By Kathy Overman
Is your Christmas all glitz and no sparkle?
All money and no mystery?
Most parents long to nurture faith in their children, and Christmas is a wonderful time to do it. But how? Fun Family Christmas Devotions: Advent Guide for Busy Parents is a busy parentís dream, Not overwhelming in size, this beautifully illustrated full color book is full of easy-to-implement, fun ways to bring the true meaning of Christmas to the forefront.
Watch their eyes sparkle
To help celebrate Advent (meaning "the coming" or "the arrival") you and your children can create an Advent centerpiece or wreath from greenery in your yard, to place on your table. It will contain 4 colored candles, flanking one white "Christ-child" candle in the center. Each candle has special significance. They traditionally represent prophecy, Bethlehem, shepherds and angels. These provide wonderful "jumping off points" for fun family Christmas devotions!
Unleash their creativity
Once you have established a theme for your family celebration (and candle) you can choose which songs, crafts, games or activities will best suit your children's ages and interests. Do as many or as few activities as your schedule allows. You'll be amazed at the difference even a few well-planned spiritual activities will make! For example, provide craft odds-and-ends for your younger children, and let them help provide a focus through marshmallow-sheep or play-dough angels. Games, crafts, food creations, and discussion topics are provided for each focus. Ideas for older children, and for inclusion of people with disabilities are a special part of the mix.
The Prophecy Candle
How would your children enjoy a "treasure hunt" where they run and giggle from paper clue to clue, incidentally exploring the ancient prophecies leading up to Christís birth? The final clue will be at the family nativity scene, where candy kisses await, reminding them of the love of the Father. Ready-to-use clues with Biblical references and directions are provided.
The Bethlehem Candle
What is the significance of the Son of God, the King of kings, presenting Himself to the world in humble little Bethlehem? What crafts, games, songs, and thoughtful discussion starters will bring out the amazing humility of Almighty God? Children will have fun building an edible Bethlehem and inviting their friends to help!
The Shepherd Candle
Bundle your children up, and let them imagine they are shepherds as they listen to the pastoral sounds of flute and panpipes (music CD provided with book.) Give them marshmallows and frilly toothpicks to create their own flock. of sheep and lambs. What did Jesus mean, when He said, "I am the Good Shepherd"?
The Angel Candle
Not too many people noticed the birth of the infant King, yet a few hundred thousand angels ("multitudes of heavenly hosts") shouted and sang His praises! Sing with the beautiful CD, "Angels We Have Heard On High." Reenact the Christmas story with an easy-to-follow script. Be an "angel" to a person with disabilities. Make an angel-food cake!
Jesus' Birthday Party
Play pin the tail on the camel! Dance to the family-style Christmas Circle Dance (illustrated choreography and music are provided). Get out your markers and beautify Bible-story placemats (reproducible) or create party hats with wise-man crowns. Plan what gifts you will offer the King this coming year.
This is the book you've been waiting for!
Endorsed across denominations by pastors like Bishop Joey Johnson of Akron, Ohio, Pastor Gary Galbranson of Westminster Chapel in Bellevue, Washington, MOPS coordinator Susan Clyde, and Marcy Willis, principal of Christ Church Academy, you can be assured the content is spot-on, to nourish your children's spirits.
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