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We often use a Jesse Tree style Advent plan with the children in December but I wanted to change it up a bit this year. I was blessed to receive a copy of Kayla Jarmon’s A Christmas Journey with the accompanying activity book to review.
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We read the book together (it has nine chapters and discussion questions for each chapter) over the course of a couple of days. If my children had gotten their way, it would have all been read in one session! They were really enjoying the story of dog, deer, opossum, and all of their woodland friends. The story was written in rhyming verse with cute illustrations sprinkled throughout the pages. While it is a fictitious story of how woodlands creatures help a lost dog find its new owner for Christmas, it teaches real lessons about friendship, doing the right thing, and working together. I would recommend it for preschool and elementary-age children but my middle school children enjoyed listening along as I read it aloud.
The activity book consists of 24 days of activities, with each one having a short devotional thought, a scripture, a Christmas song suggestion, and a family activity. For example, day six talks about faith and then gives several scripture readings, including Acts 7 and 1 Corinthians 15. The song for that day is Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and the activity is to take turns leading family members blindfolded around the house. This gives a simple demonstration of faith, as they must follow the directions in faith. The website provides links to the song’s lyrics as well as other resources to help with the activities.
We continue working through the activity book, but the children enjoy it! We have made paper chains and angel wings. We did a cookie experiment with salt and sugar and are working on friendship bread. Each day discusses a new topic, including faith, forgiveness, God’s Sovereignty, and more.
Overall, this is a simple but engaging way to do our Advent study this year. We spend about twenty to thirty minutes a day working on it as a family. I highly encourage you to check it out at Kayla Jarmon’s website or Amazon.
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