Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Celebrating A Christ-Centered Christmas by Emily Belle Freeman {Deseret Book Review}

Discover how each figure of the nativity can lead your family closer to Christ this Christmas season. Learn the tradition of the tinkling bell, whip up a batch of French cocoa, create a tender mercy tree, and find ways to make your gift-giving more meaningful as Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas guides you through seven meaningful traditions inspired by the nativity setting. These simple experiences will give you an opportunity to escape from the frantic busyness of the Christmas season to spend time reflecting on the Savior and the miracle of His birth.
Ok!  I'll admit that I am guilty of the sensationalism and commercialism that surrounds my favorite holiday.  We love Santa Claus, we love presents, the tree, the lights and all the sights and sounds that come with it. 

Last year we finally decided that we HAD to cut back and give our kids less.  Yes, it is fun, but it was creating a sense of entitlement and I realized that our kids were not understanding the true meaning of Christmas and they were not having a heart for others who had very little.  In fact, last year, I was trying to explain to my children that other kids may not get much for Christmas this year because their families couldn't afford it.  They were perplexed because, after all, if their moms and dads couldn't afford it Santa would still bring them gifts!  What a mess. I want my kids to love the magic of Christmas and still understand the true meaning behind the holiday - which is the focus on our Savior, Jesus Christ.

So, I started looking for activities and books that would that would help bring more spiritual meaning to our Christmas.  This one is a winner!  In this small book, Celebrating a Christ Centered Christmas, author Emily Belle Freeman demonstrates for us seven traditions that will lead us closer to christ while not compromising the childhood joy of the season.  Starting with Mary, she discusses Joseph, the Angel, shepherds, wise men, the lamb and lastly the Christ Child through personal stories, scriptures and hymns.  Her insight helps the reader to glean more meaning of the scriptures and provides the reader with thought-provoking dialogue.  At the end of each chapter she gives the reader a Tradition to Ponder.  This includes a hymn to sing, a story to tell or lesson to share, and a "moment of celebration" where you a service for someone else.  Lastly, you place the figure in the nativity.

You could treat this book as an advent, reading from it and doing the activities in the weeks leading up to Christmas.  Starting with an empty nativity, placing the figures as you go.  I cannot wait to do this with my family this year!  If you are interested in this book I highly recommend getting it several weeks before Christmas to give you time to really dig into the stories and do the activities.  

Celebrating A Christ Centered Christmas retails at DeseretBook.com for in soft cover for $10.99 and as a Bookshelf eBook for $7.99 .  

All opinions here were my very own.

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