One of our favorite Christmas traditions has been to read Jotham's Journey: A Storybook for Advent (and the other books in the series by Arnold Ytreeide) each night of Advent. It's something our kids really look forward to every night–to sit around the lovely lighted Christmas tree, light the Advent candles of our pretty pewter wreath candle holder, and listen to Daddy read the next chapter!
Jotham's Journey is the story of a boy who lives in the Holy Land around the time that Jesus is born. He experiences some really exciting, even scary, circumstances as it leads up to the birth of Christ. Even our older boys sit enraptured by the story.
The book is arranged for a chapter to be read each night starting a few weeks before Christmas. The author even includes a page in the back where you can look up to see what day you need to start the reading, all the way to the year 2078! It begins with an explanation of Advent and different customs surrounding it.
Each night's reading also ends with a Scripture and a short devotional/questions to ask and ponder.
There are 3 books in the Christmas series, but you only read one book each year. The others are Bartholomew's Passage and Tabitha's Travels. We have also read the Easter book called Amon's Adventure for the Lenten season.
So, if you are looking for something different to bring your family together during this busy and over-commercialized Christmas season, try Jotham's Journey!
You can even check out the resources from the Jotham's Journey website: maps, photos of the places talked about in the book, and an online quiz.
I'm looking forward to starting up our reading again this year on Sunday December 1, the first day of Advent of 2013!
Gena Mayo is a homeschooling mother of 8, ages 12 down to 1. She has been married to the love of her life for 15 years and blogs about homeschooling, homemaking, and family at I Choose Joy!