Advent: Books

One of the things we do to count down the days to Christmas is to open a new Christmas book each day of Advent. These books are sometimes funny, sometimes of the “Christmas is a season of love” variety and sometimes more explicitly Christian. This isn’t the main way we observe Advent but it’s a fun extra that gives the boys something to look forward to every day. I’ve collected a lot of Christmas books I like over the past few years. Many were given to us by my Mom. Some I mooched from Book Mooch. And I get the rest from the library. I wrap up enough to have the kids be able to open one every day of Advent. We usually have other books that I keep on a shelf and will bring out as the month goes on.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (Book & CD Gift Edition)

Today’s book was The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. This is a beautiful book with gorgeous illustrations by P. J. Lynch. The story itself is somewhat sentimental, but the author writes so well  that it’s never overly saccharine.  Jonathan Toomey is a grumpy wood-carver who has withdrawn from society due to grief over the loss of his wife and baby boy. He is saved from his sadness by a friendship with a widow and her small son. I see his redemption and ultimate change is an allegory for how Christ works in all men.

7 thoughts on “Advent: Books

  1. What a good idea! I’ve been thinking about Advent traditions since I read your Advent post this morning. So I had it in my mind, how we did it and then my middle daughter came for dinner and I asked her what she remembered. The differences in our perceptions were funny.

    Anyway, we’ve always done and advent wreath which makes dinner a time to talk about the real meaning of Christmas. The three purple candles represent hope, love, and peace. The pink candle (ours is currently burgandy since I couldn’t find pink) represents Joy and is lit on the third week. When I was a child, we learned the pink represented Mary so we’ve always taken time to celebrate her faithfulness when the pink candle is lit. The white one represents Jesus and is lit on Christmas. The girls took turns…..one would light the candle, one would say the blessing and one would blow out the candle. (My daughter’s recollection was about the conflicts over whose turn it was! I don’t remember that at all?!) As they got older we had scripture ornaments that they would read or a short devotional someone would read. There used to be a Christian book store in Vienna and they would each get an Christian advent calender. Our church did the Jesse Tree and that allowed for some interesting conversations about their own heritage and the generations ahead of them in our family.

    Our family traditions evolved and are still in the process of evolving as everyone is now grown. We’re adding to our traditions by incorporating some of our son-in-law’s family traditions into our own. It’s become quite elaborate so we’ve actually had to reevaluate some things due to time constraints of everyone’s jobs.

    It’s a perfect time in your family to develop some wonderful traditions. I look forward to hearing about them. It is hard to keep the focus on the true meaning of Christmas but I have no doubt that you will succeed.

    • Thanks for sharing Judy! We do the Advent wreath too and the boys fight over who gets to blow out the candle. Good to know that one day maybe I’ll just remember the nice tradition and not the fighting. 🙂

  2. How inspiring. I can’t believe you wrapped 25 books with a newborn in the house. I will be closely following your blog during the Advent season for more creative ideas. Please say hello to H.

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