Monday, October 6, 2014

Book Review: The ADVENTure of Christmas

The Adventure of Christmas: Helping Children Find Jesus in Our Holiday Traditions. Lisa Whelchel. Illustrated by Jeannie Mooney. 2004. Multnomah Books. 72 pages. [Source: Library]

I enjoyed reading Lisa Whelchel's The ADVENTure of Christmas. The premise of this one is simple. Christ can be found in the traditions that many of us already have. Christ may not be obviously seen in the traditions that we have. But with a little research, a little work, he can be.

Readers can bring Christ into focus, more into focus, the whole holiday season. Readers don't have to worry that by putting up a tree and lights that they are giving into the world, into a commercialized holiday.

This book isn't necessarily one parents would read aloud to their kids. Though they could read paragraphs here and there. It is a resource or reference for parents to read. Each chapter focuses on one tradition. The tradition is discussed or explained. This is where the research comes in. Where, why, when, who, how, etc. Each chapter includes at least on activity, usually hands-on activity. (Some chapters have just one activity for the family to do together. But some chapters have a handful of activities.) Each chapter includes a teachable moment.

The table of contents:

  • Introduction
  • Advent Wreath
  • The Christmas Tree
  • Lights on the Tree
  • Ornaments on the Tree
  • The Candy Cane
  • The Star
  • X-mas Greetings
  • Outdoor Lights
  • The Colors of Christmas
  • Angels
  • Candles
  • Christmas Cards
  • Baking
  • Caroling
  • The 12 Days of Christmas
  • Wrapping Gifts
  • Giving Gifts
  • Santa Claus
  • Christmas Pageants
  • Nativity Scenes
  • The Wise Men
  • December 25th
  • Opening Presents
  • Christmas Dinner
  • The Christmas Story

From "The Christmas Tree"
The Christmas tree is a beautiful reminder of why Jesus was born in the first place--to die for you and me. "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24, NIV). As we put up the Christmas tree in our homes, it can only deepen our joy if we remember His death at this time of His birth. It is because He died for us that we can receive the eternal life represented by the evergreen boughs. Have you ever noticed that the boughs of your tree extend out like the arms of Jesus stretched upon the cross as He offered His life to anyone who would come to Him in faith? And your Christmas tree is very definitely pointing toward heaven and, as Jesus did with His words and His actions, drawing our attention to the Father who loves us. So when you stand before your Christmas tree, stand tall, as the tree does, and be a witness for Jesus. Let it direct your attention to the Father above. Fix your eyes on Jesus, then open your arms wide to touch others with His spirit of love. Then you, too, will be pointing people toward heaven--and to life beyond the power of death. (8)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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