How does your family prepare for Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ birth? Do you light Advent candles, bake sugar cookies, or sing Christmas carols? Perhaps you decorate your house in festive lights, trim the Christmas tree, and watch your favorite movies as you sip hot cocoa and enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire?
This year, we’re starting a new tradition – the 25 Books of Christmas – and we’d love it if you would join us!
Our family loves to read, so instead of turning on the television during this sacred season, we’re focusing on Christ by launching the 25 Books of Christmas tradition in our home. We want our kids to grow up hearing stories about the miracle of Jesus’ birth. We want then to know that it’s not about Santa Claus, a red-nosed reindeer, a frosty snowman, and elves on shelves!
This year, we are setting our minds on things above.
We’re focusing on stories and Scriptures that will lead us to a better understanding and appreciation of the real reason we celebrate Christmas:
But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy. It is for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you. He is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 1:10-11
I believe that making the 25 Books of Christmas a part of our annual Christmas tradition reinforces the spiritual messages we hear in church and blesses our family in countless ways:
- This tradition helps us focus on the true meaning of Christmas – the miracle of Jesus’s birth – every day of the season.
- This tradition minimizes secular messages that distract our children from Jesus by helping us control the content our kids view and hear.
- This tradition helps us set aside daily, quality time so our family can spiritually grow together!
If this is your first time participating in 25 Books of Christmas, the process might sound a bit overwhelming (or expensive), but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to help you get started on this fun yet meaningful family tradition:
- First, decide how many books you’d like to start with and plan from there. If you’re on a tight budget, don’t feel like you have to purchase 25 books all at once! Begin by rounding up any Christmas books you have on hand, and then add new ones to your collection as you’re able to each year. Or check out a few from your church library. I can always find the perfect children’s Christmas books with a focus on Jesus at store.FaithGateway.com !
- Once you’ve collected your books, wrap them in festive paper and place them in a basket. Keep your camera nearby so that you can capture memories throughout the process!
- Each day, let your children pick the book they’d like to read and enjoy (for them, it’s like opening a present each day!) Once the book is unwrapped, your kids are then free to enjoy the book throughout the Christmas season. At the end of the year, collect the books and save them until the next 25 Books of Christmas season begins!
This year, I’m gathering all of my family’s favorite books from Christmas’s past, then surprising them with these hot-off-of-the-presses children’s Christmas books:
- A Night Of Great Joy: In this delightfully illustrated picture book, beloved New York Times best-selling illustrator Mary Engelbreit captures the joy and wonder of the Nativity story as seen through the performance of a children’s Christmas pageant.
- Christmas Love Letters From God Bible Stories: What could mean more to young children than getting a series of love letters from God at Christmastime? That’s what awaits them – along with a whimsical collection of seven beloved Bible stories that focus on the birth of Jesus – in this special book from Glenys Nellist!
- Good Night Manger: This is the perfect book to read to young kids when they can’t fall asleep at night. Good Night Manger tells the story of how Mary and Joseph tried to get Baby Jesus to fall asleep in the noisy stable after his birth. We love the book’s gentle, lulling rhyme and the bright, inviting illustrations of New York Times best-selling artist Jane Chapman!
- Ready, Set, Find Christmas: This is the perfect interactive look-and-find book for engaging young minds! Mary and Joseph are on their way to Bethlehem on Christmas night. Help them to find the many different things they need at every point of their journey!
- The Berenstain Bears And The Christmas Angel: In this newest Berenstain Bears Living Lights book, Brother, Sister, and Honey are in a hurry to get out into snow-covered Bear Country to build a snow bear. But when Honey gets bored and makes a snow angel, Brother and Sister have a better idea! The cubs make a Christmas Angel, and get a little lesson about God’s angels from Mama and Papa Bear.
There are so many wonderful Christmas stories available to share with our children. What books will you add to your kids’ 25 Books of Christmas basket this year?
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Does your family currently participate in 25 Books Of Christmas – or will you be joining us for the first time this year? What Christmas books do you plan to share with your kids? Please share your tips and recommendations with us in the comments – we’d love to hear from you!