Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas: A Study of Love Part Three

Now, for the Twelve Days of Christmas! I read a beautifully written book, The Christmas Book by Alice Lawhead. The author has a whole section about slowing down the frenzy and focusing on the meaning of Christmas.

 She offers ideas like celebrating Christmas throughout the original Twelve Days of Christmas, which begins on Christmas Eve and continues until January 6, the celebration of Epiphany, marking the Wise Men's visit to the Baby, the first visit of Gentiles to see the new King. Why not make cookies and have more of the festivities throughout those twelve days with family, instead of spending December in a flat-out rush to get it all ready for that one day and then being so eager to have it all out of the house? This way, we can avoid the letdown of December 26 and keep the focus of the celebration where it should be.

We also used this study to learn more about the many Christmas traditions—those celebrated in this country as well as other countries. These might include the Yule log, mumming, Las Posadas, and on and on. Have the children help with the research and then share their findings.

Use the season to read some classics aloud in the evenings while everyone is working on Christmas projects. Consider books such as The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates by Mary Dodge, and, of course, we read the Gospels in the Bible.

As children get older, there are two books they might enjoy: Two From Galilee: A Love Story of Mary and Joseph and Three From Galilee: The Young Man From Nazareth, both by Marjorie Holmes. These books have made the people and the Nativity so much more real to all of us and added new depth and understanding to the event on a human level.

There are so many books about Christmas available now, and most of my favorites can be found at local Christian bookstores. Some of them are: Let's Keep Christmas by Peter Marshall, The Patricia St. John Christmas Book, Christ Is Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration by James Dobson, and Tomorrow We Go to Bethlehem by John McTavish. It is my hope that you all relax and enjoy the holidays, learning and sharing as a family, and that the adventures will bring you many happy memories in the years to come. May God bless you and your family abundantly!

Amanda B.

Read Part One and Part Two of this article!

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