I received a copy of The Christmas Star From Afar in exchange for my review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.
Last year I told you about my husband and I trying to include more holiday traditions based on the true meaning of Christmas. We read The Gift Giver to our children and plan to do so again this year. This book gives religious explanations for the seemingly secular traditions that many people have at this time of year…Santa Claus, Christmas trees, etc. You can read all about it here.
This year we’ve added an Elf on the Shelf alternative. We used to have an Elf on the Shelf and my children loved it, but for my husband and I it was just another thing on the to do list during the Christmas season. It didn’t add any more meaning to the holiday, just more work for us. I don’t mind more work as long as there is something meaningful behind it.
Two years ago the elf returned to the North Pole after Christmas and he never returned. (I plead the fifth regarding his whereabouts.)
As you can imagine my children were disappointed last year. They missed the excitement of trying find him every morning.
I’m so happy we discovered The Christmas Star From Afar. It’s a great Elf on the Shelf alternative! It helps to build the excitement as Christmas day approaches while still keeping Jesus at the center of the celebration.
The Christmas Star From Afar is a book and a child friendly nativity scene which includes a manger, Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, an angel, three wise men, two sheep, a shepherd and a star. The pieces are made of wood and are sturdy. They will withstand many years of use. I love that I can let my children handle the pieces without fear that they will break them.
On November 30 my children set up the nativity scene with the exception of the star, the three wise men and baby Jesus. We also read the book. Each night I “hide” the star. My children are excited to find the star each morning. Once they find the star, they place the three wise men near it. Then we read the scripture for the day that is included in the back of the book.
The excitement is building as the star is getting closer to the nativity scene and we are reminded daily about the true meaning of Christmas! We love this new tradition!
What traditions does your family have to keep the true meaning of Christmas at the center of your holiday celebrations? I’d love to hear about them!