The older my children get the deeper we’ve tried to cultivate intentional practices around Advent. It’s a beautiful season to cultivate the Christian practice of waiting. Waiting on God, waiting on love’s light to enter in. This season grows more and more important as they have aged because let’s be honest, capitalism wants their hearts. It wants their whole hearts and it works the hardest to capture their attention and desires around Christmas time.

As a family we’ve cultivated practices that have worked developmentally with our kids and the rhythm of our lives. Over the years we’ve enjoyed building an affordable picture book Advent calendar. We’ve committed to a weekly worship practice. We’ve protected our sabbath time carefully so we could rest and spend time with our community.

As the kids have gotten older their activities have started to run later. At the same time their attention span for picture books has shortened but not totally disappeared. We have sensed we needed a shift in our Advent practice; a bridge to take us from a picture book heavy practice to something that can encourage more reflection. We aren’t ready to give up the beautiful illustrations and lyrical storytelling of picture books but we need something that’s a little bit…more.

With this conundrum rattling around in the back of my mind, I was delighted to receive a copy of Glenys Nellist’s newest book Twas the Season of Advent for review. The book is structured to work in several different ways. Each page has a beautiful illustration and is assigned a different day–like a devotional. Each page or day begins with a few stanzas to illuminate the story on the page, for parents of littles you could just read those stanzas and as you move through the book, it reads like a story. If you have older kids, each page also has a long section of text to expound on the part of the story for the day and concludes with a prayer. Families can use Twas the Season of Advent as either a storybook or a daily devotional for your family, depending on what age they are. This makes it the perfect book to invest in for the long haul because it can easily be used for preschoolers through late elementary.

This is a book I look forward to gifting, using and keeping as a part of our family library this holiday season.

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