Simplify Christmas – Simple Family Memory Making, by Tricia Goyer – plus Giveaway!

Old wood texture with snow and firtreeDo 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 Christmases 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 for the Simplifying Christmas series.

Simple Family Memory Making

by Tricia Goyer

Christmas for the Goyers mean large family gatherings. My husband, John, came up with this simple and interactive idea.

Below is the Scripture passage of the birth of Jesus. Notice some of the words are bolded. Each of the bolded words have a “sound effect” that go with them.


Print out the story and the sound effects on slips of paper and have family members draw them from a jar. Then as the Bible story is read, everyone must pay attention and say their sound effect at the right time.

When a bolded word in the story is spoken, reader must pause to allow the participant assigned the word to call out their part. For instance, when the word Jesus is read, pause to allow the assigned participant to call out, “God Saves.”

This allows for reader and listeners to participate in the Christmas story. Feel free to change the call out phrase to fit the audience of participants.

It’s a fun way to share the Bible Story and get family members of all ages involved!

To read the story and find a cute printable with the sound effects key, go to the Not Quite Amish blog.

Where Treetops Glisten Gift Basket Giveaway!

My publisher has created three wonderful gift baskets. To enter to win this basket, please use the Rafflecopter form below (US residents only please). Also find the additional giveaways (and read more great tips to simplify Christmas!) on Tricia Goyer’s blog and Cara Putman’s blog!

WTG apron bookEach basket contains:

    • Copy of Where Treetops Glisten
    • Christmas DVD – Holiday InnBing 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

a Rafflecopter giveaway


20 Responses to “Simplify Christmas – Simple Family Memory Making, by Tricia Goyer – plus Giveaway!”

  1. Amy Bateman

    We try to simplify gift-giving and keep the amount spent and number of gifts reasonable. We always try to sit down as a family and decide what events or experiences we want to do during the holiday season and plan those, so at least we have the most important activities scheduled and if something else has to go, it does.

  2. beckie

    We do white elephant gifts on my husbands side. Keeps things not only cost effective, but interesting.

  3. Ladette

    I have 5 children, so I try to keep it simple always! I start shopping early and spend the same dollar amount every year (and the same amount on each child). Christ is the most important part of our Christmas and then time together.

    • Sarah Sundin

      Great ideas, Ladette! I always try to keep the dollar amount the same for each child too. One year our oldest received a telescope and only a telescope, while the other two received an assortment of gifts – same cost, different quantity. The oldest didn’t mind – he was thrilled with the gift! But the younger two actually felt sorry for him 🙂

  4. Sharon Timmer

    Now that I have 3 Grandchildren I have learned to simplify Christmas by shopping at garage sales & on-line yard sales on FB – this way I spend a lot less than purchasing everything brand new!

  5. Gay Idle

    I’m just doing a little candy making/baking each week preceding Christmas. I made two batches of fudge last night. For the family gift giving…We bought a larger TV for my husbands man cave…moved his man cave tv into our family room and we’re giving our perfectly good and very nice family room tv to our daughter and her hubs(they are thrilled as they love watching movies)…it’s bigger than their current tv. Then they are donating their very nice current tv to the church…it’s just the size needed for the info booth wall which we are ‘remodeling’ this month. That sort of simplified the gift thing for us with the family.

  6. Donna

    As a family we have decided that we won’t stress over gifts, we just enjoy being together with good food and lots of laughter. We don’t stress on the time either, we work out a time we can all be together even if its two weeks before the actual holiday.

  7. catherine

    When my boys were little we made small Baby Jesus bed. They could not tell their brother or me, but anytime they did something nice or helpful for one of us they could put a piece of straw in the cradle. On Christmas Day they could put the Baby Jesus in the cradle. As they grew older, we went to get names from the Angel Tree in the mall and each one chose a child to get a gift for them. As adults they still do the same thing. My one son, with children, does the Angel tree with his children. Instead of getting each other gifts, we buy gifts for the children on the Angel Tree. Then we give each other the name of the child so they can pray for the child throughout the year. Christmas is for children and we love buying the gifts. Merry Christmas to all and to my angel son in heaven, Paul.

  8. Jennifer Essad

    I don’t go “all out” anymore, but our kids still like traditions, we enjoy our baked goods and family meals when they visit

  9. Sharon Miller

    We did the Christmas story with sound effects last year and enjoyed it. I do want to simplify Christmas but then after it I wish I did more.

  10. Rhonda Gayle Nash-Hall

    I keep the decorations simple and the main thing is celebrating at our church and I sing in the church choir and sing specials. WE give gifts but we keep that simple and don’t overspend. We have taught our daughters this since the;y were little and we like to do something to help others during Christmas.

    • Sarah Sundin

      Those are great ideas, Rhonda! I love it when children are taught that “less is more” and “to give is better than to receive”!