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The Story of Christmas Paperback – 1 Sep 2008
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The story is obviously a religious one, but told in such as way as to be accessible to children who have not been brought up as Christian but who enjoy hearing and learning more about the story of the nativity. The books are fairly short, for example the third book 'Mary' reads 'In the village of Nazareth lived a young woman named Mary. As a child she went with her mother to the Jerusalem temple, where she learned to pray and live a holy life. When she grew up, Mary was promised in marriage to a carpenter named Joseph, who loved her for her kind and generous ways and for the wisdom in her heart.' Each day covers a particular element of the story in roughly chronological order, so perfect if you want to coincide it with bringing out figures from a nativity set.
I think that it was an excellent choice to use small card books rather than their paper equivalent as they are less fragile than they might otherwise be and therefore more child friendly. The touch of being able to add the little books to your Christmas tree is also a really nice touch.
Unlike many paper advent calendars this can easily be reused. Admittedly this will only be the second year I have used it so I couldn't comment on its long term longevity as yet!
The only downside is that it can sometimes be difficult to pull the books out of the calendar, the string intended for putting them on the tree actually often helps you to get the books out of the calendar. On a couple of days the card that was holding the book in place ended up bent slightly but not enough to spoil the look of the calendar but you would probably need to supervise a young child taking out the book to ensure than it wasn't more badly damaged.
My only gripe (hence four stars rather than five) is that the story in the books was a little bit too creative in filling in the gaps in the gospel story - nothing that was "off message", but I'd have preferred a writing style that was clearer about which bits were made up. However, that's a personal preference - I'd still recommend this readily to anyone trying to keep the meaning of Christmas alive in their family.
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