Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift - Ann Voskamp


I love Ann Voskamp.  She is one of those women who just has a way of saying something and you go, "ah ha, I get it now."  Her latest offering, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift, is a collection of advent writings that point the family to the heart of Christmas- Jesus.

Every year at Christmas my husband and I sit down and intentionally plan how we're going to approach the season.  We strive to maintain a balance between the busy joy of all the traditional holiday activities and the quiet, still reverence of the birth of our Savior.  We want our children to celebrate Jesus, not Christmas, and there is a difference.  

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is meant to be read each day leading up to Christmas.  Ann's writing is flowery and verbose, but she poignantly traces the lineage of Christ as she weaves numerous Bible stories together in a celebration of Advent.  Each daily reading has scripture references and questions to encourage family participation.  This would be ideal to use as a family devotional during Advent season.

Included are digital files for ornaments that kids can color and hang on the Jesse tree.  Unwrapping the Greatest Gift is a great little package that truly showcases the gift of Jesus and helped turn our family's heart toward Him this holiday season.

I do have a few grumbles. Ann can tend to be a bit over the top with her language choices.  Oftentimes this book spoke way above my kids' heads, clearly written in a style more suitable for adults.  Also, I had a few issues with interpretations and liberties that were taken with scripture.  The flood was portrayed as a purely loving event, and Satan was hurled down from heaven on Christmas Eve.  Again, these devotions are gorgeously written and the imagery is beautiful, but I did not agree with some of the theological interpretations.

Still, this is a beautiful book that accomplishes what it sets out to do; encourage us to make Jesus and his great gift the focus of our holiday season.  May we always do so.

Disclosure of Material: I received a complimentary copy from Tyndale Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.