Monday, November 22, 2010

Advent Books for Families

I'd be really curious to know if you all have a good Toddler Advent Season devotional type of book. I haven't come across any just yet but I do have a couple of ones that are geared more for older kids that we currently glean from. We browse and adapt things for use from these two books.

* By the way - first week in Advent begins Sunday, November 28th! *

Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration is out-of-print at this time but can be picked up for an economical $0.01 on Amazon. (ha!) We had this book when I was growing up and my parents used it. When I found a copy at our local Christian bookstore, I picked it up more for the memory of it than because I thought we'd be able to instantly use it.

This book takes you through the advent season, week by week. The devotionals in this book are written by James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, James Montgomery Boice and R.C. Sproul. It is filled with lessons, questions for discussion, songs to sing, and scripture passages to read. I think book is perfectly suited to ages 6 and up. I think four is a bit too young, and one and half most definitely is. But we can poke through and pick up bits and pieces to share with our boys this year.

The book that we find it a little bit more convenient to use at this point in time is Just 25 Days 'Til Christmas. This one is also out-of-print and cost a wee bit more than the first book I mentioned. You can find a used copy of this one on Amazon for $0.09. (Ouch!) My copy of this book is entitled, "The 25 Days of Christmas" so apparently the title was changed at some point. Rebecca Hayford Bauer wrote this book because she said:

"Christmas has long been called a season for children. But I had become so involved in the busyness that the children were set aside. I found myself so busy with doing things for them (buying gifts, planning surprises) that I wasn't spending time with them in giving, in baking, in decorating, in wrapping. And in teaching them about the miracle of Christmas." (from the Introduction)

It seems that Bauer is a big fan of the Christmas season which makes it easy for me to connect to her writing style.

Each of the 25 days laid out in this book include:

  • A daily devotional
  • Worship music (lots of Christmas carols to sing together)
  • Hints to parents on how to bring their children into the festivities, instead of relegating them to the role of viewers only.
  • A practical check-list to help you move through the Christmas season (without losing your mind!)
The devotionals are one full page long. It's a tad bit lengthy for our four year old, but that's a shaky estimate. I bet he could sit through it. We also prefer to select a set number of Christmas carols to learn over the Christmas/Advent season instead of just singing different songs every day. His ability to memorize things is tremendous these days so Daddy sings him through and explains the lyrics to particular songs so that we can get a good grasp on a few, rather than just listening to and mentally dismissing a bunch. Last year, at age 3, we taught him Away in a Manger. This year we'll add a few more sacred songs to his repertoire and we find that works well. (Even Bookworm2 sings along in Baby-speak which is really fun[ny]!)

I really like Just 25 Days 'Til Christmas and find it to be very practical.

Do you all have any you can recommend? I've browsed our local Christian bookstore but I just haven't seen anything and so if you have a suggestion, please leave one in the comments! I'd be curious to know of any other resources along these lines so that we can make EVERY Advent season fresh and new to our children!


Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

You're welcome. :-)

Annette W. said...

You know that I like the little advent book set we have.

I'm not home right now, but your post made me remember another advent book we have...for the family...but I have no idea the name. I will have to dig it out and use it this year...hasn't been used since I taught.

Gidget Girl Reading said...

we have a great one for families too called: family devotions Celebrate Jesus at Christmas

I'll have to see if my library has those

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