Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Review: My Family Christmas Book and Memories

I'm going to start this review by getting right to the point. I LOVE this amazing book.  Love, love, love.  It arrived one day when my husband was at work, and as soon as he walked through the door I started flipping through the pages and showing him all the things that I was excited about. Which, honestly, was most all of the book.

My family is still young, and we're still working to establish our own Christmas traditions. The past few Christmases have been kind of disorganized and random, but this year my kids are older and I'm determined to change that and make the Christmas season more special and Christ-centered than it has been in the past.  So this book couldn't have shown up at a better time for me. My Family Christmas Book and Memories comes from a book that a woman named Minerva Rivera wrote for her kids in 1978 to help them prepare for Christmas.  To honor Mrs. Rivera and her ideas and to help other families ensure that Christ is at the center of their Christmas seasons, her granddaughters wrote My Family Christmas Book and Memories. What a great story behind such a useful book! 

I'm calling this a book, but the My Family Christmas Book and Memories is much more than that. It's a book and an organizational tool and a repository for memories and a source for ideas. Everything is presented in a nice, thick three-ring binder. There are nine sections inside, divided by plastic dividers with tabs with the title of the sections on them.  This makes it easy to find exactly what you're looking for and able to quickly flip to the necessary section.  The nine sections are as follows: Living a Christ-centered Christmas, Advent, Christmas Readings and Prayers, Christmas Carols and Songs, Christmas Craft Ideas for Children, Favorite Christmas Recipes, Christmas Planning, Christmas Memories and The New Year.

The first section has great ideas for keeping Christ at the center of Christmas.  The ideas are creative and still simple and practical. We've already put one of the ideas "help others in need" in action with our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, but I can't wait to try out some of the other ideas with my kids as well!  The second section,  Advent, helps to get the Christmas season off on the right foot with its family prayers, readings and meditations.  The Advent section and the following sections on carols and songs and crafts are great- instead of having to look everywhere for readings or carol lyrics or craft ideas, it's all right here, organized in one place.

The recipe section has both ideas for things to make at Christmas as well as pages for writing down my own favorite Christmas recipes.  This is followed by the Christmas Planning section, which has everything you need for a well-organized holiday- a place to write down ideas for next year's Christmas, decorations or ornaments that need to be replaced, a calendar, places to write down gift ideas and Christmas card list additions- and much more. I've already been jotting down notes of ideas for gifts and people that I need to send cards to!

Although I think everything in this book is incedibly useful and inspiring, my favorite sections are the last two, Christmas Memories and The New Year.  The Christmas Memories section is what turns this from just an organizer into a memory keeper- and probably into a family heirloom as well!  The pages include places to write down special memories of each Christmas as well as to include pictures and record family traditions.  The final section, The New Year, is a section in which you can write down family resolutions for the new year.  A good way to get the year off on the right foot!

I know this book is going to be my go-to tool for great Christmases for many years to come- it really does have everything I need, all in one place.  For more information on this book and how to order, visit the My Family Christmas Book website.  If you order during the month of November and pay with Paypal, you can get free shipping on your book! So, if you're interested in a more organized, faith-filled, memory-recording Christmas, definitely get a My Family Christmas Book for yourself!

Disclosure: I received this book thanks to Family Review Network and the lovely people at My Family Christmas Book and Memories. I was not compensated in any other way, was under no obligation to post a positive review, and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.