I went to Walmart the day after Halloween. The “fun-size” candy was on the discount rack, and the Christmas wrap, ornaments, nativity sets, decorations, candy canes, etc., etc., etc. were rapidly being stocked on every open shelf, rack, and display. I’m pretty sure I saw a Thanksgiving turkey or two, but, let’s face it, as soon as the elections are over, every ad will turn to Christmas. (I can’t say I’m sorry about that part.)
I’m old enough to remember the complaints from people when someone mentioned Christmas before Thanksgiving. I’m starting to wonder when the back-to-school backpacks are going to be replaced with stuffed Santas. Retail is a force to be reckoned with, for sure!
I’m really not one to talk. I have always shopped early for Christmas. When you are married to a preacher, there isn’t much free time in December for shopping! Besides, I like to order a lot of my gifts, and the post office gets crowded (and cranky) in December. I worked my way through college in a toy store. I still remember putting in twelve-hour days for the holiday weekends. If you have younger kids, you should keep an eye on the Saturday morning cartoon ads. It isn’t hard to know what your kids are going to ask for!
And shop early—there is always that one toy that can’t be found, but everyone wants. I still remember the Christmas season when I apologized to parents all day for the fact we had no more of the Mattel electronic football games. My boss didn’t order a large quantity of that toy because he said, “What kids are going to sit inside the house and play a game like that?” He also said, “What parents are going to pay that kind of money for a toy?” Suffice it to say that he didn’t make a fortune selling toys. In fact, his store went out of business two years later.
Working retail gives a person a whole different view of Christmas. Maybe that is why I wanted to write an Advent book for kids. It’s hard to keep them focused on school, sports, and church when Christmas is being advertised the day after Halloween. And every school teacher will tell you the week before Christmas break is more about discipline than direction. I used to wish I could glue my second-graders into their seats during math and spelling.
So, why am I talking about Christmas so early? Because our ministry needs to give you some time to add something to your already busy holiday. This year, we would like to offer you a way to include more of Jesus in your family’s Christmas celebration.
I’ve been writing an Advent book for our Denison Forum ministry for years. This year, I took that same content and rewrote the book, Joy to Your World, using kid-friendly language and applications. This version includes wonderful illustrations by Leah Kegerreis, a fifteen-year-old student at Trinity Christian Academy.
We hope this children’s Advent book will help your family have a lot of conversations about the biblical Christmas story throughout your holiday. Children are drawn to the deeper meaning of Christmas, and I think Jesus wants our kids to know him and receive him as their Lord as soon as possible. Parents are the most important “preachers” in their children’s lives. I hope this Advent book will provide a lot of opportunities to talk to your kids about the importance of knowing Christ as their Savior and understanding why the greatest gift of the holiday season will always be found in the Bethlehem manger.
This is our first year to print books, so we only ran a limited quantity. We want to send you one but would ask you to consider helping us cover our printing costs by donating to ChristianParenting.org. We are a young ministry at this point and need your financial help to grow our subscriber base so we can reach more parents with our ministries.
We want your family to have the children’s version of Joy to Your World. Christmas is about the joy of Christ. We hope this book will bring that to your family’s holiday celebration this year. Request your copy of Joy to Your World here.
And please share Joy to Your World with your friends through social media. We are grateful for your help as we try to grow this ministry and provide it to other families who want to raise their children with God’s trusted guidance.
Now, is it too early to wish you a Merry Christmas? (Maybe just a little!)