The Advent season is underway in our house and it has been such a precious time thus far. This year I bought a new advent calendar that has the nativity scene in the middle with magnetic pieces so the kids can put them on and move them around. Each day we open a door and another piece is put on (and of course a little piece of candy). However, before we open the door we read a story from Advent Storybook: 24 stories to share before Christmas By Antonie Schneider (Author), Maja Dusikova (Illustrator).
The book is really cute and it is written at a level that my three and a half year old can understand. She looks forward to the story just as much as opening the little door and there is a lesson to be learned after each story.
I was really challenged this year to make sure that during this season they know the true meaning of Christmas, which goes beyond the gifts under our tree. I don’t know about you but it is very easy to let the holiday season, with the hustle of the deals in the stores, turn your focus away from what’s important…our Saviour’s birth.
Another wonderful book that I found that is full of activities, history and lessons to do during this season was The ADVENTure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions by Lisa Whelchel (Author), Jeannie Mooney (Illustrator). Together we have done some activities and learned history, which has been fun. We are all lifelong learners and finding out new things is fun for me.
|Ornaments we made together and painted.|
Of course all these books are great resources but the greatest book that tells the most important story is the Bible. Each day we have a scripture that we read also and I do my best to explain to a three year old the meaning and importance of Jesus’ birth. I know at times she does not understand it all but I pray that the seeds my husband and I plant, and all the watering, will someday grow into their own acceptance of The Lord Jesus as their personal Saviour.
May this Advent Season be a time spent reflecting on the little one Born in Bethlehem for you and me, Jesus.
10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
Below I have included the descriptions of the books I mentioned and information on the Advent Calendar courtesy of http://www.amazon.com/
The ADVENTure of Christmas By Lisa Whelchel
The ADVENTure of Christmas is a guide for moms concerned that their children are losing sight of Jesus in the midst of the distractions the holiday season brings. Lisa Whelchel was such a mom, but instead of abandoning the traditions of Christmas she rediscovered their original meanings, which were intended to remind people of God’s unfathomable gift. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree have become opportunities to teach her children about how they relate to Jesus’ birth. With The ADVENTure of Christmas, mothers can redeem what’s been lost from the very symbols that are gentle reminders of the true meaning of Christmas.
Have you discovered that Jesus sometimes gets lost in the middle of the hustle and bustle of His birthday party? Would you like to be able to keep your children's focus on Jesus and also join them in the wonder of the celebration?
For each of the twenty-four days preceding Christmas, The ADVENTure of Christmas serves as a fun and handy guide that describes the significance behind your favorite traditions. Hanging lights on the house, wrapping gifts, and decorating the tree will become opportunities to share how these customs relate to Jesus' birth. The ADVENTure of Christmas recaptures the true meaning of this beloved season, giving reasons to celebrate for years to come.
Story Behind the Book
Feeling like Jesus had gotten lost in the frenzy of the holiday season, I asked the Lord to show me what I could do to teach my children the true meaning of Christmas. I was caught off-guard when He simply replied, "Don’t do anything differently. Look in the middle of the celebration and you will find Me." He was right. There was no need to orchestrate moments to pontificate about "the commercialization of Christmas." Instead, Jesus is beckoning us to come to the party and bring the kids. In doing so, we run into Him at the mall, the movies, even at school. He hides in the lights, the carols, and the cards. He is there when we dress the evergreen tree, when Dad dresses up in a red suit, and even when we eat turkey and dressing!
Advent Storybook: 24 stories to share before Christmas By Antonie Schneider
Benjamin Bear is so impatient for Christmas to come. To help the time pass more quickly, his mother tells him that every day when he opens a door on his Advent calendar she'll tell him a story—twenty-four stories all about another little bear and his long, arduous journey to Bethlehem. The little bear, led by a glittering star, meets many others on his travels across hot deserts, snowy mountains, and through dark, lonely nights. His adventures, filled with acts of heroism and kindness and many small miracles, show him the path to the Christ Child. And by journey's end Benjamin Bear—and all youngsters who share the stories and their simple morals along with him—will understand and celebrate the true spirit of Christmas.