12 Days, Day 3

For the creative and expressive child on your list.

this T-shirt comes with a chalkboard (yes, you can draw on it and yes, it’s machine washable) and a box of chalk! The blank chalkboard patch says: Today, I feel … with a big empty circle. The child gets to draw how he or she is feeling right on the shirt — and I suppose can also make updates throughout the day — ingenious!

I love it.
get it here.

I also really like these shirts (for grown ups) especially the "whoever smiles first wins." How much better would the world be if that were really the case?


btw, this site and catalog are really cool. It’s called Acacia, named for a sheltering tree and source of healing materials (and in the yoga/body-mind-spirit category.)

and, my promised bonus for today, a small selection of my favorite Christmas books, plus a few new ones I’ve purchased this year …


Olive, The Other Reindeer
Rather silly, but the kids love it — especially when they "get it"


The Tale of Three Trees
This one is a traditional folktale about three trees and their dreams of becoming something. One wishes to be made into a treasure chest and hold riches, the other dreams of becoming a strong sailing ship to carry powerful kings and the third desires to never be cut down, but to grow tall and high and point to God. I won’t tell you the end (and perhaps you can figure it out) but it really is a very cool story!


A Cup of Christmas Tea
I cannot read this without crying. It’s one of my all-time favorite books, period. My mom always brews cups of peppermint tea and sits us down to read it together.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas
Like I need to tell you about this classic — it’s one that every child should  have in their collection.


God Bless Your Way
This is a new one I found this year. A fictional story of an old man who follows Joseph and Mary into Bethlehem — the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous and it comes with a CD of five songs, sung by Hillary Weeks (who is another favorite of mine)


Snowmen at Christmas

I’m thinking this will be the one I put in the hat boxes this year, but I’m going to go read it at Barnes and Noble first. It’s written and illustrated by an amazing couple, Caralyn and Mark Buehner that actually lived very near us in Salt Lake City.  They wrote another favorite of ours, called It’s a Spoon, Not a Shovel (all about table manners)


The Little Fir Tree
This is the other one I’m thinking about getting. It was recommend to me by a friend.

Happy Monday!


  1. What a great reading list & I love those t-shirts – especially the one “whoever smiles first wins!” I’m going to go to their site & use some of their little sayings in my scrapbooking! Thanks!

  2. Heather Crawley says:

    The chalkboard shirts are the greatest. Our soon to be 3-year-old will love them. Thank you for the holiday inspiration (and for the inspiration all year long!)
    Now, question…what do you get for a digital scrapper? Damon is into digital scrapbooking…and is loving it. Just don’t know what to get him!

  3. We purchased Snowmen at Christmas this year and our boys love it. The author/illustrators have included pictures of a mouse, Santa face, dinosaur, cat, and rabbit on every page, but they are hidden so it is similar to an I Spy book, which my boys love as well. Very fun!
    Another book we bought as well is Russell’s Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton. We discoverd “Russell the sheep” earlier this year and love he and his frog friend, Fred. You have to check out the story Russell and the Lost Treasure – it sooo . . . pertains to what we do (you’ll see what I mean :0) )
    Have a great day!
    Karen C (NH)

  4. We just got Snowmen at Christmas at the Book Fair. Love it. Great story and illistrations are beautiful. Polar Express is a good one too. Another way to find great books is check your local library. Ours usually pulls all the seasonal books into a special section.

  5. I came across a book last year that I think you would like – Angel Pig & the Hidden Christmas. Cute, rhyming story about a stressed-out family of pigs who learn that “the best giving is done with your heart”. :)

  6. Ann Grounds says:

    I have 3/7 selections you mentioned and looks like I need to add the other 4!! And I love those adult t’s. I’ve got a tee that says, “Smile nice, or I’ll have to crop you.” They make me smile and others too.

  7. Haven’t been blogging for a while but home sick with the flu and thought I’d check it out. So glad I started with you :) Thank you for taking the time to inspire! Love love love your lists!! Now that you have a girlie you should check out the Olivia series by Ian Falconer – he has out a new Christmas one too. She is a great spunky heroine/piglet for girls and just enough hidden sarcasm for a tired mom :) Merry Merry! Allison

  8. I love that t-shirt with the chalkboard…wish I could get one for each of my preschoolers, they could tell me their mood each morning instead of me guessing :)
    Thanks for the idea of the hat boxes. What a great thing. I love that. I have been buying ornaments each year for Tanner, but what a neat way to present something “Christmas-y” every year!

  9. Snowmen at Christmas is a wonderful book! It is actually dedicated to the kids at the school where my kids attend. The Buehners come visit our school every year and out library is named after them, so of course we love it!

  10. Love the t-shirts and especially the books. My husband LOVES books and right now he is really enjoying readying to our 3 month old… sometimes she even behaves and listens!

  11. Fantastic reading list! I will have to get my niece the Little Fir tree.

  12. Lisa English says:

    Stacey – I have 4/5 the books you’ve mentioned – they are super! May I add one that you MUST get? (imho :))It’s a storybook for Advent called “Jotham’s Journey” by Arnold Ytreeide. It’s a very exciting Advent story that follows 10 yr. old Jotham across Israel as he searches for his family. What he encounters along the way is exciting,and at the end, he finds his way to Bethlehem. You read a little chapter every night, and let me tell you, they leave you wanting more! Following this book are 2 more (1 for each year following)- same storyline, but told from the point of view of a different character that was in the story. We read these 7,8,9 years ago, when our kids were 8,7,4, and 1. We are rereading them again for our 2 youngest, and the older 2 are thoroughly enjoying it again. I just can’t say enough about this book and it’s sequels. I hope you can still find it, but it’s definetely worth the time spent looking. Also, let me include “The Small One” by Alex Walsh. I can’t read it without tearing up – the first time is the BEST! Blessings to you and your family~ Lisa

  13. I just saw the Snowmen at Christmas in my 5 yr old’s Scholastic flyer. We have Snowmen at Night and it is a favorite in our house. Too funny and such a fun perspective.
    I haven’t see God Bless Your Way- that looks like it has beautiful illustrations.
    2 of our favorites are Can You See What I See Christmas by Walter Wick. We love his books. And Christmas City by ??? I cannot remember. The latter has clues hidden in each picture and things for you to search for throughout the book- I love books like that!
    Thanks for your suggestions!

  14. Meredith S. says:

    The “Snowmen” books are so cute and funny…we love both of them!

  15. I went to the library to get Snowmen at Christmas but was checked out until Dec. 27th. I’m anxious to read it – maybe need to make a trip to Barnes and Noble.

  16. I love books! We add a new one to our collection every year, and enjoy reading them together. I thought my days of buying new ones were gone (the kids are getting older), but 18 months ago we were surprised with a new baby brother! So, this year we added “Santa’s First Flight” by Sam Beeson. It’s hilarious, adorable, totally well illustrated, and has a great Christmas message in the end. I highly recommend it. I found it here at the local Deseret Book Store.

  17. What great ideas :)

  18. What a wonderful list! Have you seen: http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/category30_1.htm

  19. Whoops! I forgot to mention the title! The book I’m referring to with the link is “A Cat in the Manger.” Lovely!

  20. I love the idea of giving a book each year. We have always done a new ornsment for each of my 3 boys, but I think I will be expanding that tradition to include pj’s and a book. Thanks so much for sharing!

  21. I love the idea of giving a book each year. We have always done a new ornsment for each of my 3 boys, but I think I will be expanding that tradition to include pj’s and a book. Thanks so much for sharing!

Speak Your Mind


What's New at BPC
Big Picture Classes
Big Picture Classes
Big Picture Classes
Big Picture Classes