Surprise Feature: Countdown to Christmas

“Your job little Shepherd, is so very special. This assignment is one that must be successful. You will help children find treasure each Christmas and lead them to love they’ll find only in Jesus.”

Stephanie Parker, The Shepherd’s Treasure

Hey! My name is Liz and I will be guest writing this post for the Christian Home. I am a wife to a firefighter and a stay at home mom to two girls. I spent many years as a high school Biblical Worldview teacher, but am now enjoying raising my girls and writing on the side. I am so excited to share with you an amazing resource for your family to use during Advent! 

Growing up, my parents would always pull out a big felt Advent wall hanging every December first. It had 25 little pockets on it, and each one would be filled with either a treat or a piece of paper. Each day leading up to Christmas, my sisters and I would run to the calendar and peek inside that day’s pocket to see what fun advent activity or treat was there! The pockets spanned from the simply fun, like baking Christmas cookies or my personal favorite, sleeping under the Christmas tree in our sleeping bags, to the more meaningful, like going caroling through the neighborhood. Each little pocket helped us to enjoy the season and to help us look ahead to what was to come.

Ultimately that is what the season of advent is for. Advent means ‘coming’; it is the joyful expectation of Christ’s arrival. The advent season helps us to be centered on the Gospel, in the midst of holiday craziness, and it encourages us to look ahead to the celebration of Jesus’ birth as well as his second coming.

Today’s feature product is an amazing resource for families to celebrate the advent season together. It is called the Shepherd’s Treasure!

Oftentimes at Christmas, it seems as though Christians feel as though they have to pick between fun holiday activities or Biblical activities. That is just not the case! You can have BOTH! I am a firm believer in ALL the Christmas fun, while always pointing my family back to the reason of WHY we can have such fun during the Holidays. The good news of Christ coming down to save us will ALWAYS be the foundation of our fun activities, but it does not preclude us from enjoying them! This fun resource does an excellent joy of combining both the fun and foundational of Advent. 

Each Shepherd’s Treasure box comes with an adorable plush Shepherd boy, a plush baby Jesus in the manger, a Shepherd’s Treasure book, a handout with ideas for each day of advent, and my personal favorite, 31 Advent Verse cards. 

On the first day of Advent (Dec. 1), your family can begin the fun by reading aloud the book and naming your shepherd. The book does a wonderful job at explaining the premise of the Shepherd’s Treasure, and it also does a wonderful job at reminding your family of the purpose of Christmas: Seeking Christ!

Each night after the kids have gone to bed, parents hide the Shepherd around the house for the children to find the next morning. The box has included a handout with ideas for each day. Many are similar to the things I did with my sisters growing up! There is plenty of room for flexibility for parents to come up with your own creative ideas.

The most important part of each morning is to include one of the advent cards with the Shepherd. Each has a verse on it to help remind and center your family on the reason for the holiday. They have also included extra cards for you to write your own verses on. If your family is working on a specific memory verse, this would be the perfect place to write it down and have it appear during the advent celebration! At the end of the 25 days, on Christmas Day, the Shepherd should be found in front of the Christmas tree with the Baby Jesus. The verse to correspond is Luke 2:15-20 “When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (ESV)

Lastly, we love why Stephanie started The Shepherd’s Treasure as shes says: “I created [it] because I wanted the hearts of my children to be more focused on and excited about Jesus than they were presents or material possessions. I wanted Christ to get the glory in our home instead of Santa or the Easter bunny. It also helped me be intentional about pouring God’s Word into my kids in a way that was also fun and exciting for them! My prayer for The Shepherd’s Treasure is that God’s Word will sink deep into the hearts of the children and parents who use it, and that Jesus’ name will become the greatest gift we give the next generation. To HIM be the glory!” And on that note, head to the link here to order one of these for yourself in time to kick off the advent season! Mimicking Stephanie’s quote, to God be the Glory!

Liz Elms

Guest Writer, The Christian Home

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