I love the Advent season. 

I love the cozy evenings, the early sunset,and the Christmas decorations in my living room. 

I love the traditions that we have started as a family. We always decorate the Sunday after Thanksgiving. My life is less stressful that weekend, as the Turkey Trot is over, and Matt’s busy season at church is just about ramping up. . .but not quite yet. 

Since I am married to a pastor, Advent is filled with many evenings at home alone with the children. This used to bother me, but as I matured, and the children got a bit older and not so needy, I found that I enjoy this time with them. 

One of the things that I have always enjoyed was reading to the children. I was read to for hours at a time as a child, and those moments on the laps of my loved ones are some of my sweetest family memories. 

I admit, I don’t read to my kids nearly as much as I was read to. I grew up before Netflix, cable TV and even video games. I was one of two children, not six, and I had the rare luxury of a set of grandparents living in my home during my very young years. 

But during Advent, the beginning of the church year, I make some New Years Resolutions of sorts. . .and one of those resolutions is to read more with the kids. 

We have been reading through “Jotham’s Journey” during our Advent devotional and have been loving it. 

The other way that I fit more reading into our evenings is the the Advent Book Basket. The week before Thanksgiving, I scour our bookshelves for all of the Christmas books, I grab some of last years’ wrapping paper and I wrap each book and put them in a pretty basket. Each night, after devotions, the girls take turns opening a package and we read the book together. 

Some of the books are quite old, actual relics from my warm childhood. (Including the sadly, out of print “Donkey Daniel in Bethlehem.” I will be sharing that book on Instagram next week!). Every year though, I add at least one book to our collection. 

 This year I added Callista Gingrich’s delightful “Christmas in America” to our rotation. I was sent this book for review, and the girls and I thoroghly enjoyed it! “Christmas in America” is fifth in a series of picture books featuring Ellis the Elephant. Elllis travels through American history to see how Christmas has been celebrated, in good times and in bad times. We, of course, were delighted to see North Dakota represented! The older children enjoyed learning more about each event in the resource guide at the end of the book.  

 What do you enjoy reading together in Advent and Christmas time? Leave a title in the comments and I may add it to our basket!

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