Last year, Ann Voskamp’s book The Greatest Gift was a very important part of my own personal Advent celebration. The readings are short and begin with a passage of Scripture. Apart from just being a beautiful book, it is an excellent way to begin or end each bustling day in the Christmas season with quiet and rest.
When I discovered that Ann had also written Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas for the entire family, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy! Tyndale House Publishers mailed me a complimentary copy for our family’s enjoyment in early October and we began to enjoy it long before December arrived.
We received the beautiful book just in time to take it along to the Mountains in October, and Lucy spent a lot of time stretched out on the floor of the cabin, looking at the lovely pictures and reading a few words.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is a large hardcover book- about 12×12- and has gorgeous full-color illustrations throughout. A similar format is used as the original Greatest Gift version, taking the principle of the Jesse Tree and exploring the elements of Advent as they all point to the coming of Christ. A passage of Scripture comes first in each day’s reading, followed by a part of the story. Each day (or chapter) puts one story in front of the other pointing along the way to the coming of Jesus.
Though the book is meant to be for Families to read together, if your family is made up of active toddlers, you will want to take that into account as you read. Those of you, (myself included) who struggle to get your almost three-year old to sit attentively for one small board book– may find yourself gritting your teeth through the pages of this book if you are hoping your kiddos will sit still and take in the beautiful lyrical text. That being said, I feel there is a lot of value in Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, no matter the stage of your family. It would be a great piece to read a small bit of each chapter, show them the photos and then build on as your children grow. The fact that the title suggests it is for families to experience together should not dissuade anyone from enjoying Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. I have enjoyed reading portions both by myself and with the little people in our home.
What I love most about this book is perhaps what I love most about Ann Voskamp’s writing in general, her ability to cross bridges and boundaries to bring the Hope and Joy of Christ right in front of you, no matter your season of life. And the gift of being able to share that with my children with wording and pictures they appreciate is just icing on the lovely, poetic cake.
I hope that in a rush of this December, you are enjoying a few moments of quiet peace. If you are looking for a tool in which to focus more of your attention of Jesus and the gift of His coming FOR YOU, I wholeheartedly recommend Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas.
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift was given to me by Tyndale Publishers to enjoy and review. I received the free copy in exchange for my honest opinions.