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)
227 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)
Advent and Christmas In Family Worship
by Doug & Amy Hayes
from Home Fires Publishing
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.50 (1 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)
$17.00
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)
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
Deluxe from Random House
for 3rd-6th grade
in Fantasy Fiction (Location: FIC-FAN)
$6.75 (1 in stock)
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)
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)
$7.99
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: LIT-SGPP)
$21.99 $10.00 (1 in stock)
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 Yesterday's Classics
Christmas/Advent for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$11.95
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)
Carols for Christmas
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 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 ABC
from Evergreen Press
for Nursery-Kindergarten
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$4.00 (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 Dover Coloring Books (Location: COL-DOV)
$3.99
Christmas Camera
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.99
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
$14.36
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 (2 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 Sterling Classics (Location: FIC-STE)
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)
$5.40 (1 in stock)
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 Penguin Classics
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
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 (3 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)
$19.99
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 (adapted)
by Charles Dickens, 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 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)
$22.49 $15.30 (2 in stock)
Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Books
by Charles Dickens
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)
$7.20 (1 in stock)
Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer
BabyLit
by Alison Oliver, Jennifer Adams
Brdbk from Gibbs M. Smith
in Board Books (Location: PIC-BOARD)
$9.99
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 Compass
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher
by Robert Kraus, illustrated by Vip
from Purple House Press
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$18.95
Christmas Crafts
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.00 (1 in stock)
Christmas Donkey
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
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 Big House, Christmas in the Quarters
by Fredrick McKissack, Patricia C. McKissack
from Scholastic Press
for 3rd-6th grade
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)
$17.99
Christmas Sky
by Franklyn M. Branley, Illustrated by Stephen Fieser
from HarperTrophy
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$6.00 (1 in stock)
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)
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
by Jane Werner
from Golden Books
for Preschool-1st grade
in Little Golden Books (Location: PIC-GOLD)
$2.00 (2 in stock)
Christmas Stove
by Alta Halverson Seymour
from Purple House Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: FIC-REA)
$9.99
Christmas Tree
by Charles Dickens, Illustrated by H.M. Brock
from Longmeadow Press
for 6th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$7.20 (1 in stock)
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)
Come Let Us Adore Him
from Crossway Books
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$14.39
Cranberry Christmas
by Wende & Harry Devlin
First Edition from Purple House Press
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$19.95
Cricket on the Hearth
Dover Thrift Editions
by Charles Dickens
from Dover Publications
for 10th-Adult
in 19th Century Literature (Location: LIT6-19)
$1.80 (1 in stock)
Cricket on the Hearth
by Charles Dickens
from Mcloughlin Bros. Inc
for 10th-Adult
in Vintage Fiction & Literature (Location: VIN-FIC)
Crippled Lamb
by Max Lucado
Reprint from Thomas Nelson Publishers
for Preschool-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent
by John Piper
from Crossway Books
for 9th-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$6.39
Donkey's Dream
by Barbara Helen Berger
First Edition from Philomel Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$17.99
Donkey's Dream
by Barbara Helen Berger
from Sandcastle Books
for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Early American Christmas
by Tomie dePaola
from Holiday House
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
Expected One
by Scott James
from B&H Books
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$12.99
Family Read-Aloud Holiday Treasury
by Selected by Alice Low, Illustrated by Marc Brown
First Ediition from Little, Brown & Company
for Kindergarten-4th grade
in Picture Book Treasuries (Location: PIC-TRE)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Fir Tree
Scandinavia Fairy Tales
by Hans Christian Andersen, Translated by Hans Henrik Breitenstein, Illustrated by Tiziana Gironi
from Word Inc.
for Kindergarten-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
First Christmas
by Marcia Williams
from Random House Books for Young Readers
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
For Every Child a Star
by Thomas Yeomans, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
from Holiday House
for 1st-3rd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Frosty the Snow Man
by Annie North Bedford
from Golden Press
for Nursery-1st grade
in Little Golden Books (Location: PIC-GOLD)
George Balanchine's The Nutcracker
from Barnes & Noble
for Preschool-Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
Get Ready, Celebrate, Rejoice
by Sue Kirk and Sally Wilke
from Standard Publishing Company
for Adult
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$4.00 (1 in stock)
Gift
by R. Kent Hughes, Illustrated by Ron DiCianni, Calligraphy by Timothy R. Botts
from Crossway Books
for Kindergarten-2nd grade
in Christmas & Advent (Location: HOLIDAY)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Fiction for Nursery-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: PICTURE)
$8.99
Gift of the Magi
Dover Thrift Editions
by O. Henry
from Dover Publications
for 4th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$4.00
Gift of the Magi
Books of Wonder
by O. Henry, illustrated by Kevin King
from Simon and Schuster
for 4th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
$5.00 (1 in stock)
Gift of the Magi
by O. Henry
from Picture Book Studio
Realistic Fiction for Nursery-2nd grade
in Oversized Picture Books (Location: PIC-OVER)
$8.00 (1 in stock)
Gift of the Magi and Other Stories
Books of Wonder
by O. Henry (illustrated by Michael Dooling)
from William Morrow & Company
for 4th-10th grade
in 20th & 21st Century Literature (Location: LIT7-20)
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