In the newest Berenstain Bears Living Lights book, The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel, the cubs discover there’s more to angels than wings and flowing white robes!
It is almost Christmas and there is finally snow in Bear Country. Brother, Sister, and Honey Bear are ready for some winter fun! But when they can’t decide what kind of snowbear to build, Honey Bear’s snow angel gives the older cubs a great idea. Soon the cubs have built a Christmas snow angel. Later, as they warm up with some hot cocoa, Mama and Papa give the cubs a little lesson about some very special angels and the work they do for God.
With the arrival of the most spectacular winter in years and Christmas only a night away, Princesses Joy, Grace, Faith, Charity, and Hope find themselves in the midst of a scene right out of a holiday fairytale in this newest adventure in the Princess Parables series A Royal Christmas to Remember. But then the threat of bandits in the village lead the king away from the castle on Christmas Eve! Suddenly, the bandits come crashing into the castle. Praying to God for courage and safety, the princesses are soon rescued by five brave knights and then do some rescuing themselves. The next day, the princesses go to the village to see how they can be of help to the people, discovering that the true meaning of Christmas is honoring and giving glory for the greatest gift of all.
Mary Engelbreit’s book A Night of Great Joy is a depiction of the story of the night that Jesus came into our world. The story is illustrated beautifully in the form of a play with children acting out the parts of Mary, Joseph, the Wise Men, Shepherds, Animals, Angles and so forth. I really appreciate the different Christmas pageant re-telling to the birth of Christ. All the characters and important bits to remember from this story are covered.
All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas is a great book to use during the Advent season whether alone or with the family! It features glossy gold stars that shine on the cover that welcomes one in. The devotional content in this book focuses fully on the birth of Christ starting with God’s promise for a Saviour and ending with Paul’s message of pressing on into the future. This devotional runs not just through the Christmas season but from December 1st to December 31st.
Traditions spent with family and friends goes hand in hand especially during the month of December. One of my favorite annual adventures is to visit the ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo together. It’s truly something not to miss out on in seeing such a magical transformation year after year. Not limited to just families, ZooLights is an experience for everyone to enjoy!
The Zoo Train is running this year! My kids age 6 and 3 had been talking and asking about riding it non-stop since they knew we’d be visiting again. They were not disappointed in the least bit even though it was a shorter ride. The Zoo is still having construction to extend to Elephant exhibit so the option to ride to the typical destination of Washington Park was not available. But the train was enjoyed and loved, none the less! The huffing, puffing, the sounds of the horn, the various light decor, and my children’s excited conversation is a memory I won’t soon forget. I happened to get most of the ride on video too!
Throughout the Zoo there are so many lights to see! The colors were all bright and super vibrant! Some of our favorites were the Alice and Wonderland themes, the lights that moved from shapes like a worm into a butterfly, the merry go round, the tunnels of lights, the animal shapes, the trees, and many more. There’s really too many to talk about! It’s clearly something that must be seen for yourself.
A few of the animal exhibits were still open to be seen such as the Elephants, Penguins, Mountain Goats, Tigers/Leopards, Bats, & Fragile Forest. It was a welcome delight for the kids to be able to visit the zoo at night and still be able to see a few of their favorite animals. There were staff members around that were happy to answer any questions too.
There are food vendors open during this time so if you plan on visiting and grabbing something to eat, you can! I heard there’s Hot Cocoa you won’t want to miss out on. I would totally recommend something warm because it can get pretty chilly at night. Be sure to bundle up tight!
Overall, I would highly recommend Zoo Lights to anyone looking for something fun to enjoy with family and friends during this time of the year.
** This year there’s a scavenger hunt that if you find all six lighted Butterflies throughout the zoo, you can enter to win a 4′ plush Penguin!**
-If you are member you can also use your member benefits and get 10% off any Zoo Merchandise.-
Interested in going? ZooLights runs from November 28, 2014 to January 4, 2015.
DISCLAIMER: Through the Cascadia Connect group of bloggers I became aware of this event and was given free tickets for my family to go. Thanks to the zoo and others involved for this opportunity. My thoughts are mine and my family’s own opinion and have not been altered by anyone else. I did not receive any other compensation for this promotion.
