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Christmas & Advent

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The Christian year begins with the birth of a baby. No one knows the exact day Jesus was born, but the date of December 25th was specifically chosen and introduced to Christian believers in order to counter the pagan feast of the "sun god," which was a popular winter solstice festival held in Rome. Instead of trying to coax the sun to return North again, this Christian theological corrective was meant to celebrate the source of true light in our dark world: the Son of God.

It was not until the fourth century that people began to celebrate Christ's birth. In keeping with Old testament feasts and festivals, it was designated a feast day called the Feast of the Nativity. The celebration began with a special Mass in honor of the remembrance of His coming, first called "Christ's Mass," later simply "Christmas." It was Christ being celebrated, not the day!

Later, the four week period before December 25th was declared a sacred and holy season. It was called "Advent," which comes from the Greek through the Latin and means "to come." It was a special time, designed to remind us that the Old testament saints had anxiously awaited the Messiah for centuries, and to provide a period of preparation that would allow time for reflection before the celebration of His birth. Beginning four Sundays prior to Christmas day, our actions and activities should remind us of our need for Jesus.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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Christmas & Advent
Related Links
Corrigenda Denuo
Is Christmas Christian? Here's a list of articles to discuss the topic.
Readings for Advent, Christmas & Epiphany
from the pastors of the CREC
Truth in the Tinsel
Advent ebook for young kids (affiliate link)
83 Items found Print
Advent and Christmas In Family Worship
by Doug & Amy Hayes
from Home Fires Publishing
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Advent Candle Set
from Vermont Christmas Company
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Advent Coloring Calendar
Clr Csm from Paraclete Press
for 3rd-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Advent Foretold
by Gary & Wanda Sanseri
from Back Home Industries
for 1st-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Advent Ring
from Vermont Christmas Company
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
AIO Imagination Station Book #12
by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-3rd grade
in Imagination Station (Location: A10-01H)
Babar and Father Christmas
by Jean De Brunhoff
1st edition from Random House Books for Young Readers
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Baboushka and the Three Kings
by Ruth Robbins, Nicolas Sidjakov (Illustrator)
from Houghton Mifflin
Word Books for Preschool-2nd grade
1961 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Bartholomew's Passage
by Arnold Ytreeide
from Kregel Publications
for 4th-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Behold the Lamb of God
by Russ Ramsey
from Rabbit Room Press
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
from HarperCollins
Humor for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Andrew Clausen
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Study Guide CD
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Andrew Clausen
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Interactive CDs (Location: B18-14B)
Bethlehem's Child Sticker Advent Calendar
from Vermont Christmas Company
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Birds' Christmas Carol
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
from Houghton Mifflin
Christmas/Advent for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Celebrate the Feasts
by Martha Zimmerman
from Bethany House
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Celebrate the Savior
by Charlene Notgrass
from Notgrass Company
for 1st-5th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Christmas Album
for 4th-8th grade
in Recorders & Recorder Music (Location: AMU-01B)
Christmas Around the World
by Mary D. Lankford
from Mulberry Books
for 3rd-5th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Christmas Around the World - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Joan O'Brien
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Dover Coloring Books (Location: A01-DOV)
Christmas Carol
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by Charles Dickens
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Christmas Carol
Dover Thrift Editions
by Charles Dickens
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Christmas Carol
Puffin Classics
by Charles Dickens
from Puffin Books
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Christmas Carol
Sterling Classics
by Charles Dickens & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrations by John Leech
from Heinemann Library
for 7th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt
Unabridged from Simon and Schuster
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: A07-02A)
Christmas Carol - Progeny Press Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 8th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: B18-00T)
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
by Charles Dickens
from Everyman's Library
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer
BabyLit
by Alison Oliver, Jennifer Adams
Brdbk from Gibbs M. Smith
in Board Books (Location: CPB-01A)
Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart
by Bobbie Wolgemuth, Joni Eareckson Tada
from Crossway Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
by Fredrick McKissack, Patricia C. McKissack
from Scholastic Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in 19th Century America (Location: B01-11C)
Christmas Longing
by Joni Eareckson Tada
First Edition from Multnomah Books
for 9th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
by Susan Wojciechowski
from Candlewick Press
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Christmas with Anne and Other Stories
by L. M. Montgomery
from Wilder Publications
for 3rd-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas
Clr Csm from Candlewick Press
for 4th-Adult
in Adult Coloring Books (Location: ACB)
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
2007 or Later Printing from Crossway Books
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Creative Haven An Old-Fashioned Christmas Coloring Book
Clr Csm from Dover Publications
for 6th-Adult
in Adult Coloring Books (Location: ACB)
Cricket on the Hearth
Dover Thrift Editions
by Charles Dickens
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: CLT-19C)
Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado
Reprint from Thomas Nelson Publishers
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Donkey's Dream
by Barbara Helen Berger
First Edition from Philomel Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Fiction for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
Gift of the Magi
Dover Thrift Editions
by O. Henry
from Dover Publications
for 4th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: CLT-20C)
Gingerbread Baby
by Jan Brett
from Scholastic Inc.
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
God Rest Ye Merry
by Douglas Wilson
Fir from Canon Press
for 11th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Greatest Gift
by Ann Voskamp
from Tyndale House
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Hidden Christmas
by Timothy J. Keller
from Viking Studio Books
for 11th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
by Dr. Seuss
from Random House
Christmas Stories for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
I Saw Three Ships
by Elizabeth Goudge
from David R. Godine
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
In the Dark Streets Shineth
by David McCullough
Har/DVD from Shadow Mountain
for 5th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
Jesse Tree
by Geraldine McCaughrean
Reprint from Eerdmans
for Preschool-5th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: APO-02B)
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