I can’t tell you how excited I am about this review! I have been wanting to incorporate some Advent traditions/activities/conversations into our family’s Christmas celebrations for awhile now. Last year I tried a set of devotionals a friend gave me. The ideas and everything presented in it were great and sound and based in Scripture (which is the most important thing for me), however it wasn’t very conducive to our family’s stage of life right now, with our children all under the age of 7 currently.
For those of you not familiar with Advent, it is the time leading up to Christmas day. You may have seen the fun, secular Advent calendars selling like hotcakes in the shops right now. (Our girls have a cute princess one) But, friend, Advent is truly about so much more than counting the days until Santa’s visit! I really wanted a way to help my family really think deeply about the whole meaning of Christmas, and the impact it has on our lives as followers of Jesus.
Truth in the Tinsel honestly far exceeded my expectations! It is extremely well put together, organized and very professional looking. Amanda really thought of ergonomics when putting this eBook together. She starts out with a thorough but not overwhelming introduction of the book and the ideas and methods used in it. The idea is to participate in a short Advent activity involving reading a short section of the Bible, talking about it and making a craft to go along with it. She then provides a complete supply list; but she doesn’t stop there. She then provides a supply list by day, so you can look ahead in one easy glance at what you will need the next day to get it all ready. As a former classroom teacher, this made my day!
The crafts are all adorable, chalk full of meaning, and easily and quickly made. As Amanda points out several times, the goal is not the craft itself, but in the message the craft is helping to cement in our wee ones’ minds and hearts. I love that it is not meant to be a long, drawn out ordeal everyday, and that it’s designed with young children in mind – their attention span, interests, and abilities.
One of my favorite aspects of Truth in the Tinsel is that she recognizes that life is, well…life. And as good as our intentions may be, this can be one of the busiest times of the year, and the last thing we need is something else to stress over or feel like we’ve failed at. In light of this, Amanda has also broken down the days into alternate schedules if you want to just hit the highlights, or focus on the main characters, or feel a bit overwhelmed at the thought of 24 straight days and need something shorter, she has done all the grunt work and research to pull together the easiest, most effective ways to do these things with our kids.
I also love that the crafts aren’t mandatory. So if I can’t find the supplies for a particular one, or just don’t have time to make one everyday, we will still get something out of the time in the Word and discussing it. I went today to the Euro Saver store (think Dollar Tree) and got a bunch of craft stuff (I’m rubbish at keeping a lot of crafty things in the house) for about $15. Not bad for a month’s worth of daily fun, simple crafts.
One last thing. If you’re new to the concept of Advent, or don’t consider yourself a very religious person (heck, I don’t consider myself religious) or a person of faith, I encourage you to try this out. She even gives hyper links to the Bible verses for each day so you don’t have to fumble around in a Bible you’re not familiar with to find the verses for each day. This is a great, easy, non-threatening way to give the Bible a try with your family!
You can buy Truth in the Tinsel for the great price of $7.99. Just in time to start on December 1!
You can find Amanda at her website, Oh, Amanda, on Facebook and on Twitter. You an even join her Facebook challenge by posting photos on Facebook of you and your kids doing your crafts, talk with other moms, and more!
I received a free copy of Truth in the Tinsel for the purposes of this review. I received no other compensation, and the opinions expressed above are my honest thoughts and feelings.
Disclosure: after reading this book, I believed in it so much I decided to become an affiliate. So, some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you buy the eBook using one of these links, I receive a few pennies to help me with working towards hosting my own site. :)