Friday, January 3, 2014

BookCrash Review - Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions by Renee Robinson

Last month I had the opportunity to review the paperback book titled, Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions, written by Renee Robinson as part of the BookCrash book review program. This 62-page softcover devotional book is meant to be used with the entire family over the seven-day time period before Christmas. The author gives the reader alternate schedules for using the book in addition to modifications for younger children. I try hard to create meaningful experiences every year aiming to teach my daughter the importance of the holiday rather than emphasizing Santa and commercialism. This book served as a gentle reminder.

Book Description
"Is the message of Christmas lost in the commercialization and hectic pace? Can we celebrate with intentional purpose? Using devotions and activities, Seeking Christmas gives your family an experience to pass down for generations to come."

Other Book Details
CrossLink Publishing Current Price $7.46
Current Amazon Price: $8.96
Illustrator: Veronica Haltom

Note: All prices posted at the time of this review are subject to change. The author donates 10% of her royalties to organizations that impact the lives of orphans.

How We Used It
I used the book the seven days preceding Christmas with my six-year-old daughter. We immediately downloaded the seven FREE printable ornaments and journal clip art images from Renee's website. I hid the day's ornament. Each day consisted of five different organized activities to complete:
  • Remember - Your Own Childhood Traditions and Memories
  • Read Aloud - Scripture-Based References Paraphrasing the Story of Christ's Birth
  • Reflect - Leveled Discussion Questions (9 and under, 10-14, and 15+)
  • Rejoice in God - Interactive Activities Along With Journaling Family Memories and Traditions
  • Research - Research and Optional Readings About the History Behind Our Traditions
I read the content related to the "Remember" section prior to our family meeting so that I could share my childhood memories and traditions. A search for the daily wrapped ornament representing part of the Christmas story followed by a short scripture reading was next on the agenda. After reading more scripture, we had a discussion using the age-appropriate questions provided in the "Reflect" section. My favorite parts were the "Research" and "Rejoice" portions. We researched the legends and symbols related to Christmas including, but not limited to, the legend of the candy cane, holly, evergreen trees, caroling, poinsettias, colors of Christmas, and St. Nicholas. Activities from the "Rejoice" section may include thanking God for everyday blessings, trying new hot cocoa recipes, baking cookies, looking at Christmas lights, caroling, journaling, writing acrostic poems, and participating in gift-giving opportunities or random acts of kindness.  

Our Thoughts
The book was easily implemented into our seasonal traditions creating special moments together that strengthened our family bonds. Its simplicity will help guide families towards the true meaning of Christmas through purposeful activities and meaningful readings. We thoroughly enjoyed using the book! I plan on maintaining a "Seeking Christmas" journal each year and hope to look back on these keepsakes for years to come. 

I highly recommend this book for Christian families with children of all ages who want to slow the pace down during the season in order to focus on why we truly celebrate Christmas. Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning Through Family Traditions is a book that will guide any family toward creating treasured traditions that will prepare our hearts for Christ. 

Disclaimer or Disclosure of Material: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review program, which requires an honest, though not necessarily positive, review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s CFR Title 16, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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