By Linda Patchin
Don’t you love establishing family Christmas traditions? My family has many, but one that we especially treasure has been reading through an Advent book together during the month of December. It used to be difficult to find books that we could all enjoy, but several years ago we stumbled across an excellent series.
Idaho author, Arnold Ytreeide, has written a Christmas Trilogy for home use during the Advent season. The first in the series is called Jotham’s Journey, and it tells the story of a ten-year-old shepherd boy who is separated from his family and while searching for them ends up in Bethlehem for the birth of Christ.
The next books in the series, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels, take their readers on similar adventures. My family has made it a habit to read through one of these books each year during Advent. Each reading concludes with a cliff-hanger ending that leaves children begging for more, while closing with a prayer.
Some years we have made an Advent wreath and lit candles while reading through one of these books. Other years we have been simpler in our presentation, but either way, gathering together and cuddling up close is the most important ingredient.
Advent begins on Dec. 1st this year, and the Jotham Series will need to begin on that day if you want to get to the end by Christmas Eve. Order a copy soon so you will have it before the first, and can get started establishing this wonderful tradition in your family!