I have recommended Traci Smith’s book Faithful Families: Creating Sacred Moments at Home to many people as a great resource full of simple, meaningful ideas to incorporate faith into the rhythm of family life. It is one of my top recommendations as a gift for baby dedications or gift for new parents. So I was thrilled this summer to see her book that focuses on the season of Advent and Christmas. This book is particularly timely given the season we find ourselves in with so many of us not able to meet at church or plan the types of celebrations and experiences we have in the past. Similar to her first book, this book is filled with simple and meaningful ideas and activities that families can do throughout Advent and Christmas and even Epiphany. I love the ideas she offers are not more things to do or add to an already busy season but that they are simple, invite families to slow down and focus on what the birth of Jesus really means in a very tangible, hands on way. One of my favourite activities is the “Hot Chocolate Gratitude Party”, which quite simply is fixing cups of hot chocolate and sharing things you are thankful for while the chocolate cools!
This book includes a lot more ideas then could possibly be done in one season and her intention is not that anyone would attempt to do it all! Rather she offers a ‘playlist’ of ideas to choose from for different aspects of the season which makes this the perfect book for any family! There are ideas for beginning the season, for decorating, for giving, for telling the story, for difficult moments, for the 12 days of Christmas and Epiphany and for ending the season. There are tips for finding activities that are meaningful for members of the family of all ages and there is even a section of ideas for ministry leaders using this book with families. There are also prompts for prayers for various aspects of the season sprinkled throughout the book.
I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book and if you are a ministry leader, consider gifting these to the families in your church. Check out this idea for creating “Advent and Christmas in a Box” using ideas from this book. This offers a wonderful opportunity to equip the families in your church to experience the Advent and Christmas season in meaningful ways, even if you cannot have your church or children’s ministries running in the ways they have in the past.
You can order a copy…or several from Bernice. Want a chance to win a copy? Send me an email and let me know why you should have a free copy! All responses received by October 16 will have the opportunity to win a free copy.