Greetings this morning from a very cold coastal South Carolina! I think this was our first freeze warning of the season, but thankfully there’s bright sunshine so our temperatures will warm up a bit during the day.
This is the time of year when I start to think about preparing my heart for the Christmas season. Yes, I’ve already started shopping for gifts and adding our Christmas parties and activities to my calendar. But I want to make sure I also look for ways to stay spiritually focused on Christ’s birth in the midst of the busyness of the season.
Here are ten resources that I’ve used – or, in the case of a few of them, wish I had used! – to keep Christmas centered around Christ and his birth.
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1. Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar. I would have loved to use this with our daughters! We had a very simple Advent calendar that we did each year (it involved chocolate 😉 but this one is so cute yet meaningful.
2. The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas. This will be my third year reading through this book as part of my Bible time during the month of December. The chapters are short but meaningful.
3. Come Let Us Adore Him: Stories Behind the Most Cherished Christmas Hymns. I’ve read other books of hymn histories by this author, and this one would be great to read on your own or together as a family.
4. Fisher-Price Little People Christmas Story. We had several of the Fisher-Price Little People sets when our girls were young, but never this one. Looking back, it would have been a great gift for their first or second Christmas. These sets last for a long time and can be passed down from child to child.
5. Unwrapping the Names of Jesus. We read through this advent devotional as a family one year. Along with studying the names of Jesus, suggested projects and activities are also included. (Click here to read my in-depth review of this book.)
6. Annie F. Downs Advent Series. Annie’s Advent series is brand new this year, but I like a lot of her stuff and hope to use this product in the future.
7. Countdown to Christmas Advent Collection (Adventures in Odyssey). Our girls were huge Adventures in Odyssey fans for years! These audio CDs (or digital download) are great to listen to in the car or before bedtime.
8. Harold the King from Patch the Pirate. Our girls also enjoyed Patch the Pirate recordings, and we owned this one. You can choose an audio cd or streaming format.
9. A Family Christmas by The Piano Guys. The Piano Guys have some of our favorite instrumental arrangements, and this recording is lovely to have on in the background this time of year.
10. A Charlie Brown Christmas. We still watch this classic every year as a family!
A great way to begin the Christmas season is by spending next week in a spirit of gratitude and thanksgiving for the many blessings God has given us. Then we can move forward with our hearts and minds ready to celebrate the greatest gift ever given, God’s Son sent to redeem us.
If you have any Advent or Christmas resources that you love, please share them in the comments!