Thursday, December 01, 2011

Counting down to Christmas

It seems hard to believe but Advent is already here! This year we are counting the days to Christmas with a new Advent calendar I made out of felt stockings. (I shared directions to how I made them at my cousin's blog She Who Makes.) In each stocking is a card with a family activity to help us celebrate and prepare the way for the Savior's birth.

The picture above is a bit misleading because today's stocking is actually number 24. Since I have two sons at home they are taking turns pulling the cards out of the stockings, and Buddy's on the even numbered days. He pulled out the card that says, "Gather the Christmas books and read a story." We had to hunt around the book collections and find all the old treasures. I have collected a lot of Christmas books over the years and pulling them out is one of my favorite holiday activities!

Today we start reading The Way to Bethlehem by Inos Biffi, illustrated by Franco Vignazia. (Eerdmans, 1997).  From the introduction:

"Leading Children to Christmas - Today, Christmas is often reduced to a routine exchange of presents. This small book brings together words and images to guide children to the true Christmas, the Christmas that the Church has never ceased to celebrate. Derived from the Gospels themselves, this little volume simply retraces their account of the expectation and coming of Jesus. In addition, it recalls those saints who in various ways were close to the Child that first Christmas."

The gorgeous illustrations are painted in a medieval style in vibrant colors, pulling readers into the story by the passionate expressions on the character's faces. I plan to read a short selection each evening as we light the advent candles on our supper table. Other more friviolous stories will be read at bedtime to be sure!

I am unemployed this Christmas and planning to have a very simple, homemade holiday. I'll be posting about the gifts and decorations we made and the stories we read as we make our way toward Bethlehem. Won't you join us and share your celebrations?


Kelly @ The Homeschool Co-op said...

Thanks for linking up with Advent Inspiration! And I'm inspired. I've never read this book, but will now. And, of course, am thrilled to have found another blogging children's librarian. We're also going frugal this Christmas. In fact, I suppose I should be working on my handmade gifts right now... All the best!
Kelly @ The Homeschool Co-op

Diane said...

Thank you for a new Christmas book idea for my grandson. He has started to outgrow some of his Christmas books and this one looks like it will be a good addition to his book shelf.