Not everything needs looking ahead so far but in this case, we’ll make an exception since getting the word out there is crucial to the success of the “One Night”. This beautifully designed and marvelously handcrafted advent calendar has been in the works for years now and is launching a kickstart campaign to make it the rest of the way from the creators to you! Continue reading
I never jumped on the Elf of the Shelf train though fully aware of what it is. I thought it was a fun idea to count down the days until Christmas morning but we don’t teach that Santa will be arriving. My kids haven’t ever believed in Santa Claus though they know he is based upon a real man and still enjoy the fictional stories about him. We instead, read devotions and books that are Christ-centered each day during the month of December. This year will be a little bit different as I was introduced to a Christian alternative of daily fun to implement into our countdown until Christmas day.
“The Christmas Star From Afar” is a unique way to teach & remind children about the true meaning of Christmas year after year! This game is designed to be used daily from December 1st to December 25th. It is a 16 piece set that comes with a hardcover book and full wooden nativity set. Continue reading
If you are looking for a new tradition during the month of December to embark upon with your whole family, chances are you’ll be interested in Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voscamp. In this book, you’ll be learning about the people in Jesus’ family tree as well as encouraged to examine your own life in Him. I think this book is a great resource and reminder of why we truly celebrate the season.
As I opened the book, I was captivated by the beautiful illustrations! The images represent certain biblical things and the colors are vibrant being completely seasonally appropriate. The first few pages of the book feature an introduction to unwrapping the greatest gift, the instructions of compiling your own Jesse tree, and followed by the daily readings from the 1st of December and ending with the 25th of the month. There are free downloads of Voskamp’s cut paper ornaments you can add to your tree during the season per recommendation of following through this book. I plan on having these printed, laminating them, and hanging them on our tree with a piece of ribbon every year starting at this one!
The daily readings begin with a single scripture, a title for the day, a reading of scripture which is more than one or two verses taken from the Bible, the reading and how it applies to us, and an ending page with several thoughts to discuss as well as a family activity or two. I would say setting down at least half an hour if not more to read this book each day specified will suffice. I would also suggest looking over the book and readings before starting so as to prepare if following the activities pertaining to the daily reading with your family.
I feel strongly that this book can be used every Christmas season. The truths will apply to everyone at anytime in their lives and the questions though the same will reap different replies as the years go by. I would suggest if reading this book to children that ages 5 and up would be best suited. It’s written in a way that is easy to understand, I just question the attention span of a younger child. Though I would still read it with the family even if younger children are present. Chances are children will still love to participate in the suggested activity that applies to the reading. As good rule of thumb I feel it best to know that each of the daily readings is about 6 pages of those, two are the reading and the others feature full page color illustrations.
After browsing through and reading a few of the days myself already, I’m excited about sharing this book with my family. I really like the approach of seeing that in even Jesus’ family tree there weren’t perfect people and God still used them in a big way leading up to the birth of our Saviour! There are scripture readings taken from both the old and new testament of the Bible.
This book would make a wonderful gift for anyone wanting to embrace a new Christmas tradition this season. The book is 160 pages long and hardcover ensuring it will probably last for years to come. I haven’t really done any sort of advent countdown to the days of Christmas but am certainly eager to start by following the authors presentation of the Jesse Tree with my family.
Interested in Purchasing? Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmascan be purchased on Amazon.com for $15.74 as of this posting.
Disclaimer: Tyndale House Provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.