Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Advent Adventures

*Disclaimer: Links in this post are affiliate links. I will receive a small monetary compensation for anything ordered through those links. Thank you!
Christmas is on its way, whether we are ready or not! And I know, many of us still have Thanksgiving on our minds, and we want to celebrate it before we crowd our lives with Christmas.  But there is a little preparing that needs to be done, and I would like to suggest one quick purchase to help your family prepare itself for Christmas.
Our family began seven years ago reading a book for Christmas.  Actually, it was for the Advent season. We begin reading right around Thanksgiving, and read a bit of the story each day afterwards, ending the story on Christmas morning. But we don't read just any old book. We were introduced to Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent, and began a journey ourselves.  We had never really celebrated Advent before, and this became a very special part of our holiday season. The children, Heath and I could not wait to get evening chores done, get home if we were out, or be ready for bed so we could start our time of reading together.  We usually sing a song or two together, but the purpose of those moments was to read the story. 
Jotham is a 10 year old boy shepherd boy in biblical times, who finds himself in great trouble.  The story twists and turns, is full of suspense, and keeps you wanting more. Jotham finds himself face to face with legendary thieves, slave dealers, robbers and more. He also finds scribes, other children, wise men, and a tiny baby. To be fair, when we started reading this story, my children were nine and under.  If your oldest is preschool aged, I'm not sure these are the stories to fit your family yet.  Unless your child is used to sitting for 15-20 minutes listening to you read. I often have color sheets for my littlest ones to work on while we read so their hands stay busy and they stay engaged. 
The biggest bonus is that Jotham's Journey is just the first in a series! We rotate through the years and follow with Tabitha's Travels, and Bartholomew's Passage. Both of these stories are woven into the original story, but follow a different child. Our children are already looking forward to this year's adventure, Bartholomew's Passage!
This year's Advent story is set to begin on November 30, so you still have time to get your own copy of this book.  And if you are an Amazon Prime member, it will come to you in a couple of days, at no extra cost for shipping! I know that this has almost sounded like a Reading Rainbow book report, but I'm just giving you our family's honest opinion about the books.  I get nothing in return (unless, of course the affiliate links), and was not asked to give my opinion. I'm just the kind of person that likes to give her opinions to others for the fun of it!
Whatever you do this season, remember to prepare your hearts, and the heart of your family. Don't get caught up in the rush and noise of the season.  Instead, find yourself resting quietly at a manger stall, learning from the miracle that was and is Jesus.