Real Christmas trees vs. artificial trees: Ease of use, safety, health, cost considerations

When my husband and I first married, we were diehard holiday traditionalists and DIY-ers. We vowed to have a real Christmas tree each holiday. The whole family would select a tree and bring it home. But the kids have grown and finally reality hit me like the felling of a tree. I realized that I was doing all holiday decorating alone and it wasn't so much fun anymore. And I've become that Scrooge mom who uses an artificial tree. Here's a discussion on real Christmas tree vs. artificial tree, including safety, cost and health considerations. Here's the conclusion: a real Christmas tree is more fun for families of young kids but an artificial tree is the more practical choice.   Christmas trees: Safety, health, cost of real Christmas tree vs artificial tree |

Homemade Advent calendar: Catholic Christian Bible Christmas countdown crafts

Parents, are you dissatisfied with the commercialism of Christmas? Perhaps you're concerned that your children will learn selfish habits with so much holiday indulgence. It's not that kids are so selfish--advertisers bombard kids with "must-have" toys, digital products, gadgets and goodies. Who can blame kids for wanting all that cool stuff? And overindulgent parents have raised kids' expectations. Don't waste time telling kids not to want things (especially if you're giving them everything they want). Instead, give children opportunities to practice sharing with others. Here are lesson plans for Catholic Christian Bible Christmas countdown crafts for children. Make this homemade Advent calendar to teach unselfishness, giving and an attitude of gratitude.  Homemade Advent calendar: Catholic Christian Bible Christmas countdown crafts |