"Eager to help Joseph make his decision about marrying Mary, God chose to reveal His will in a dream...God showed us how Joseph trusted and followed Him so that we can, too."
Our Family Christmas--a Memory-Making Devotional, by Karon Phillips Goodman (Barbour, 2010). This lovely gift book has 28 chapters; enough for each day of Advent even if you start the book on the first Sunday of Advent rather than December 1.
Each 4-page spread starts with a Christmas-related scripture passage including some of the prophetic Old Testament passages in Isaiah or Samuel. Following the scripture is a brief devotional that draws the spiritual principle into our present time. A simple activity follows; some are crafty, but others are more focused on pondering or apply the spiritual lesson. Next there's an excerpt from a traditional Christmas song, and the section concludes with a suggested prayer.
Although we have our own evening tradition that includes most of those aspects, I could see using this book as a breakfast-time devotion during Advent. It would be a great way to start each day with thoughts of what the season really means. And it would be easy to choose to do just a few of the activities each week so that from year to year the experience would differ a bit. And though it's titled "Our Family Christmas," it would actually be a nice devotional for someone to go through even on their own. From the ribbon bookmark to the beautiful full-color illustrations throughout, this book would be a thoughtful and cherished gift as well as a meaningful addition to your own Christmas library.
I just found another bag of Christmas books I added to my collection after Christmas last year (yes, my bargain-hunting runs through my Advent traditions too!). Looking through my unexplored treasures I found that I have a second copy of Our Family Christmas, and I'd love to share it with someone who would love to have it. (If you don't win the giveaway, but would like your own copy of this book, it's on sale for 2.99 at Christian Book.com.)
To enter the giveaway, you just need to leave me a comment answering the question: What is your favorite family Christmas tradition? Either the family you're raising/part of now, or the family you grew up in.
I'll include comments left until midnight Friday (Pacific Standard Time) and announce the winner on Sunday. Please be sure to leave me a way to contact you in case you win; either a link to your blog (where I can find your contact information) or an email address.