Christmas & Advent

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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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)
277 Items found Print
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
'Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Matt Tavares
from Candlewick Press
for Preschool-3rd Grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
A Christmas Carol Audio Drama - 2 CD set
by Charles Dickens
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-Adult
in Audio Books & Dramas (Location: CD-AUDIO)
$6.30 (1 in stock)
Advent and Christmas In Family Worship
by Doug & Amy Hayes
from Home Fires Publishing
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.50 (2 in stock)
Advent Coloring Calendar
Clr Csm from Paraclete Press
for 3rd-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$11.99
Advent of the Lamb of God
from InterVarsity Press
for 5th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$20.00
AIO Imagination Station Book #12
by Marianne Hering, Nancy I. Sanders
from Focus on the Family
for 1st-3rd grade
in Imagination Station (Location: SER-AIO)
$5.99
Alfie's Christmas
by Shirley Hughes
from Red Fox
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
AlphaZoo Christmas
by Susan Harrison
from Ideals Children's Books
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Amazing Peace
by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher
from Schwartz & Wade
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Animals' Christmas Carol
by Helen Ward
from Millbrook Press
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Annotated Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
from W. W. Norton and Co.
for 6th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
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: PICTURE)
$18.99
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: PICTURE)
Babushka
by Charles Mikolaycak
1st edition from Holiday House
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Babushka
by Charles Mikolaycak
1st edition from Holiday House
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Bartholomew's Passage
by Arnold Ytreeide
from Kregel Publications
for 4th-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$18.99
Bells of Christmas
by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Lambert Davis
from Harcourt Brace Jovanich
for 3rd-8th grade
in Holidays (Location: HOLIDAY)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
from HarperCollins
Humor for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$8.99
Best Christmas Pageant Ever
by Barbara Robinson
1st edition from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Progeny Press Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Andrew Clausen
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 4th-6th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: LIT-SGPP)
$21.99
Bethlehem's Child Sticker Advent Calendar
from Vermont Christmas Company
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Better December
by Steven Estes
from New Growth Press
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$15.99
Better Than Anything Christmas
by Barbara Reaoch
from Good Book Company
for Preschool-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$9.99
Birds' Christmas Carol
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
from Yearling
for 4th-7th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Birds' Christmas Carol
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
from Yesterday's Classics
Christmas/Advent for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$15.95
Birds' Christmas Carol
by Kate Douglas Wiggin
from Houghton Mifflin
Christmas/Advent for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$14.00 (1 in stock)
Book of Christmas
by Neil Philip
from Stewart, Tabori, & Chang
for 4th-8th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Book of Christmas
from Reader's Digest
for 6th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$9.00 (1 in stock)
Book of Christmas Carols
by Jane Lydbury
from Prentice Hall
for 2nd-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Carols for Choirs 1: Fifty Christmas Carols
by Reginald Jacques and David Willcocks, edited and arranged by
from Oxford University
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Carols for Christmas
by David Willcocks
from Metropolitan Museum of Art
for 6th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$10.00 (1 in stock)
Child's Christmas
by Evelyn Sharp (illustrated by Charles Robinson)
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 2nd-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Child's Christmas in Wales
by Dylan Thomas, illustrated by Fritz Eichenberg
from New Directions
for 2nd-4th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Child's Christmas in Wales
by Dylan Thomas, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
from Holiday House
for 2nd-4th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration
by James Dobson, Charles Swindoll, et al.
from NavPress
for Preschool-4th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas Alphabet
by Robert Sabuda
from Orchard Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$11.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas Anna Angel
by Ruth Sawyer, illustrated by Kate Seredy
from Viking Press
1945 Caldecott Honor Book
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Around the World
by Mary D. Lankford
from Mulberry Books
for 3rd-5th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Around the World - Coloring Book
Dover Coloring Books
by Joan O'Brien
from Dover Publications
for 2nd-6th grade
in Holiday Coloring Books (Location: COL-HOL)
$3.99
Christmas Books & Pictures from Italy
The Works of Charles Dickens Volume XVI
by Charles Dickens, with Introductions by Edward Everett Hale & Andrew Lang
from P. F. Collier & Son Co.
for 6th-12th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$7.20 (1 in stock)
Christmas Camera
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.99
Christmas Carol
Whole Story Series
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by William Geldart
from Viking Press
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol
Everyman's Library Children's Classics
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
$18.00
Christmas Carol
Dover Thrift Editions
by Charles Dickens
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.70
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Gramercy Books
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$8.10 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol
Puffin Classics
by Charles Dickens
from Puffin Books
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Puffin Classics (Location: FIC-PUF)
$7.19
Christmas Carol
Sterling Classics
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol
Little Unicorn
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Walt Sturrock
from Unicorn Publishing House
for 2nd-4th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
from Bantam Books
for 6th-10th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$3.95
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from William Heinemann
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens,
Enriched Classic from Pocket Books
for 9th-12th grade
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$2.70 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Everett Shinn
from Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Greg Hildebrandt
Unabridged from Simon and Schuster
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by John Leech
from J. G. Ferguson Publishing Co.
