simplifies the gift-giving for sure!

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Countdown to Christmas Day #16: Celestial Christmas Gifts for Mom

The Pioneer Woman Garden Stainless Steel Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Maverick Tumbler with Sliding Lid, 20 oz, Turquiose ...
Photo Credit: amazon.com

Need some last-minute gifts for mom, your mother-in-law, or Grandma? Oprah has her Favorite Things every year, here are some of mine, dubbed Celestial Christmas Gifts. I’ll do a separate post in the next few days for Dad, the whole family, and the kiddos.

First off, I am a sucker for anything Pioneer Woman. Her patterns are just so gorgeous! So I hope the adult females on your list will love them too. On top of my Celestial Gifts list of Pioneer Woman items is this double insulated tumbler, pictured above. I got this from my girlfriends for my birthday this fall. It is so amazing! I’m not a coffee drinker, but I love warm drinks like carob, Postum, and Pero, and hot lemonade, with a sweet saltiness to them. Even plain warm water tastes good to me on cold winter mornings. This insulated tumbler keeps hot liquids hot for at least 30 minutes. Even leaving your hot drinks in your cold car in this tumbler for 3-4 hours will result in your drink still warm. Get it for your favorite warm drink lover today! I use a stainless steel straw with it. It fits perfectly in the little slot on the lid. Best of all, the tumbler fits exactly in the cup holder of my Toyota Sienna minivan. Such harmony in my life has not existed until now! My Mason jar with a straw in the lid never quite fit in that cup holder.

The Pioneer Woman Vintage Floral 1.7L Electric Kettle Model 40972 by Hamilton Beach
Photo Credit: amazon.com

Now how do you get the water hot in a jiffy? With a Pioneer Woman Electric Teakettle of course! I got this gift for my birthday from my oldest daughter three years ago. She knows her mother so well! I still use this every day and love it! Give both the gift above and below together and you will be forever loved by the recipient, if she’s like me, and wants to drink warm drinks to warm up!

The Pioneer Woman Charming Check Plush Throw, 50" x 72", Red
Photo Credit above and below: walmart.com

I love, love, love these Pioneer Woman plush throw blankets. They are lightweight yet so cozy and soft! If you are a purist, you probably won’t like them as they are 100% polyester. Sometimes I just cast my purism to the side for such pretty coziness!

The Pioneer Woman Sweet Rose Polyester Plush Throw, 50" x 72"
Back to the Roots Water Garden, Self-Cleaning Fish Tank That Grows Food, Mini Aquaponic Ecosystem (Great Gardening Gift & ...
Photo Credit: <a href=”http://"Backamazon.com

This microgreens fish tank looks so cool! Grow greens and have your pet fish at the same time!

Oooh, what about this foam massage roller from Amazon to give those aching muscles some good relief from rubbing? Oh the lusciousness!

How about some games? Big girls want to have fun too! Find all of these on amazon. All these photo credits of the games below belong to amazon. Here are some of my favorites:

Sushi Go! The Fast Playing Card Game - Gamewright Games .HN#GG_634T6344 G134548TY29082
Hasbro Gaming Scattergories Board Game

Scattergories is a great game everyone can play at the same time. If you can find it in the Bible edition, it’s even better, in my humble opinion. I got mine for $1.50 thriting! It’s just so fun to hear what people come up with as they stretch their creative thinking muscles.

The Game of Scattergories (Bible) [ THE GAME OF SCATTERGORIES (BIBLE) ] byCactus Game Design ( AUTHOR ) ON Aug, 24, 1998 [...

Concept Party Game | Award-Winning Board Game | Team-Based Guessing Game | Fun Family Game for Adults and Kids | Ages 10+...

Concept is like visual charades. So fun!

PlayMonster The Game of Things...

I also love The Game of Things for getting to know people better.

Storyworth is a wonderful gift for people who want to get their family history recorded and need some help. The recipient gets one question emailed a week to reply, about his or her life story. Then at the end of the year Storyworth puts their responses into a book and mails it.

How about some spirit-centered gifts?

Book of Mormon Parallel Events Timeline: Book of Mormon Parallels, Joseph Smith Foundation
Photo Credit: josephsmithfoundation.org

I love all the stuff at the Joseph Smith Foundation shop. Go here and check them all out! I especially love the Book of Mormon timeline poster that shows parallel events in our day.

I love all the stuff at the redheadedhostess.com shop. It just looks so delightful!

