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Monday, November 30, 2015

The Sparkle Box -- A Must Read Christmas Book!!

Disclosure: I was sent these books to review free of charge from Ideals Books./Worthy Kids. All opinions in this post are my own. I did not receive any other compensation for this review. I am including links to each item for your convenience but do not receive anything if you purchase them.

When reading Christmas books I always like ones that have the true meaning of Christmas in the story. Many just retell the story of the first Christmas, however the book I am sharing with you today does not. It shares the real meaning of Christmas with children and gives an activity for the family to do as well to focus on Jesus during this sometimes over commercialized season. The Sparkle Box by Jill Hardie and illustrated by Christine Kornacki is one of my favorite Christmas books ever. 


http://www.idealsbooks.com/The-Sparkle-Box-Jill-Hardie/dp/0824956478

This story shares the wonder of a young boy when he notices a sparkly box on his family's mantle. His mother tells him it is not filled yet, but they will open it on Christmas. He wonders what will fill the box. Then while running errands with his mother he wonders about a man sleeping on a park bench. His mother explains to him that the some people like this man do not have a home to live in. Throughout the book the reader gains a picture of this boy's life: from his admiring a toy train in the window to his love of his father's business's Christmas party the reader sees he is a regular kid. The questions he asks are ones most kids ask and are trying to figure things out in the world. On Christmas morning the sparkle box is under the tree. His parents explain it is a gift for Jesus. They open it and inside are pieces of paper with the various good deeds his family has done this season. His mother explains that when you do something for those in need, Jesus said it was doing it for him. It has wonderful ties to the Bible and brings the true feeling of giving and being a Christian to light. 
Our Mantle
We discovered this amazing book in 2013 when I won a copy through a giveaway. The book comes with a foldable sparkle box. We however invested a dollar on a more sturdy one and have used it since. Ours is smaller, but has the removable top with a ribbon. 


Each Advent we pull it out and start to fill it up throughout the season with deeds we do for others. Although we turn it in before Advent starts we always include our box for Operation Christmas Child. On Christmas morning after opening our gifts and before we head to my parents, we sit down and open our sparkle box and read the good deeds as a gift to Jesus. It helps us focus on giving and on Jesus instead of how much and what we got for Christmas. It is such a wonderful tradition and way to bring our focus where it should be. I am so thankful we discovered this amazing book!! I am also honored to be able to participate in this First Look Blog Tour of this great book. 
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8PVW7zBWFxsZ1V6eExSQmtSVDQ/view?usp=sharing

Advent began yesterday. I made a simple printable for you to go with the season with the common themes of the various Advent weeks. I thought this would be the perfect book with which to share it. I hope your family finds the time to focus on the reason for this season and remember the greatest gift of all!

By the way, Jill Hardie also wrote the amazing Easter story, The Sparkle Egg.