Simplifying Christmas | Simple Gifts for Teachers, Neighbors and Friends


Simplifying Christmas
Do you break out in hives just thinking about the craziness and chaos that comes with Christmas? It doesn’t have to be that way. Inspirational authors Cara Putman, Sarah Sundin, and Tricia Goyer share about Christmas’ past in their new novella collection Where Treetops Glisten. Their three stories “White Christmas,” “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” will take you back to war-time 1942, 1943, and 1944. The authors have also teamed up to give tips on simplifying Christmas this year! Join us  December 1-6 on Not Quite Amish Living for the Simplifying Christmas series.

Simple Gifts for Teachers, Neighbors and Friends

by Tricia Goyer


Are you looking for fun, simple gifts for teachers, neighbors and friends? I’ve come up with some fun, cheap and SIMPLE ideas for you!

A Gift for Neighbors or Friends with Kids


One of the bloggers at HomeTalk came up with this adorable Thanksgiving Table Runner.


Courtesty of Hometalk Blog

I loved the idea so much that I purchased paints and a runner so we can make our own!


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Simple Craft

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Gift Idea


Create a “Memory Placemat Making Kit.”

Include one placemat, one jar of paint, a Sharpie. Print the printable, and include it in your package. How easy is that?!


1. Spread the paint on your child’s hand.

2. Press it onto the placemat.

3. Let it dry.

4. When it’s dry write your child’s name–and the poem below–with a Sharpie.

In 2014 this was the size of my hand.
Next year it will be bigger,
just like God planned!




A Gift for Teachers


I saw this adorable wreath on Pinterest, and I knew I wanted to make one with my children.

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Photo courtesty of

First, I found this ribbon and scrapbooking paper.



We had fun make our wreath!

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This is how our wreath turned out!


Gift Idea


Want your child’s teacher to always remember the class of 2014?

Create your own hand wreath using the cut-out hands of the kids in the class, with their names on the hands! Solid color scrapbook paper would work better for numerous kids. Also use non-Christmas paper and ribbon so that it can be displayed all year!)

Trace the kids hands, assemble using a glue stick, and then hang with a ribbon. Easy as pie!

Two simple ideas that teachers, neighbors and friends are sure to enjoy!

Download both instructions for both crafts here!



Where Treetops Glisten Gift Basket Giveaway!


Waterbrook Multnomah has created three wonderful gift baskets to give away to readers! To enter to win this basket, please fill out the Rafflecopter forms found on Tricia Goyer’s blogSarah Sundin’s blog and Cara Putman’s Facebook page!

WTG apron book

Each basket contains:

Copy of Where Treetops Glisten
Christmas DVD – Holiday Inn Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire
Christmas CD (includes all the book title songs) – “A Jolly Christmas” Frank Sinatra
Apron made from vintage pattern
Recipe cards from each character

About Tricia Goyer


Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 5.54.26 PMUSA Today best-selling author Tricia Goyer is the author of over 35 books, including the three-book Seven Brides for Seven Bachelors series and “Lead Your Family Like Jesus,” (co-written with Ken Blanchard). She has written over 500 articles for national publications and blogs for high traffic sites like and She is the host of Living Inspired, a weekly radio show. Tricia and family live in Little Rock, Arkansas. They have six children. You can find out more about Tricia at


About Where Treetops Glisten


Where Treetops GlistenThe crunch of newly fallen snow, the weight of wartime.

Siblings forging new paths and finding love in three stories, filled with the wonder of Christmas.

Turn back the clock to a different time, listen to Bing Crosby sing of sleigh bells in the snow, as the realities of America’s involvement in the Second World War change the lives of the Turner family in Lafayette, Indiana.

In Cara Putman’s White Christmas, Abigail Turner is holding down the Home Front as a college student and a part-time employee at a one-of-a-kind candy shop. Loss of a beau to the war has Abigail skittish about romantic entanglements—until a hard-working young man with a serious problem needs her help.

Abigail’s brother Pete is a fighter pilot hero returned from the European Theater in Sarah Sundin’s I’ll Be Home for Christmas, trying to recapture the hope and peace his time at war has eroded. But when he encounters a precocious little girl in need of Pete’s friendship, can he convince her widowed mother that he’s no longer the bully she once knew?

In Tricia Goyer’s Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Meredith Turner, “Merry” to those who know her best, is using her skills as a combat nurse on the frontline in the Netherlands. Halfway around the world from home, Merry never expects to face her deepest betrayal head on, but that’s precisely what God has in mind to redeem her broken heart.

The Turner family believes in God’s providence during such a tumultuous time. Can they absorb the miracle of Christ’s birth and His plan for a future?

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Tricia Goyer (77 Posts)

Tricia is the author of more than 30 books and has published more than 500 articles for national publications such as Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman and HomeLife Magazine. She won the Historical Novel of the Year award in both 2005 and 2006 from American Christian Fiction Writers, and was honored with the Writer of the Year award from Mt. Hermon Writer's Conference in 2003. Tricia's book Life Interrupted was a finalist for the Gold Medallion Book Award in 2005. Tricia's co-written novel, The Swiss Courier, was a nominee for the Christy Awards.


  1. These creations are priceless. I have one of those green wreaths that my daughter made in school years ago. She’s 41 now. My how time flies. Maybe she could help her 5 year old grand daughter make one. Think ill suggest this to her.

  2. What wonderful ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

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