Advent For Kids

It’s hard to believe that is time to start preparing for Christmas!

With all the decorating and baking and shopping, I want to make sure every year that our hearts are also ready.

One way we do that is by celebrating Advent.  We have an advent wreath on the table and we light one more candle each of the 4 Sundays leading up to Christmas. We also a special family devotional together in the evenings.

When the kids were younger we had a favorite devotional book called “Do You See What I See“. It’s a devotional seek and find book with bright pictures and “I Spy” type pages that really captured the attention of our preschoolers.  You can still order the book from Creative Communications for the Parish.

Then as the kids grew older we used different devotional books until we discovered Jotham’s Journey.

Oh. my. This is a good one!

This devotional for Advent had been out of print for many years, but has just recently been republished in paperback.

We thoroughly enjoyed reading it two years ago – seriously – my kids loved it!

We equally enjoyed the sequel, Bartholomew’s Passage last Christmas.

So we were very excited to see the third book in the trilogy, Tabitha’s Travels,  is now available this year.

Each of these books is an exciting family story specifically designed for Advent. The story is divided into a reading for every day from the first day of Advent to Christmas Morning, with a devotional thought at the end of each one.

There’s enough action and adventure to keep the attention of every member of the family – with a splash of humor thrown in to relieve the tension.

Each day’s reading leaves you wanting more.

The books are loosely tied together, and my kids love seeing some of the characters from one of the other books appear in the one we are reading.

You could read them in any order, but I recommend starting with Jotham.

Your Christmas will never be the same!

Jotham’s Journey

Jotham's Journey I love Christmas and all the hustle and bustle surrounding it.

But I also love taking a few minutes every day to be quiet and reflect on the real reason for the season.

We want to teach our children to do the same, so we have implemented some advent activities into our December schedule.

This year we have rediscovered a classic Advent book that has brought a new meaning to the Christmas season.

Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent was written by Arnold Ytreeide and originally published in 1997. A second edition was published this year making it easier for another generation of children to enjoy.

The story takes place in Israel at the time of Christ’s birth. Jotham is a ten year old boy who runs away from home in anger. Then, hungry, lost, and repentant, he begins to search for his family.

This adventure takes him across Israel where he meets thieves, kidnappers, and robbers as well as wise men, shepherds and innkeepers.

The story is divided into short chapters to be read each day of advent. The last chapter is read on Christmas Day. I won’t give away the ending…but I’ll give you a clue…he ends up in Bethlehem in a stable!

The book is both humorous and exciting. It has kept all of my children attentive- from my seven year old to the teenagers.

One word of caution, there are some scary parts. They are always resolved, but many times the resolution is left for the next days reading. This makes a very exciting read-aloud, but it could be a little scary for younger readers.

There are two other books in this trilogy by Arnold Ytreeide, Tabitha’s Travels and Bartholomew’s Passage. But both are currently out of print and hard to find.

This is one family that hopes they too will get a second edition! Please Mr. Ytreeide!