I love SO much about this book. I have the Kindle version so that I can take it with me when we are traveling during Christmas. We always go to my in-laws in the mountains and it's kind of a pain to take my huge advent box, candles and items up along with all our other gear and Christmas cheer. I'm so excited to use Sarah's book this year because can use my mom-in-laws nativity items and I don't have to pack anything extra.
Ok, but before I go off a tangent, here's what the book is about: When Sarah was a little girl, her family's tradition was to unwrap figures from their nativity set (beginning 9 days before Christmas), starting with the Donkey. As she and her siblings grew, they were all able to tell the nativity story based on the figures. You can check out more about the book and how it came about on the video on this page.
Her book gives you everything you need to implement this wonderful tradition in your home.
First, this is quite a bit simpler than organizing an Advent Countdown for the whole month. (Like mine.) And, since you only have to start nine days before Christmas, you don't have to panic after Thanksgiving, "Ahhh! I've got to pack all my little advent containers!"
Second, nearly everyone has a nativity set already so you don't have to buy anything special for this activity. If you don't have one, BUY ONE. Seriously, everyone needs a nativity set. This is a great one for kids.
But if you don't have a nativity set, you can still do this! Each day cute cartoon illustrations of each character.
At the beginning of the book, Sarah provides specific instructions on "how to." I always like specifics. I hate it when authors mention ideas and then don't give the specifics.
I love reading books with great rhyme and rhthym. I think it's more fun to both read and listen to. Sarah creates clever rhyming passages for each character. But the passages are also easy to understand and are a good length for younger kids.
Day One begins with the donkey.
"It was no simple task, tracking through the grime and the dust.
But my mind was made up , it was Bethlehem or bust."
Another favorite rhyme:
"So Joseph brought Mary to the barn called a manger,
And then after that, the night got even stranger."
I love this! Because, let's be honest, it was strange for the Savior of the world to be born among farm animals. That's just like God--to come up with something strange and wonderful, something that we would never think of!
Of course, Christmas day, you open up the Baby Jesus figure. And concluding thoughts,
"And in all the hoopla, commercials selling.
Remember this is the story worth telling."