Christians face many obstacles to prepare for Christmas. We have retailers, restaurants, and a myriad of other noises captivating our attention which lead to our affections. This post is to give you the tools to better focus your attention on Jesus, His birth, life, death, and resurrection.
I would like to take a moment to share with you four resources that I believe will help you better spend your time this Christmas season. I will also give some examples of how these resources have helped me and my family do the same amidst the busyness of this wonderful time of year.
1. Christmas Collection (VOL.1) by Sleeping at Last
In preparation for Christmas, our household plays our favorite Christmas Songs as we “Deck the Halls”…AKA, decorate the house. We’ve noticed that when you play familiar music, specifically music that is uplifting and in this case, connected to a favorite time of year, we’ve realized that there is a calming peace among us – who would have thought? #PrinceOfPeace
For your listening enjoyment, this season here is a mix of traditional hymns as well as movie favorites, all performed by Sleeping At Last. Select the album cover for free access to stream each song or download the entire album.
2. The Twelve Names of Christmas by FamilyLife
Now that our ears have been enticed to prepare us to celebrate Christ’s birth, we are now ready to dig deeper into the true meaning of Christmas. I would like to share three additional resources that can help families draw a richer understanding of this Christ-child. Introducing “The Twelve Names of Christmas: Who is Jesus to me” – a simple 12-day devotional for children 3+ years of age. Teach your family about The Door, The Light of the World, The Bread of Life, and more in a series of short, easy-to-follow, illustrated stories. Then, have your children place the corresponding ornaments on the tree for an interactive family time of adoring Jesus together. Make this Christmas all about Jesus! My youngest children have really enjoyed this set – taking turns each night to pick the ornament to be hung on our Christmas Tree, followed by the respective reading in the included book. The book is both simple to read and understand as well as to keep children engaged. Who doesn’t have time for reading God’s Word so that a child can learn of who Jesus really is?
3. His Royal Names by FamilyLife
What if your children are not really engaged with The Twelve Names of Christmas because it’s “too juvenile” for them? I’ve got you covered! Welcome “His Royal Names” from FamilyLife. King Jesus reigns as the most beautiful and benevolent of kings. He lived on earth with no jeweled crown, no royal scepter, no velvet robe, and no palace. Still, He walked among those He created with complete authority. Because He is King, and we are His subjects, knowing His royal names is our duty and our privilege. As you hang these glittering crowns etched with His royal names, may your family bow before Him as King of kings and LORD of lords, ascribing Him the honor He alone deserves. The set includes a beautiful small book telling the wonder of this King who came to us Christmas morning. This well-made set of ornaments is given purpose through the timeless adjoining book that gives biblical passages, connecting the Names of Jesus to His person and work. A brief excerpt from the “King of Kings” ornament – “Always governing for the good of His people, Jesus sovereignly works righteousness in those who believe, and He continually seeks those who are lost. The purity of His goodness is beyond our comprehension, for His sacrifice was not given only to a select few or to those who deserve His grace. This King never plays favorites ‘For God shows no partiality’ (Romans 2:11). He eagerly goes after the lost sheep and just as tenderly corrects those who are prone to wander.”
4. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
Lastly, I wanted to share another resource, while not our favorite, it is one that we find ourselves picking up frequently. “Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas” is an in-depth explanation of why Jesus left heaven to come to earth. Person by person, story by story, retrace the lineage of Jesus. Fall in love with Him all over again as you experience God’s plan of salvation for us – from the Garden of Eden to the manger and beyond. Beginning with December 1, “The Place Where Love Grows” and leading all the way through to December 25, “Never-Ending Christmas” is where we find this beautifully colored and ornate book leading us to Jesus’ love for His people. I would like to add that some of the daily devotions can be a bit verbose, as Ann Voskamp is known for, however that doesn’t take away from its masterpiece. TEASER: Our family will be giving Voskamp’s newest Advent resource a “test-drive” beginning tonight, December 1 and will have a follow-up posting on what we think.
Please consider how these resources can draw you away from the hustle and bustle of the world’s Christmas and let it give you a more beautifully rich understanding of our LORD’s birth and His much-awaited return. “‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come LORD Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)
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