Although not as traditional as some, our advent season is filled with family, joy and expectation, just the same. One of our favorite Advent traditions combines Christmas books and a sort of countdown.
Being a bookish family, a book-related Advent idea appealed to me immediately. I first heard about it from the lovely Sally Clarkson of MomHeart Ministry fame, but have seen other people share it since then.
The original idea is to wrap 24 Christmas themed books, and unwrap one each day to enjoy leading up to Christmas.
This is great for smaller kids, because as they see the pile grow smaller, they know that Christmas is getting closer in a real, tangible way.
We have added movies to the mix, just one or two per week, our favorites (think White Christmas, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Nativity, etc.)
The books are all types; we have the fun, very American ’Twas the Night Before Christmas, and The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, but also more meaningful and traditional The Three Trees and The Nutcracker. One of my favorites is Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect which encourages service to others.
In the beginning, we didn’t have enough Christmas themed books to get us through, but this is where a thrift store can really come in handy! Over the years we have replaced some of the less-loved thrift store books with beautiful, meaningful, favorites.
It is possible that as our kids get older, the books may get more grown up too, but we will probably still have a few family favorite picture books in our pile!
For our family, to gather together and experience a story has become one of our favorite parts of the Christmas season. It is truly a joy to watch the kids unwrap a book and have their faces light up in anticipation!
Jesus and joy go hand in hand. The angels confirmed it that night, long ago. And this is one joy-filled tradition that transforms us and brings us closer together as a family.
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MCC Elders and Connectors are hosting a Starting Point Lunch on January 13th after 2nd service. The luncheon is a great way to learn more about MCC, ask questions and meet new people! We encourage anyone who is considering making MCC their church home to attend and get connected! Contact Elizabeth to RSVP today.
For any ladies interested in prophetic literature or wanting to begin a Bible Study in the New Year, MCC is starting a new Bible Study in January! What is the heart behind the roar of the Lion from Zion? In this 16-week study through the book of Amos, beginning January 7th and meeting Monday mornings at 10 a.m., you will learn about a loving God who prepares His people to live forever. We hope you will consider joining us for this fantastic study! Child care is provided. Please contact Elizabeth Allan to learn more.
If you have ever felt like you don't fit in, that you aren't good enough, that everyone else has it together while you struggle to even show up, then we invite you to join us. We want you to learn that we have a God who lifts the pain of worthlessness and rejection! Starting Thursday, January 17th, Sara Ghormley and Elizabeth Allan will lead discussions as we prayerfully work through Ed Welch's book, "Shame Interrupted". We begin at 6:30 and end at 8, and will meet for 16 weeks. Cost is $16 per person, but scholarships are available. Please contact Elizabeth and let her know so she can order a book for you.
Would you like to learn how to respond to conflict Biblically? Pastor Frank Malizzo, Elizabeth Allan and Spencer Brown are hosting a Peacemaking as Evangelism Workshop at MCC on January 25th-26th. The class will highlight Biblical tools that can be used for work, in the community, in the home and as a tool for evangelism. “Conflict presents unique opportunities to serve other people, we can demonstrate the love of Christ and give witness to the gospel even to people who are attacking us.” Ken Sande. Contact Elizabeth to learn more.