Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Celebrating Advent

ImageCelebrating Advent – Family Devotions and Activities for the Christmas Season
Written by Ann Hibbard
Published at Revell

About the Book

Help focus your family on what really matters at Christmastime.

If you ask kids what Christmas is about, you'll get a variety of answers. Presents, decorating, presents, Santa Claus, presents, carols . . . presents. Few will say anything about Christ. How would your kids answer that question?

In a culture obsessed with material things, it can be difficult to help our kids understand and celebrate the true meaning of the Christmas season. In Celebrating Advent, author Ann Hibbard has created a way for parents to set aside a daily time during Advent to talk with their kids about the spiritual meaning of the season.

Learn practical steps you can take to make Christmas a more meaningful, happy experience for your family. Inspiring and creative family devotions provide a moment of peace and reflection for each evening of Advent, while fun and inexpensive project ideas help you focus your kids' attention on what really matters at Christmas: Christ.

Who is Ann Hibbard?

Ann Hibbard is a Bible study teacher and the author of several books, including Family Celebrations: Meeting Christ in Your Holidays and Special Occasions. She resides in Virginia with her husband.

My Thoughts

Last year was the first time we decided to celebrate advent with a Jesse Tree and with following a special story during that time.    We enjoyed it very much the kids and I.    This year, I am planning to continue this special time with a new story and other ideas.   So when I had the opportunity to review the IMG_5291Celebrating Advent  book I was more than eager to see what ideas I could gleaned from it.

This delightful book will allow you to approach the Holidays with a fresh look on the season.    In it you will discover advent devotions for two years that you can alternate as the years go by.   And you will also find celebrations, family worship ideas as well as the Twelfth Night Party which includes a feast, a pageant and a service. 

Last year, our Jesse Tree consisted of brown paper on which I painted a Christmas tree on it.    This book gives you detailed instructions to make one out of felt…  I wish I would be a great seamstress and created one but the reality is I am not that great and I don’t have the time to figure it out this year.  However, you will also find instructions to make a Jesse Tree with a tree branch as well as instructions to make an advent wreath which has been a dream of mine for quite some time.   Finally, at the end of the book you will also find symbol patterns to put in the Jesse tree.  These are different than the ones we had last year and I plan to use them this time.    What I usually do is that I ask one child per day to color the symbol of the day and glue it on the tree.   The kids have a blast to decorate these and it makes our Jesse tree more interesting than if I would be the one coloring them…  

Finally, at the end of the book you will find some hymns included as well as the music sheet that goes with them.

Celebrating Advent is definitively complete to make your advent days interesting and fun for everyone in the family.    Last year my husband didn’t enjoy having the story read during supper time but having devotions instead will probably grab his interest this year.  The devotions are two pages long and includes a little story, Bible readings as well as discussion questions that everyone in the family can participate while having our daily time around the table, a prayer, a song (if you want to sing), the Jesse tree activity as well as a special study for adults.  It is indeed complete and will bring you to Christmas with a new perspective.   I personally think that all Christian families should get this marvelous little book to make their Advent time more meaningful this year.

Celebrating Advent is available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, even at

Disclaimer: Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. I was not monetarily compensated for this review. Please note that the review was not influenced by the Sponsor in any way. All opinions expressed here are only my own.

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