As a mother to a four-year-old and a 16-month-old, I’m tasked with the job to share the real Christmas story with my children while living in a culture steeped in the commercial aspect of Christmas. It’s really hard to convey the real reason our family celebrates Christmas to our children when they are at an age (well, the four-year-old is, the 16-month-old isn’t really aware yet!) where they are all about themselves and what’s in it for them. All of the gifts from loving family and friends takes center stage and Christ’s birth is relegated to a corner all too easily.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t address my own heart and my husband’s in this matter as well. What do we focus on during this season whether intentionally or not? Or we more interested in our wish lists and what special gifts we are purchasing for those special to us or having a perfectly decorated tree and home? I’m ashamed to say that maybe we are.
When I first heard of affiliate partner “More Than a Holiday“, I was pretty interested right away. My heart needs a reminder and a tool to share with my children the heart of the holiday. The last couple of Christmases I’ve been yearning for a more quality than quantity Christmas time experience. Do you feel that, too? Do you want to really go in depth with your family this Christmas season and get intimately familiar with the miraculous birth of our Savior?
More Than a Holiday is a really special devotional I’m excited to use this December with my family. Available in ebook format or print, you can buy the version best suited to your needs. Taking a closer look inside, you’ll find six sections for each day, December 1 through December 25.
1. A Closer Look – This is a section just for parents (or perhaps your older children.) It will give you the historical context and theological significance of that day’s reading.
2. Read – This section lists the scripture passage for the whole family to read together for that day.
3. Daily Devotion – The devotion is a short reading for the whole family, though you may want to skip this if your children are too young for it. I haven’t decided yet if we will always read this portion or not but they seem short enough we probably will. There is another option for younger children I’ll mention below as well though.
4. Let’s Talk – There are three questions designed to start a discussion with your family about the reading. Of course, they are just suggestions. You can feel free to use them as a starting point or ask your own questions.
5. Prayer – A simple prayer is suggested but, like the questions, it’s just a starting point. I think we’ll take turns leading the prayer time between the three of us (since the 16-month-old obviously can’t yet!)
6. Family Time Activities – Four activities for each day will bring your family together for some fun! Do what you think would be the most fun for your family. Each day also suggests a Christmas song. I know my daughter will enjoy this part. And, like I mentioned above, there is something especially for the younger kids in this section. Most days contain a suggested children’s book about the topic. You can find many of them at your local library. Take a look at the list. If you find the devotional section at little too much for your little one, you can use these book suggestions instead.
I also wanted to mention on December 4th, instead of the regular format listed above, instead is a script of the whole narrative of the birth of Christ written to be read by four readers. Even if you don’t buy the book, this script is available on their website which I think is pretty cool.
Would you like your own copy? You can buy it in ebook format on their website and the print book on Amazon. You can also win a copy in the format of your choice right here this week! If you want to go ahead and buy it, feel free to still enter the giveaway. If you win, you will be reimbursed! Entry is via the Rafflecopter entry form below. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I received a copy of More Than a Holiday for the purpose of this review. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions are 100% my own. I only review products that I either have purchased myself and love or products I have been given a chance to review by the company that I believe are products my readers would benefit from.