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Advent devotionals for families

CHILDREN’S BOOKS | Four books for preparing Him room


Advent devotionals for families
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The Light Before Christmas

Marty Machowski
(New Growth Press 2022)

Machowski’s devotional focuses on how the theme of light is woven throughout the Christmas story and points us to God’s ­salvation plan through Jesus. Each section opens with a story about a girl and her blind grandmother preparing for Christmas. Machowski follows the story segments with three weekly devotions that include object ­lessons, Scripture readings, hymn suggestions, and discussion points. Week 4 culminates with entries encouraging readers to share the good news of the ­gospel and bring others into the light. The book offers a final chapter from the story that can be read on Christmas Eve followed by Scripture reading and hymn singing on Christmas Day. Ages 5-12


The God of Amazing Gifts

Lizzie Laferton
(The Good Book Company 2022)

Laferton invites families to ponder in this Advent season the ways God is the first and greatest gift-giver. Her readings draw from both Old and New Testament Scripture and focus on four themes: “God the Gift-Giver,” “God’s Christmas Gift,” “God’s Gifts to Us,” and “Our Gifts To Give.” Each devotion offers a choice of discussion and ­application questions depending on the ages of the children and their faith maturity, which is helpful for families even though the format feels a bit cluttered at times. Since the book’s message isn’t exclusively tied to the Christmas season, families that don’t finish the devotional by the 25th could complete it in the days that follow. Ages 7-12


Unwrapping the Names of Jesus for Kids

Asheritah Ciuciu
(Moody Publishers 2022)

In 2017 Moody published Ciuciu’s Unwrapping the Names of Jesus Advent devotional, which studies the different names of Jesus as a way of focusing on Him in the days leading up to Christmas. Ciuciu’s latest book, Unwrapping the Names of Jesus for Kids, is not another Advent devotional but rather a picture book that simplifies and consolidates the material in a format geared for young children. She highlights nine names of Jesus as she tells a fictional story of a girl who followed in Jesus’ footsteps during His years of ministry. For families with a wide range of ages gathering for Advent readings, the picture book could be a helpful supplement to her earlier devotional. Ages 5-8


The God Who Is With Us

Ronnie Martin
(B&H 2022)

For families with teens or mature tweens, Martin offers 25 Advent entries that will encourage families to reflect on the past year while preparing for the new year. The underlying theme is how God draws near to us, particularly in the struggles we may have faced over the past year or in the ones that are yet to come. His message will resonate with weary souls: “Whatever noise is raging around you—internally or externally—remember the One who is surrounding and covering you in all the chaos, for He is the bright light in all the bluster and the bright hope through all the havoc. You don’t only have a God; you have Immanuel, the God who is with you.” Ages 13 & up


Kristin Chapman

Kristin is the children's book page editor and an editorial assistant for WORLD Magazine. She graduated from two World Journalism Institutes, including one in Asheville and one in Austin. Kristin resides with her husband, Jarrett, and their three children in New Castle, Pa.

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