An Audible Membership and/or Scribd.com membership would probably thrill anyone, especially an audiobook lover.

Last but not least, there’s Amazon Prime Membership for a busy mama.

Merry Christmas and happy gifting!

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2021 Countdown to Christmas Day #15: A Message from Our Prophet

President Nelson, the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has a special message for us below. I love that he mentions that so many of us are burdened with fear and uncertainty. He says some of us are waiting for “the lights to turn on again.” I also love that he encourages us to give acts of service and love to others, so that we can feel and see the light of Jesus Christ.

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2021 Christmas Countdown Day #14: Invite the Spirit of Christmas by Inviting His Missionaries Into Your Home

Here’s what I would have shared on Dec. 14, for Day #14 of my Christmas Countdown. Invite the spirit of Christ by inviting the missionaries who bear His name into your home. Watch and then arrange a visit at comeuntochrist.org.

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2021 Countdown to Christmas Day #13: A New Christmas Tradition

I missed posting something for my Christmas countdown the past few days, so I’m catching up. Here’s the post I wanted to do on Dec. 13. Recently, I attended a Christmas party in a chapel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the “cultural hall,” a fancy name for the gym. I noticed something I’ve never seen before in any church buildings I’ve ever visited. To honor the Savior Jesus Christ at Christmastime, some people had posted the different names of the Savior Jesus Christ, all around the room, up high, by the vaulted ceiling, on huge sheets of paper. The effect was stunning! See the photos, above and below.

How providential for me to witness this!!! That very same day I had listened to the new Christmas episode of “Don’t Miss This” where the two hosts talked about the different names of Christ from the Living Christ Proclamation. Emily Belle Freeman talked of a Christmas Eve tradition in her family that uses these names. She said that she prints out these cards, these ones here, sets them out on Christmas Eve, and invites each family member to pick a name of Christ. This name they each pick represents how Christ revealed Himself the most to each one of them in each one’s story of the past year. Then they each take turns talking about the name each picked and why each one picked it.

Listen at the 10 minute 44 second mark in the video above to hear Emily talk about the names of Christ tradition for Christmas.

Then they place the card by the candle that is by the same name on their Immanuel Wreath, and light the candle. I love, love, love this idea! I’m going to do it this year with my family. Even if you don’t have an Immanuel Wreath, you could print out the cards and use other candles. Since I don’t have an Immanuel Wreath (yet! I’m totally getting one for next year as they are sold out now), I can envision how we’re going to do this for Christmas Eve next week. I’m going to let everyone pick out a name and share their story of Christ reaching them in that role. Then, maybe we’ll just circle round and round until every name has been discussed. I’ll get some fat candles, one for each card, and we’ll discuss until we’ve lit a candle to go with each name. Emily also has a tradition of lighting her Immanuel Wreath every day Dec. 1 to the 25th, to celebrate Advent. Every day, she and her family light a candle of the wreath, read the name of Christ below the wreath, and talk about how Jesus fulfills that role. I love it!

The Immanuel Wreath
Immanuel Wreath Photo Credit: deseretbook.com

I have this set of candles below from our church’s Christmas party from our first Christmas living in AZ. I’m picturing how awesome it will look to see 23 more similar candles in the center of my table around this centerpiece, all lit up! What a fitting, inviting symbol of Christ. Hey, there’s another name for the Savior, “The Inviter.”

You could also use the Names of Christ Ornaments from Deseret Book to do a similar activity, and hang them on your tree instead of lighting candles. I just got a set of these from Deseret Book for my mom’s December birthday. Shhh! Don’t tell!

names-of-christ-ornament-set
Photo Credit above and below: deseretbook.com
Names of Christ Star Ornament Set
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2021 Countdown to Christmas Days #11 and #12: Two Songs

For my next two days in my Christmas countdown I’m sharing two songs instead of stories, like I’ve been doing since Dec. 1.

Song #1: Little One by Rebecca Woodworth. It’s the song featured in the video above. The melody is so soothing. You can get the sheet music here.

Song #2: In a Stable by Kenneth Jones. You can download it here.

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2021 Countdown to Christmas Stories #9 and #10: A White Christmas in Ecuador and An Angel Disguised as a Toddler

This is beginning to be a habit, of sharing two Christmas countdown stories every other day instead of one every day. What with homeschooling, other projects, getting ready for Christmas, and prepping for my sons’ wedding the end of this month, I’ve got a lot on my plate! Fun times! We finally got snow so now it actually looks like Christmas. I’m even wrapping this week. Could this be the earliest I’ve ever wrapped??? May we all have our wrapping done by Dec. 18!

