If there is one thing that I've learned about being a parent it is that you have to be intentional about the big things. The things that matter most seem to slip through the cracks if you aren't intentional. During the Advent season this year I have been super intentional about the books that we choose to read before bed. This is our time to teach the girls what Christmas is really about. It is our time to reflect with them about what a gift Jesus really is to us. We have a book for every night in December but this year these are the books so far that have stopped my in my tracks and have made me think, "Well done author...well done!"
Humphrey's First Christmas is hands down my favorite book. If we could afford only one Christmas book this is the one that I would choose. It never fails, every single time that I read this book I choke up. The first time that I read it I flat out cried. It is about an awkward camel who caravans with the wise men to get to Jesus. He is complaining all along the way until he gets to the stable and sees Jesus. The language is just gorgeous and it is one our family will cherish for generations to come!
This book comes in second on my list. "No, no, no," said Santa in a kindly voice, "Christmas hasn't got anything to do with me. Sit down and I'll tell you all the story of the first Christmas." Santa does just that...he shares about the first Christmas with the animals in the forest. When he is finished telling the story he says, "Love was the gift God gave to us on the first Christmas, and it still is, you know. And this love is far better than any presents I can ever deliver." 'How silly we have been," said the fox, "to think that Christmas was only about presents." This book opened up a great discussion for us about presents at Christmas time.
This is a good one that just gives a quick summary of information that pertains to Christmas. It is a board book so it is good for the younger kids!
Most of this book the reader is presented with open-ended questions about what the angels, Mary, Joseph, the innkeeper, the shepherds, and the wise men might have thought or felt in the midst of the Christmas story. The great thing about questions is that they present the opportunity for you to have meaningful conversations with your children. This book helps to guide a conversation about what everyone might have been feeling and thinking!
I just love the God Gave Us books. This one does a great job of really explaining why God sent Jesus as a gift to us.
This is about a mouse who moves everyone out of the manger and moves himself in. Later, as he hears the family tell the Christmas story he realizes the baby that was in the manger was Jesus so he moves everyone back in.
On a cold winter night kind ox invites one visitor after another into his stable until finally a donkey with Mary and Joseph arrive. "It was a cold winters night beneath the stars light and a little one came for the world."