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Just Before We Pack Up the Decorations

January 12th, 2010 by Thalia Kehoe Rowden

Through a combination of laziness and love of Christmas decorations, one year we had our tinsel up until September the following year…

One European tradition is to take down Christmas decorations at Epiphany, 6 January, the day we celebrate the visit of the wise men to Jesus’ family in Bethlehem.  (If you missed Simon’s excellent narrative sermon on this event, listen to it online – it will make you feel like it’s the first time you’ve heard the story.)

But of course in Europe, no one’s at the beach on 6 January – at the moment there’s snow hemming in most of my friends and relatives over there – so that’s a much more sensible date to pack away decorations than it is here.  I’m counting on many of you still being in Christmas mode for this post.jonathan toomey

I want your recommendations, while Christmas is fresh in your mind, for good picture books on Christmas themes (I’m thinking baby Jesus rather than trees and presents, if you follow me).  This year we treated ourselves to Jesus’ Christmas Party by Nicholas Allan and Cat in the Manger by Michael Foreman.  And last year we read the heartbreaking, lovely Canadian book, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski and enjoyed the angel in Doc Martens in Julie Vivas’ illustration of Luke’s gospel in The Nativity.  I’ve got a few more up my sleeve (thank you, Jocelyn, for one of them!), but I’m always on the lookout for books that will grab kids and adults and help us connect with Jesus.

So: what are your recommendations? If you’re feeling clever, include a link to your favourite book site – I’m using Amazon at the moment in these posts because they let you look inside a lot of their books, but I use a few different sites to actually buy books.

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