Thursday, December 16, 2010

Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantschev

Recommendation: Recommended
This book features an unexpected twist as Santa encounters the animals of the forest. He explains to them that Christmas has nothing to do with him or presents, as they have all believed. Presenting his own favorite story, that of the first Christmas, Santa speaks of how God showed His love to us through the birth of Christ.
Positives: Santa emphasizes the greater value of God’s gift of love shown in the birth of the Christ child in comparison with the presents that the animals are concerned about.
Negatives: Although Santa’s version of the first Christmas is a fair one, it is not exactly quoted from the Bible. This is a good opportunity to get out your Bible and read directly what Scripture says about Christ’s birth and the events surrounding it.
Talking Points: However each family chooses to address Santa Claus at Christmas time, this book does a good job of pointing beyond the surface value of material things to the far greater gift we have been given by our heavenly Father in Jesus Christ. As you read the account of Christ’s birth in Luke 2:1-20, it is apparent that there are a lot of details Santa left out. This is a teaching opportunity to consider that while we may see and hear things at times that sound biblical, we have the responsibility and privilege to search the Word ourselves to see what it really says (and thus following the example of the Berean believers in Acts 17:11). Further, the book states that God’s love is shown in the birth of Christ, but doesn't explain why this is the case. Talk about who Jesus was (“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord” -- Luke 2:11; “And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him” -- Luke 2:40)) and is, and what He did when He grew up that embodied the ultimate gift of love to us in the laying down of His life. (John 15:13)
Age Level: 4-8, but a good read for the whole family

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