Story for December 9 (yesterday) is “White Christmas in Ecuador” by Carl Grossen. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Ecuador. In this story, he shares how he and his missionary companion found a man who had been praying for the truth for 8 years. He and his family joyfully received the gospel that Elder Grossen and the other elder shared with them. Read it here.

I just love, love, love this next story for today, December 10. Written by Megan Robinson, it’s called, “Why Do I Need to Be Here?” It so reminds me of the tender mercy stories in my friend Guy’s book over here. In this true story, a little toddler girl acts as an earthly angel towards a lonely, tired, ill, dejected, depressed old man. He dreaded experiencing the upcoming Christmas without his recently deceased wife. You will see that even little children can be inspired answers to prayer. You can find the full story here.

Want more Christmas stories? Check out the December section of my Celestial Family Devotionals Ebook here for stories, songs, scriptures, and poetry to ring in the Christmas cheer.

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Countdown to Christmas Days #7 and #8: Straw for the Manger Story, and a Story about a Family Being Separated on Christmas

The Last Straw (Illustrated Edition)

Ugh, I missed sharing a story yesterday, again, for my Christmas countdown. So, once again, I’m doubling up today to share two stories.

The first story is a real life example of the picture book above. Read it here. Some people have also made the simple tradition into a movie, below. We watched it last year for the first time. It’s totally cheesy, but still enjoyable. I just love the chummy friendly neighborly feelings it portrays.

The Last Straw

Story #2 reminds me of the Grinch’s futile attempt. What happens when a husband and wife leave to go pick up presents on Christmas Eve, then get stuck in a blizzard, preventing their return to play Santa on the Big Night? Read the story here and you will be reminded that, like Dr. Seuss says, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from the store.” Christmas is much more than that.

If you want more heartwarming stories for Christmas, turn to the December section of my Celestial Family Devotionals ebook, in free PDF form, linked over here.

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2021 Countdown to Christmas Days #5 and 6: Two Stories: Giving is Better than Getting and The Miracle of the Clam Chowder

Photo Credit: my sister Emily Reynolds of emilyreynoldsart.com

I missed posting a Christmas story yesterday for my countdown to Christmas, so I’m sharing two today.

#1 story is about a young girl who discovers that giving is more important than getting. She spends all her money and surprises her dad with something he loves. His reaction is priceless! It’s called “My Family: Giving is Getting, ” by D. Louise Brown. If you like stories about good surprises, you will love it. Go here to read it.

#2 story involves a husband and wife, faith and prayer. The husband and wife are Gary and Joy Lundberg, authors of the book below. If you’ve ever faced a deadline of making food to contribute to a party, you will feel for the wife in this story. She burnt the clam chowder she was going to bring. What happens after that is a miracle! I used to listen to this couple on the radio years ago as a young mom of two little ones. I always looked forward to their show and bought their book for a family Christmas present one year because I loved listening to them so much. You can read what I call the Miracle of the Clam Chowder here.

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Countdown to Christmas Day #4: Song “Mary Sweet and Tender Maiden”

Here’s a sweet song about Mary by Don Staheli and Jim Kasen. You can get the sheet music here. It’s called “Mary Sweet and Tender Maiden.” I don’t worship Mary, but I can’t help but feel tremendous gratitude to her for being the wondrous vessel that she was to bring forth our Savior Jesus Christ and then mother him to adulthood. It was the vision of Mary holding the Christ child that conveyed to Nephi in the Book of Mormon just what the love of God is. Mary = the love of God. God also symbolizes it with the tree of life in the Book of Mormon. You can read all about that in my book. Just click on the tab above, “The Book,” and then click on Chapter 2.

I love, love the book below. In it, a little boy touches the heart of a bitter man. The man is carving a Mary figure for a wooden Nativity set, and the little boy asks him to put a smile on her face because she was the mother of Jesus. After you read the book, be sure to watch the movie. This story is absolutely one of my favorites. Years ago, the movie inspired me to be a better mother.

If you want more links to Christmas sheet music published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please get me free ebook of Family Devotionals as a PDF. The December section has links to many stories, songs, and poems for Christmas. Get it here and enjoy!

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
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