for 9th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti
Unabridged from Stewart, Tabori, & Chang
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$12.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman
Unabridged from Holiday House
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Unabridged from Candlewick Press
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$17.99
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Robert Ingpen
Unabridged from Palazzo Editions Limited
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$24.99
Christmas Carol
Macmillan Classics
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by John Groth
from Macmillan
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens; illustrated by Julian Brazelton
from Pocket Books
for 9th-Adult
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
$12.60 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Robert Ball
from Macmillan
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Maraja
from Grosset & Dunlap
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Christmas Carol (abridged)
by Charles Dickens, abridged and illustrated by Mercer Mayer
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: SER-ABR)
Christmas Carol (adapted)
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Stephen Krensky
from HarperCollins
for Kindergarten-7th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Carol (condensed)
Books of Wonder
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Carter Goodrich
from HarperCollins
Fantasy for 6th-10th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
Christmas Carol - Progeny Press Study Guide
Progeny Press Literature Guides
by Rebecca Gilleland
from Progeny Press
Literature Guide for 8th-12th grade
in Progeny Press Literature Guides (Location: LIT-SGPP)
$25.19 $15.30 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol - TLP Guide
Total Language Plus Literature Guides
from Total Language Plus
for 6th-9th grade
in Total Language Plus Guides (Location: LITSG-TLP)
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
by Charles Dickens, introduction by Margaret Atwood
from Everyman's Library
for 8th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Stories
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Dilithium Press, Ltd.
for 5th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol and Other Stories
Reader's Digest World's Best Reading
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Arthur Rackham
from Reader's Digest
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer
BabyLit
by Alison Oliver, Jennifer Adams
Brdbk from Gibbs M. Smith
in Board Books (Location: PIC-BOARD)
$11.99
Christmas Carolers' Book
by Torstein O. Kvamme
from Unknown Publisher
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Carols
by Compiled by Frank Edwin Peat, Illustrated by Fern Bisel Peat
from Saalfield Publishing Co.
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Carols for a Kid's Heart
by Bobbie Wolgemuth, Joni Eareckson Tada
from Crossway Books
for 4th-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Cat
by Efner Tudor Holmes, Tasha Tudor (Illustrator)
from HarperCollins
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Christmas Compass
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$10.99
Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher
by Robert Kraus, illustrated by Vip
from Purple House Press
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$14.99
Christmas Crafts
from HarperCrest
for 3rd-6th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas Doll
by Elvira Woodruff
from Scholastic Inc.
for 4th-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$1.50 (1 in stock)
Christmas Donkey
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$10.99
Christmas from the Heart of the Home
by Susan Branch
First Edition from Little, Brown & Company
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas in Noisy Village
by Astrid Lindgren, illustrated by Ilon Wikland
from Puffin Books
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$7.99
Christmas in the Barn
by Margaret Wise Brown
from HarperCollins
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas in the Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
by Fredrick & Patricia McKissack
from Scholastic Press
for 3rd-6th grade
1995 NCTE Orbis Pictus Honor Book
in 19th Century America (Location: HISA-19C)
Christmas Is Here
by Lauren Castillo
from Simon and Schuster
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$12.99
Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P. J. Lynch
20th Anniversary from Candlewick Press
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Poems
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Reindeer
by Thornton W. Burgess
from Dover Publications
Christmas Rocket
by Anne Molloy
from Purple House Press
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$11.99
Christmas Songs and Carols for Guitar
by Arranged with Tabulature by David Nadal
from Dover Publications
for 9th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Star
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$10.99
Christmas Stories
Junior Deluxe Editions
by Charles Dickens, illustrated by Walter Seaton
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Christmas Story
from Harper & Row
for Preschool-Kindergarten
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Christmas Stove
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Christmas Tree Hessian
by Cora Cheney, illustrated by Edith Ballinger Price
from Henry Holt and Company
for 3rd-6th grade
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Christmas Trees
A New True Book
by Kathy Henderson
from Children's Press
for 2nd-4th grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas with Anne and Other Stories
by L. M. Montgomery
from Wilder Publications
for 3rd-8th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Christmas with Mary Engelbreit: Here Comes Santa Claus
by Mary Engelbreit (illustrator), text by Vitta Poplar
from Oxmoor House
for Adult
in Hospitality (Location: SS-HOS)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
Come Let Us Adore Him
from Crossway Books
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$17.99
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