Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning through Family Traditions
CrossLink Publishing (2013)
Reviewed by Rev. Dr. Michael Philliber for Reader Views (2/14)
Christmas can often be the time of deep distress, disturbance and disillusionment with all the hustle, bustle, traveling, shopping, parties and cheapening commercialization. How can a family restore a peaceful pleasure to their Christmas time? What steps would they need to take, and where can they turn? Just in time for Christmas, Renee Robinson has published an inexpensive, 62 page paperback that is intended to help people do just those things. “Seeking Christmas: Finding the True Meaning through Family Traditions” is a very family-friendly tool that will take the reader seven steps closer to reestablishing a gratifying Christmas time.
Robinson has set out seven short chapters that each follows a five “R” plan: Remember, Read, Reflect, Rejoice and Research. In the “How to Use Seeking Christmas” segment she lays out various ways to use the book, but the original strategy is to take up the seven chapters in succession for the seven days just before Christmas morning. Each chapter includes an eye-pleasing illustration, a small portion for the parents, the specific Bible passage that is to be read to the family, questions for kids at various ages, and explanations of several Christmas traditions. “Seeking Christmas” is an affordable, and almost self-contained, resource that is simple to use. For those who would like to go a little further, the author also makes available seven “Seeking Christmas” ornaments via her website.
Besides a few editorial glitches in the “How to Use” section, there was another issue I had with the book. For me, it would have been better if the “Seeking Christmas” ornaments had been printed as appendices in the book. As it is, the reader is directed to the author’s website and promised that “instructions and free downloads” are available there. But when I went to the website, they were not readily available. I would have had to sign up for the newsletter. That unannounced extra step felt almost like a bait-and-switch move. If Robinson wants people to sign up for the newsletter, then she should have stated this extra step in her book by saying specifically, “instructions and downloads available by signing up for my newsletter at the website.”
“Seeking Christmas” by Renee Robinson is an enjoyable, useable, simple read. Its value for helping to rekindle an enjoyable Christmas season for years to come is quickly seen. If it weren’t for the major issues mentioned in the previous paragraph, I would highly recommend it.