It’s December and during this time of the month, I like pulling out all of our favorite Christmas & Holiday titles to read with my family. This year I’m excited to have three new additions added to our collection from Zonderkidz. Why not check them out and see if you might want to share these with your family too!
The Legend of St. Nicholas The true story behind the legend of Santa Claus
In The Legend of St. Nicholas, the new artwork, created by Marley and Me illustrator, Richard Cowdrey, captivates audiences and tells the story of a young man named Nicholas, who was moved by the plight of the poor and needy. Nicholas spent his life secretly helping the poor all over the world, giving gifts on Christmas Eve to remind people of the greatest Gift of all, Jesus Christ. This gentle Christmas book introduces the original St. Nicholas and offers inspiration for readers to become cheerful givers themselves. The final pages in the book include fun Father Christmas traditions in other lands.
This is a wonderful book that explains and illustrates the Legend of Santa Claus well! My daughter recognized the art by Richard Cowdrey from recently having read The Legend of the Candy Cane and having enjoyed that tale, was eager to read this one too!
We meet a young boy and his father out doing some last minute Christmas shopping. The young boy was not entirely eager to get shopping done for his siblings. He was busy pondering the idea of getting himself something with whatever money he had left over. He however comes across a mall Santa telling other kids the legend of St. Nicholas and rethinks his choice.
The story kept my whole family captivated from start to finish. The message that it’s better to give than receive is very present and also that of the greatest gift we could ever receive, Christ Jesus.
The Bible verse James 1:17 is included at the ending of the book which reads, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows”.
I would certainly recommend this title and plan on pulling it out to re-read every Christmas season!
The First Christmas Ever Retelling of the Christmas Story
A simple retelling of the Christmas story, from the angel’s visit to Mary to the shepherds’ joyful praise of the new born Baby, this small format paperback, The First Christmas Ever is sure to be popular with young readers. Using the vibrant and popular artwork of Dennis Jones, families can share this timeless story of God’s love each holiday season.
This retelling of the very first Christmas is done well. The illustrations are very kid-appealing! The colors aren’t dull but not overly vibrant either. I found the imagery to be rich and satisfying! There are full pages of illustrations, 4 panels on one page, and other variations. All done quite well and kept the story moving along.
I appreciate the accurateness of the story. For example, it’s accurate as in the sense that the wise men didn’t show up to visit Jesus as soon as he was born. Often we see the shepherds along with the Wise men all at the stable together. It was nice to see this done right!
This book is great for reading to children or having a child read it on their own. My six year old daughter read this book with ease all by herself. I will be pulling this one out to read during Christmas this month as well as for years to come for my children!
The Christmas Story for Children
by Max Lucado, Randy Frazee and Karen Davis Hill
Ages 5 and up
Follow the events of Jesus’ birth as you read this lovely picture book written by Max Lucado with Randy Frazee and Karen Hill and illustrated by Fausto. The Christmas Story for Children tells readers about the birth of a special baby whose story is filled with love for us all. Young readers as well as their parents will appreciate the beautiful words and artwork that convey the message that we are loved and cherished.
This book doesn’t just follow the event of the birth of Jesus but goes well beyond that. I frankly was quite surprised but over all delighted. The story begins with introducing us to the people of God, the Jews whom had been awaiting a Savior. It ends shortly after Jesus gets baptized and begins his ministry.
The illustrations are very attractive and the story written quite elegantly. The book paraphrases Biblical text . I feel the three people involved in creating this book did an excellent job.
The age recommendation for this story is ages five and up. I would possibly recommend it for children a little older than that. There’s quite a bit of text, and I question attention spans. Though you could break up reading this book into parts over several days.
I like that we see Christ’s birth, baptism, and beginning of His ministry. This displays who Christ was and is to us. It gives children more than the journey of Mary & Jospeh and baby Jesus being born. I feel this makes it an excellent choice for reading during the Advent season.
Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of Zonderkidz Christmas books for this posting. I was not financially compensated for this post.