We’ve entered the darkness of Advent, a quiet season in which we look forward, forward to hope, to joy, to peace. May your waiting time be filled with deep joy.
Around the Web
Holidays When Things are Messy: Think of “The Four” (How to Prepare for Advent & Christmas When Life’s Kinda Messed Up)
Ann Voskamp reminds us that Advent means coming.
- Snow’s coming down here now like confetti for a party that just won’t stop and the orchard just keeps on welcoming the whole thing.
That’s what Advent means — coming.
This waiting for the coming of the holy party.
And Kai’s shaking trees like a big kid at the party and grinning that there are apples still hanging on the trees in the orchard in the middle of all our shaking snow globe.
Amelia Friedline has an Advent poem.
- i don’t always feel its pull
the tug at my heart that says
‘what if all this one day were yours?’
what if that day never comes?
The Best Children’s Nonfiction Books of 2019
We’ve entered the season of best of book lists. Here’s a good one from Imagination Soup.
- Nonfiction books teach kids how to read for information but well-written books like these best nonfiction books of 2019 for kids, do more than that. They inform, entertain, surprise, deepen curiosity, and inspire.
See for yourself from books about math and animals to biographies and memoirs.
Our Longing for God Himself
Emily Jenson shares an Advent devotional.
- The day we’ve longed for is almost here. The light stringing, ornament hanging, carol singing, and Advent readings will culminate in a big Christmas Day celebration. If your house is anything like ours, you’ll need a pot of coffee to make it through the ear-piercing screams of excitement as children tear through presents, pushing every noisy button in sight. They’ll prematurely rip tags off clothing and snatch cookies from the table. Everyone will feast until calm settles on the house.
Around the Warren
An Audience of Two
Glenn McCarty reminds us that small is no less of value.
- MI’m not trying to brag here, but last night, I struck improv comedy gold. It was the kind of hot streak I imagine professionals in the glittering hotbeds of comedy – you know, like Hollywood or Vegas, or the Big Apple – dream of.
Thoughtful Gifts for Thoughtful Kids
Kelly Keller give us some categories to think about as we’re looking for gifts for the kids in our lives.
- It’s that time of year, folks! Is your shopping list overwhelming? I hope not. If you have young readers or book lovers in your home, you probably have already bought a few volumes for gifts. I have a few children who would be content with just new books for Christmas! However, I like to mix it up. In case you’re the same as me, I enlisted the help of my houseful of bookish kids to make the following list of gift suggestions of Thoughtful Gifts (That Aren’t Books) For Thoughtful Kids:
Melissa Kline marks the moments of endings and beginnings–the marker of growing up.
- My youngest turns four years old next week, and it hurts to even write that. Last month, my six-year old lost a tooth – one of the big ones right in front. She cried and I cried and we held each other for an hour, not because the tooth drawing was so painful, but because growing up is, and she knows it already. Yesterday, my seven-year old bemoaned the fact that he is getting so old, and won’t be able to remember everything that’s happened to him anymore.
Christmas Picture Book Advent
Anne Marshall recommends picture books for this season.
- As Christmas approaches with all the excitement and preparation, I also try to turn my children’s hearts and minds toward the celebration of Christ’s birth, the miracle of his coming and the anticipation of his return.
Many years ago when my children were babies I was fortunate enough to come across the idea of a Picture Book Advent using whole and living picture books through Sally Clarkson’s ministry (www.sallyclarkson.com). She described how she wrapped 24 picture books every year and placed them in a basket. Starting December 1st they would open a book each day and read it together.
We’re So Glad You’re Here
Michael Tinker thinks of the welcome we’ll get when we finally make it Home.
- Last week we took our first trip to the USA, to Nashville and to HutchmootUS. Having enjoyed HutchmootUK so much back in July, it was really exciting to be able to go and enjoy the American version.
As we went around greeting friends and making new ones we kept hearing the same phrase – ‘we’re so glad you’re here’. Person after person. Old friends and new.
Now, we hardly ever say that in England. Not because we’re not glad that people are there, but we’re just not so effusive, especially after one minute of chatting to someone.
Christmas with Little Women
Laura Peterson finds herself with a new version of a classic this season.
- “Everything old is new again,” so they say—a trend that I think is true of books, too, no doubt helped along by all the recent reboots, remakes, and reimaginings of old stories for new audiences at the movies. I am so excited for this coming Christmas release of a new film adaptation of Little Women, and I’ve been revisiting all the old versions that I love so well; the 1994 movie, the series that aired on PBS last year, and of course my old beloved paperback copy of the original book by Louisa May Alcott that I bought at the Scholastic Book Fair in elementary school. Sharing my favorite stories with readers is one the best parts of my job as a children’s librarian, but it can be tricky to find just the right young reader for a 400-plus page novel written in 1868!
Something to Do with Your Kids
There are usually an abundance of activities available to do as a family during December, but in case you’re stuck for ideas, here’s a great list.
Something to Watch
If you’re near my age, you remember Silly Songs with the affection of a teenager who pretended that she watched Veggie Tales for the kids she was babysitting and not for herself. If you’re younger, you might not have had to pretend. Whatever your state, here’s an awesome trip down memory lane with Larry the Cucumber himself (and our friends Andrew Peterson and Randall Goodgame wearing their Silly Song Songwriter hats).
Thanks for reading. We’re on your side.
-The Story Warren Team