I love this book!! It's a different approach to christmas than I have ever thought about, but it's incredibly simple. There's a chapter for each person who came to visit the Savior when he was born, along with a story and then she asks you to think about how it would feel to be Mary or a shepherd. I love it! It's a great help for a time of the year that is so busy we forget what it's all about!!! You have to buy this book, you will NOT be disappointed... except I wish it was longer!!
This is a favorite Christmas book of mine, Freeman shares traditions from her family that may likely be ones you haven't thought of doing before. I like how she presents her own traditions and thoughts in a way that is open and adaptable. My children (ages 9, 7, 1) and my husband and I have all loved the traditions we have begun these last few years. Serving in a soup kitchen is great, and Sub-for-Santa is a wonderful thing to do, but I don't need a book to give me those suggestions--which is why I appreciate this book for the new ideas I haven't considered before.
The author has done a wonderful job here! This is exactly the kind of book I've been looking for-ideas for making Christmas more meaningful and Christ-centered. She includes lots of ideas and different suggestions that are easy to implement. I will be reading this multiple times throughout the year to make next Christmas more focused on the Savior.
Ok! I'll admit that I am guilty of the sensationalism and commercialism that surrounds my favorite holiday. We love Santa Claus, we love presents, the tree, the lights and all the sights and sounds that come with it.
Last year we finally decided that we HAD to cut back and give our kids less. Yes, it is fun, but it was creating a sense of entitlement and I realized that our kids were not understanding the true meaning of Christmas and they were not having a heart for others who had very little. In fact, last year, I was trying to explain to my children that other kids may not get much for Christmas this year because their families couldn't afford it. They were perplexed because, after all, if their moms and dads couldn't afford it Santa would still bring them gifts! What a mess. I want my kids to love the magic of Christmas and still understand the true meaning behind the holiday - which is the focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ.
So, I started looking for activities and books that would that would help bring more spiritual meaning to our Christmas. This one is a winner! In this small book, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas, author Emily Belle Freeman demonstrates for us seven traditions that will lead us closer to christ while not compromising the childhood joy of the season. Starting with Mary, she discusses Joseph, the Angel, shepherds, wise men, the lamb and lastly the Christ Child through personal stories, scriptures and hymns. Her insight helps the reader to glean more meaning of the scriptures and provides the reader with thought-provoking dialogue. At the end of each chapter she gives the reader a Tradition to Ponder. This includes a hymn to sing, a story to tell or lesson to share, and a "moment of celebration" where you a service for someone else. Lastly, you place the figure in the nativity.
You could treat this book as an advent, reading from it and doing the activities in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Starting with an empty nativity, placing the figures as you go. I cannot wait to do this with my family this year! If you are interested in this book I highly recommend getting it several weeks before Christmas to give you time to really dig into the stories and do the activities.