"How can we change the Christmas conversation with our kids?"
This is the question I asked myself a few years ago when I desperately wanted to have meaningful conversations with my daughter at Christmas time but it seemed like everything was so focused on getting presents. I wanted to talk with her about the hope, joy, peace and love that Jesus came to give us, but at the time she would not have been very interested in that conversation.
I began to think of an engaging way to have these conversations, and this led me to start writing a children's book about the story of the first Christmas through the eyes of the animals that might have been around Jesus at his birth. I wrote four poems about a camel, donkey, sheep and cow to focus on the four themes of advent - hope, joy, peace and love.
After I finished writing Animals of the Nativity, I knew I wanted this to be all about celebrating Jesus' birthday. And what do you do when you celebrate someone's birthday? You give them a present!
But how can you give Jesus a present? He tells us in the book of Matthew:
So we made the decision that with all of the money that this book makes, we're going to use it to feed children who are suffering from severe malnutrition in Benin, West Africa. We partnered with a fantastic non-profit called Aide La Vie that distributes a special kind of life-saving food to kids.
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home… Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?’ And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’”-Jesus (Matthew 25:35, 37, 40)
A great example is Liana. Last year she could not walk because of the affects of malnutrition. But because many of you bought this book last Christmas, we were able to provide this special food for her and now she can walk!
This week is the beginning of advent and people all around the world are focusing on the hope that Jesus brought us. To celebrate that hope, I'm giving you a PDF of the first of the four poems from Animals of the Nativity, "The Hopeful Camel" for you to enjoy with your kids on your phone, tablet or computer. I hope it spurs on great conversations with your kids! You can download the PDF by clicking here