A few years ago I was given Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas. This is the first year that our little one is old enough to understand some of what Advent really means and we’ve been walking through this book as a family each night before bedtime.
If you haven’t already been reading this book as a family, stop what you are doing now and go pick it up. I know that we are halfway through advent but each story is short and sweet and so worth catching up on. I really do regret that we weren’t reading this as a family even when our child was just a baby. Even now, as we read through this each night it blows me away and God is using it to speak to my heart. It really is a book for the whole family.
A few nights ago as I read to our son, I had to stop, grab my phone and take a picture of the page I was reading. I am still meditating on some of the words I read that night.
“Every little thing is going to be okay, because God is working good through every little thing. There is never a night, never a darkness when gifts and miracles and joy aren’t coming—coming right to you. It’s a miracle in itself—how you don’t have to buy Christmas miracles at all!”
There is a specific story dated for each day of December leading up to Christmas. Ann beautifully writes about a Bible story and how the story and its characters all point back to the greater story of Jesus’ love for us. Each story invites you to focus your heart on the truth of this season and breathe in our Savior’s love that is all around us.
At the end of each story there are “Thoughts to Discuss” and “Family Activities.” This is a great way to keep everyone involved and interested as you read. It also makes it great to come back to year after year and see how you and your children’s answer to these questions change and how the activities take on new forms as your children grow up.
As parents we have all felt that tension of wanting to be intentional about time with our kids but also feeling the pressures of this season to manage our to-do lists and fill our day with productivity. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is a great tool to help in that struggle. It doesn’t have to be an hour long ordeal, but just a short intentional time as a family to focus your hearts on this advent season.
Like I said, I know we are already part of the way through Advent this year but please go by this book. Catch up, start on the current day, or save it for next year for your family. I promise whichever option you choose you won’t regret reading this book.
Ann Voskamp has also released a new interactive advent study for families called The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent. This is another great option to work through with your family this season. For adults, Ann has also written a book called, The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. This would be a great book to pick up and read for yourself this Advent season.
These books can be purchased wherever books are sold. You can find the links to them on Amazon here.
Take a look at this video, about Unwrapping the Greatest Gift and then order one for yourself. I promise you’ll be so happy you did!