Happy Readers Help Out: 3 Christmas Books on Service + Updates

Guys, guys!  Did you see the article on Little Hands Can's Breakfast with Santa event in yesterday's Register Guard?  Click here to see the online article.

Speaking of the Breakfast with Santa, it was awesome!  There were so many happy kids munching on food, chatting with Santa, making cards for the Eugene Mission, and just having a grand time at Old School.  We had about 100 people come and received over $1000 that will be used for Little Hands Can's 2016 events.  Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone involved!


Ever wonder how to get your kids more interested in service?  One easy way to get them more service-oriented is to read about it.  Christmas books can be especially appealing.  Try out these three fun books with your kids today!  All are available to check out from the Eugene Public Library or to buy off Amazon.  And if you do decide to buy them off Amazon (or to use Amazon for any of your other Christmas purchases) don't forget to go through Amazon Smile and choose Little Hands Can as your charity!

The Most Precious Gift: A Story of the Nativity by Marty Crisp

Ameer is a child traveling in the wise men’s caravan with his dog to see Baby Jesus.  Everyone has brought the Baby a special gift, except Ameer who thinks has nothing to give but in the end gives more than them all. 

I like that this book centers around a boy and his dog.  So much of the nativity story is foreign – camels, mangers, franckencinse; they all are new to children learning the story.  But many kids ca understand the bond between a child and his dog and so can relate to this book and understand its message.

 

The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans

Here’s another book about a child’s gift but set in the town of Noel.  Everyone brings a gift to the Keeper of the Flame, who lights the torch bringing Christmas to the rest of the world, but a certain child’s gift is far greater than any other offering.

I love this book.  The illustrations are so Christmas-y.  The child puts another person in need above his own desires, expecting nothing in return.  It’s got a great message for us all!

 

The Fourth Wise Man based on the story by Henry Van Dyke, retold by Susan Summers

I saved the best for last.  This book is truly a gem.  It’s the story of Artaban, who sets off to meet the other wise men to journey together to see the Baby Jesus but helps someone along the way and does not make it I time to travel with his wise friends.  Instead, he journeys alone, arriving just after Jesus’ family has fled for Egypt but I time to save another baby from the wrath of Herod.  He spends the next decades trying to find Jesus.  During his search, he is able to help people wherever he goes. 

I love the rich imagery in the text.  Illustrations are not my favorite but the text more than makes up for it.  I also love that this man is clearly stated as a follower of a different religion but seeks Jesus for greater knowledge and wisdom and obviously lives the principles that Jesus taught.  In this world where people seem to be so scared of people who are different from themselves, this Christmas message is especially relevant.  We can all be a little kinder to whoever we meet, whomever they might be, and a little more open to other people’s religious values, whatever they might be.  

Hope you enjoy some great service-y books this Christmas season!  


Remember that post about Santa Lucia's Day?  Did anyone try it out?  Here's how our attempt went:  Anna and I made 3 different kinds of cookies.  Or rather, I made cookies and Anna busied herself with smelling all the yummy spices going into them and playing alongside me.  None of the cookies worked out.  The molasses cookies were super soft and crumbly.  The powdered sugar on the chocolate crinkles was moist.  How?  I don't know.  And I didn't even think it was possible to do but somehow I burnt the peppermint meringues.  Anyways, I salvaged the best of the cookies that I could, got Anna in that white dress and red ribbon (sans shoes in the freezing rain because she absolutely insisted on being barefoot) and we went off to carol and drop off cookies.  Our first stop was at the house of some friends from Norway.  Since Santa Lucia's Day is celebrated in Norway we thought it would be extra special to them.  They weren't home.  The folks at our next stop weren't home either.  By then we needed to be on our way to a Christmas concert so we gave up.  Oh well, better luck next year!