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5 Stars Out Of 5
Kids love this, and I love the Jesus focus as well as the craft, playacting, responsive prayers, and more!
December 3, 2015
A daily advent devotional that is squarely about the "Reason for the Season" and yet includes for discussion advent chains, decorated evergreen trees, etc.. Cute drawings and we love the daily cheer: "We're ready and we're waiting to shout 'It's Christmas Day!' It's almost Jesus' birthday. We're counting down each day." As another reviewer notes, parents do have to teach (in and beyond advent season) the reason Jesus came at the season...to redeem/rescue us from our sins.
Do you remember how hard it was to wait for Christmas when you were a kid? In an effort to help the time pass more quickly, Dr. Mary Manz Simon's My First Countdown to Christmas offers not only the true story of the first Christmas, but also activities and prayers to help the days pass more quickly.
Each two page spread of this board book features a short devotional. Some of them tell a part of the story of Jesus' birth, while others discuss popular Christmas things like evergreen Christmas trees, bells, and cookies. Many pages also offer ideas for simple projects, like an Advent paper chain, homemade Christmas tree decorations, or figuring out a way to tell someone "I love you" without speaking the words. A short, simple prayer is also included for each spread, often with blanks for kids to fill in. For example, "The shepherds told people about Jesus. I can tell people about Jesus, too. I can tell --------. Amen." A paraphrased Bible verse is also included with each devotional.
Throughout, bright, colorful illustrations by Siobhan Harrison show young children of many ethnicities involved in Christmas activities like visiting relatives, using an Advent calendar, decorating the tree, and dancing and singing.
What I Like: Pretty much everything. Each devotional is short and simple - perfect for toddlers and preschoolers. I like the simple suggested activities and I appreciate the focus on Jesus as "the reason for the season.
What I Dislike: My only complaint is that while Jesus is spoken of as the reason we celebrate Christmas (indeed, the author states "Jesus was born at Christmas" - not entirely accurate, but probably passable for young kids), the author doesn't tell us why he's important. We don't learn he's the son of God or that he came to save us from our sins. This is left for parents to bring up.