Last night the boys and I spread out a blanket and gathered around the fireplace to read the first story from our Advent Storybook. It is a delightful book about a little bear’s journey to Bethlehem. Each night, the bear’s mother reads him a story while he opens the next door on his Advent calendar.
The little bear, led by a shining star, meets many others on his travels across hot deserts, snowy mountains, through dark, lonely nights. His adventures filled with acts of heroism and kindness, and many small miracles, show him the path to the Christ Child.
And by journey’s end, Benjamin Bear–and youngsters who share the stories and their simple morals along with him–will be ready to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas.
I love that each story ends with a little conversation between Benjamin Bear and his mother about God. Tonight’s story ends with,
“Does the mother eagle always catch her young when they fall?” asked Benjamin when his mother finished the story.
“If we trust in God, He will always catch us before we fall,” Mother Bear replied and gave Benjamin a big hug.”
I also cut out different icons for the feastdays that we celebrate during the month of December and on those nights, we’ll also read the story of the saint being celebrated.
On December 6, the story is about St. Nicholas, even though he is dressed like Santa Claus, but I like that at least he is acknowledged on his feast. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was an Orthodox book, celebrating the 40 days of Advent? Maybe in the future…
We did this last year for the first time and the boys just loved it, so I was really excited to begin again this Christmas season. So, as Ace and Lucky opened the first door on their calendar and nibbled on their treat, we began our own journey to Bethlehem.