The 25 Days of Christmas Devotional by Ruth O'Neil
I'm thrilled to have Ruth O'Neil visiting today. Doesn't her book sound great? She's sharing a little of it with us today. I hope you'll check out the links and grab a copy of her book!
The 25 Days of Christmas Devotional
Many of us get caught up in the
commercialization of Christmas. One way to prevent that is to focus
on the reason for the season. Taking a few minutes each day with this
different kind of devotional book will help your family think of
others. Each day focuses on one word and includes a story from Daniel
and Holly's family, a Scripture reading with the devotional, the
YouTube link to a Christmas Carol, and an activity that the entire
family can be involved in.
"We love it! You posted it just
the right time. God's providence!"
"My kids love it! Especially the
song and the activity."
"The kids like to read the verses
during the devotional part. It has been a good way to get the whole
"I have a
surprise for you kids," Mom said as soon as Daniel and Holly
walked in the door after school.
They both wanted to know.
Mom requested as she walked toward the family room.
followed along behind, clapping her hands and giggling.
"She must know
what the secret is," Daniel commented to Holly.
Holly laughed when
Evie shouted, "Sec-et! Sec-et!"
Mom smiled as well.
"That's her new word for the day."
Then Mom held up a
box that had a bunch of what looked like little doors. Twenty-five of
them to be exact. They each had a number.
"It's an Advent
calendar. Each day we'll open one. Behind each door is a treat for
each of you and a word we can talk about to help us prepare for
"Can we open
one now?" Holly wanted to know.
Mom pointed to the first door.
Holy read after she took out three small candies and handed one to
Daniel and Evie.
"Advent is all
about the days leading up to Christmas. We can talk about what
Christmas really means and prepare our hearts to worship Christ."
"Why did Jesus
have to come to earth as a baby? Why couldn't He come as a grown-up?"
Daniel wondered as he picked up the baby Jesus from the Nativity set.
needed time to prepare, too. He needed to experience all the things
we experience. He experienced what it was like to grow up, have a
family and friends, and be tempted by sin just like the rest of us.
No matter what problems we face in life, Jesus truly understands."
"But I thought
Jesus was perfect and never sinned?" Holly questioned.
Mom nodded her head.
"He was perfect. He didn't ever sin, but He still went through a
lot of the same things we do. Because He lived a perfect and sinless
life, that's what made Him a suitable sacrifice for our sins. Only a
perfect Man could pay the price for us."
Daniel and Holly
didn't say anything. For a few moments, the only sound heard was Evie
slurping her candy and quietly repeating, "Sec-et."
Mom continued. "God
had to prepare the world for Salvation to come in the form of His
Son, Jesus. It wouldn't happen overnight. It would take Jesus' entire
life time here on earth."
Daniel, always the
one who wanted to learn more, said, "I think this will be
"I think this
will be fun," Holly gave her opinion.
"I think it
will help prepare us all and help us to understand Christmas just a
little bit better."
Read Matthew 25:1-13
This man was
righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the
Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy
Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s
Christ. Luke 2:25b-26
is a time of preparation. The Christmas Advent begins four Sundays
before Christmas. Many families, especially those with young
children, have Advent calendars. Each day the children get to open a
door, receive a little gift, or remove an object in the countdown for
and in anticipation of Christmas.
for the most part, look forward to Christmas because of the gifts
they will receive. That’s not a bad thing, but we as adults, should
have a much deeper anticipation of Christmas. We take the time to buy
and wrap gifts, prepare food, clean the house for guests, buy new
outfits, attend parties, etc. But how much time do we put into
meditating on the actual birth of Christ and worshipping Him?
years, at least in our household, we spend time putting up the tree
and decorating it, only to ignore it. We more often than not, sit in
the room with the TV. Unfortunately, that’s often the way we are
with God as well. We accept Him as Savior. We attend church on
Sundays. Other than that, we pretty much ignore Him, too.
Christmas, in anticipation of the celebration of His birth, let’s
focus on Him a little more throughout the month. Let’s prepare our
hearts by reflecting on why He came to earth.
will be that much more special when we focus on the true Reason for
This activity will
take some extra planning. Get together as a family; you can even
invite your extended family members to take part in this one as well.
Choose a family that is in need; try to find a specific need if
possible. Gather together money to give to that family for the
specific need that they have. If possible, try not to let them know
where their Christmas gift is coming from. That makes it all the more
exciting for both them and you.
- The Twelve Days of Christmas (How I Want to Sing)
Ruth O’Neil has been a freelance writer for 20-plus years. She sees everything as a writing opportunity in disguise, whether it is an interesting character, setting, or situation. You can find her book series “What a Difference a Year Makes” on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or her website (http://ruthoneil.weebly.com/). You can also visit her on her blog at http://ruths-real-life.blogspot.com/. When she’s not writing or homeschooling her kids, Ruth spends her time quilting, reading, scrapbooking, camping and hiking with her family.