In our home, Christmas is a very special time of year. Like many of you, we pull out all of our decorations and make the house look and smell like Christmas. This year we even put up a fireplace. Smile
I like to joke that Christmas tries to creep in to Thanksgivings holiday space and that we need to let Thanksgiving breathe (I refuse to listen to Christmas music until after thanksgiving in our house), but one thing that makes Christmas such a special holiday it the length of time that families spend celebrating it. The advent season is even more special because it offers families the opportunity to share about Jesus with their children and family in multiple ways. One of the best ways to engage your children with the gospel story over Christmas is through an advent daily reading.
Sarah and I have tried many advent calendars and devotionals to help us be consistent with sharing the Christmas story throughout the advent season. Our favorite advent devotional is called Messiah Vine. (After reading this go order your Messiah Vine)
It is not just a Christmas reading, it’s a Bible reading!
Here is how it works:
The package comes with a devotional booklet containing a page for each day of advent and a group of beautiful handmade ornaments that serve as memory markers, helping children remember the daily readings.
- Each devotional page gives verses to read and details on how to talk about the passage with your children. The page also reminds you to hang the ornament that corresponds with the reading.
- The ornament is the key for the children. As they listen to you read the scripture their mind is looking and listening for mental hooks to hang their memory on. When you give them a visual representation of the reading, their minds gladly hangs their memory there. Every time they see the ornament it will trigger their memory.
- One of our favorite thing about Messiah Vines, is that it is not just a Christmas reading, it is a Bible reading. This may seem like I am mincing words, but let me explain. The daily reading are not confined to Luke chapter 2. You will begin with creation and walk through major moments of scripture leading up to the incarnation of God at Christmas. But that is not the only way that this devotional goes beyond the just Christmas. If you read the description on the Etsy page you will see that there are “39 unique ornaments.” That is too many for any advent calendar. The reason for the extra ornaments is that the devotional does not stop at Christmas, it continues (at a slower pace) until we reach Easter. The reading culminate at the Resurrection of Christ! It is not just a Christmas reading, it’s a Bible reading.
I could not recommend this resource for families more highly. It has been a wonderful reminder for us of the love that God displays throughout scripture and has helped our children to understand the story of our King!
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