Our Advent Journey Begins – “Destination: Bethlehem” Review

Our Advent Begins!

Advent officially begins December 2nd, but since we like to make our own rules we began our Advent readings early. When we got our copy of “Destination: Bethlehem” in the mail we didn’t want to wait–so we dove right in! The kids snuggled up with me and we took off on an interesting trip through ancient Palestine.

Destination: Bethlehem

Destination: Bethlehem is a wonderful little Advent story written by mother/daughter team Sharon Altman and Christine Winkelman. It’s actually a two-part story about two separate boys who travel through ancient Palestine on a journey that ends in the fulfillment of God’s promises.

Journey with Isaac as he witnesses the birth of John the Baptist, and follow along with Jediah as he marvels at the birth of the Messiah. There’s a suggested list of “pieces” to gather for each story such as a small candle, or an orange. We have been using little toys and trinkets that we already have on hand, such as a miniature Noah figure to represent Zechariah. As we settle in with our token for the story, the kids gather around and we read. Most days they beg for another day! They truly enjoy it.

Bringing it to Life

With two colorful maps and cozy “sketched” illustrations throughout, the 24 chapters can be read one each day from the beginning of December through Christmas Eve as you anticipate the coming of Christmas morning. At the end of each chapter is a page called “Travel Guide to the Past” which shares tidbits and facts of the historical setting or Jewish customs. At the end of the first chapter we learned about the Jewish custom of placing a Mezuzah on the doorpost to remind them to keep God’s commandments. My children were astonished to discover that we have one by OUR door! It was a gift from my brother that he brought back from Israel, but above the heads of my children and out of their observance. These interesting tidbits do help to bring the story even more to life.

A Greater Ministry

As wonderful enough as it is for this charming story to be sharing the message of Christ and helping families stay Christ-centered during the holidays, there is an even greater ministry at work here. Not only did Sharon and Christine write this story for their two sons/grandsons, but they planned from the beginning to donate all of their profits to the children of Yalpemech, Guatamela — a ministry they are connected with through Christine’s church. Not only is this book a blessing to families during Advent but it is also a blessing to those children in Guatemala as well.

 

We have been enjoying this book tremendously and it really is the perfect addition to our Advent traditions this year. With a move on our plate somewhere between now and Christmas Day, I’ve forgone pulling out all of our usual decorations and Advent “tools.” The plan to “keep it simple” was perfected with this simple telling of the coming of the Messiah, and his foreteller John. I have no doubt that your family would be equally blessed to add this to whatever traditions you have planned for this year.

 

**A special thanks to Sharon for providing me with a copy to review and a copy to giveaway. Although I was compensated for my time and for promotion connected with the Mommy Time Party, I requested to review this product because I wanted to experience it for myself and add it to our Christ-Centered library. I was not required to write a positive review, but we enjoyed this book very much and this review reflects our experiences and opinions. My commitment to my readers, as always, is to provide honest, quality reviews.

 

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Ticia
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Ticia

Ooohhh, I like the idea of a “Christ-Centered library.” I’ve already got a start on it….. Now to organize it.

Aislynn Holt
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Aislynn Holt

This looks great. It would go great with the rest of our advent traditions.

Amy B.
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Amy B.

The Gospel of Luke.

kathy balman
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kathy balman

the christmas tapestry

Lydia Hostetler
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Lydia Hostetler

I don’t really have a favorite other than the Bible.. But maybe I will be finding another book to add to it! Thanks for the giveaway!

Becky M
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Becky M

I really don’t have anything that I like to read around the holidays. This sounds like it would be a good one to start with. 🙂

Sarah
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Sarah

we love the advent book by Holmans’ with doors and scripture

Kelli
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Kelli

Redeeming the Season is one I like to read.

Courtney
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Courtney

What a neat resource! I love this!

LuannaM
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LuannaM

This looks so neat! Would love to have it!

Dana Lambert
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Dana Lambert

I don’t really have a Christmas favorite but I love to read any story about the birth of Jesus and share them with my children.

Tauna
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Tauna

Little Women

J'Marie
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J'Marie

Love the Advent book w/ doors and Jotham’s Journey series by Arnold Yultree(sp?)

Whitney Cornelison
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Whitney Cornelison

Um, we read the Bible. We have other Christmas books that focus on the birth of Jesus, but they aren’t specifically Advent. I’d love to start this tradition!

Melissa Stripling
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Melissa Stripling

We love to read The Candy Makers Gift and One Wintery Night at Christmas time! 🙂

Tabitha Zehner
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Tabitha Zehner

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” lol. This book cracks me up.

Rebecca Ray
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Rebecca Ray

The Three Trees

Lyn
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Lyn

My girls would love this!

Lyn
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Lyn

We don’t really have a favorite book but we do enjoy reading the Christmas story.

Barbara
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Barbara

The Bible

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Naomi
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Naomi

The Gospels.

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Connie
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Connie

We don’t have a favorite – we definitely need one! This one would be perfect. We read a variety of holiday books each year. Of course, we always read the Bible.

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Merri
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Merri

We love Jotham’s Journey!

Theresa N
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Theresa N

Other than the Bible nothing comes to mind.

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