As we get closer to Christmas, it means that my wife is going to continually ask me where I hid her Harry Connick, Jr. Christmas CD. Now, I tend to be more of a Soul/R&B type of guy (thus the reason I hid this CD) but let’s just say her family loves Harry so much that he nearly has figurine in their nativity scene.
All that to say, I always enjoy hearing about traditions that my friends have around the Holidays. Perhaps it’s the fact that your Dad smokes the turkey in a trashcan like the college student in my small group or like my family, you bundle up on Christmas Eve and drive around for hours looking at lights while sipping on hot chocolate.
For those of you that are looking for new traditions, I think I might have just the thing – especially if you’re concerned that Christmas has already started to turn your children into consumers.
The Donkey in the Living Room
Sarah Cunningham, one of the talented artists involved with Story Chicago and also the author of several books including Picking Dandelions just released a children’s Christmas book titled, “The Donkey in the Living Room” via Kindle ($0.99) and print $9.99).
On her blog, she shares a little about why she decided to venture into children’s literature on a whim.
I was hoping in addition to a peppy elf , there was a go-to tradition that would remind my kids to think past toy accumulation (don’t we already have piles of toys in every nook and cranny of our houses?) and spend a few minutes getting excited about the birth of Jesus. And then it hit me. In one crazy-children’s-book-writing moment of inspiration. My family had a special holiday tradition when we were children. The tradition was so neat, in fact, it had even been included in the advent section of the Mosaic Bible a few years ago. But I’d never tried to capture it for children…until now.
The idea behind the book is that each day, the story of Christmas is told from a vantage point of a different character. So one day, it’s Mary talking about what it was like to ride a donkey while pregnant and the next, it’s from the perspective of the animals themselves – all leading up the Jesus telling the story on Christmas.
Now, I am not a parent (heck, I don’t even have a dog or a goldfish) but I can definitely appreciate a creative way of helping children understand the true meaning of the season. In an Elf on the Shelf culture, this idea seems to be catching on as the book just released several weeks ago and is already climbing the Amazon charts and being made available outside of the US.
Although I couldn’t find a sample online of a full page of the illustrations, you can look at the front and back covers online. I also perused Jessica Wieble’s portfolio (the illustrator) and I feel like she is the perfect fit for a project like this.
How do you help your family understand that Christmas is not just about presents?
Is this something you might use to start a new Christmas tradition this year?