This week’s Kid Talk Tuesday post is from publishing coordinator Linda MacKillop.
In an ever-changing world, traditions bring a sense of continuity and safety to families and children as we revisit them year after year. They arrive with familiarity and attached memories, bringing back the past, reminding us of the great truths of our faith, and the power of families.
As families, some of our traditions focus around the pumpkin pies, Grandma’s chocolate balls, church services on Christmas Eve, the retelling of the Christmas story by the fire, or a favorite Christmas movie. Others look forward to favorite ornaments pulled out of dusty boxes, forgotten throughout the year but arriving with fun memories.
In our own home, despite the fact our sons are grown and gone from the nest, they expect certain predictability year after year. And we do not disappoint. As daughter-in-laws begin to appear and our full house has to adjust to new in-laws which call our sons away on some holidays, certain traditions morph while others remain the same. But all in all, my sons love knowing that home will smell and look the same for each holiday, and we’ll enjoy the same celebration.
But often as families, we struggle to find fresh and innovative ways to celebrate the Christmas story and take it beyond food and fun. This year, Tyndale would like to help in your endeavor to bring the sacredness back to Christmas by introducing you to a new tradition. Consider making the reading of Ann Voskamp’s beautiful new book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, a part of your Advent celebration this year.
Advent means “coming,” and as Ann says in the introduction to The Greatest Gift, before we ever read of Christ’s first coming, we were told about his family tree. So this year when we come to the Christmas story with our Christmas trees, Ann has some suggestions for incorporating the Jesse Tree into your celebration to focus on Christ’s lineage and the promise of His arrival on earth. And lineage matters.
Based on her previous publication, The Greatest Gift, Ann’s new book is a family-friendly, beautifully illustrated version of the adult book, allowing you to celebrate and make memories together. You will trace the story of Jesus from the beginning of creation through His birth, death, and resurrection, witnessing God’s unconditional and amazing love for us since the beginning.
In Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, Ann has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families with children of all ages can read a Scripture passage and engage with a specially written devotion to help them understand the theme for the day. For example, one segment invites you to read the story of Jonah and relates it to Jesus’ time on earth. For a follow-up activity, you are invited to draw a picture related to being sorry.
The food and the movies and the tree are all wonderful ornaments to the Christmas celebration. But Tyndale hopes you will pick up a copy of the Unwrapping the Greatest Gift to focus your celebration on the first Advent of Christ, and make this a part of your family Christmas this year and in future years. We wish you a Blessed Christmas celebration as you incorporate tried and true traditions along with something new!