Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family

Joy to the WorldJoy to the World: Advent Activities for Your FamilyJoy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family by Kathleen Basi by Kathleen M. Basi

(Yes, it’s late for this year, but I’m still going to share about this advent book, because I know I’ve been adding books to my library list / Amazon wishlist for next year, and doubt I’m the only one doing that.)

If you’ve been doing Advent activities for a long time, none of the information in Joy to the World may be eye-opening for you, but I am very new to Advent, and I got a lot out of reading this. I loved her idea of a personalized Advent calender – it’s so obvious, and yet I never thought of it.

Basi is Catholic, and there is definitely a Catholic slant to some of the material, but there was very little that I felt wouldn’t work for my Protestant family. I especially liked her simplified Jesse Tree readings – we’re halfheartedly reading a book about The Jesse TreeThe Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean, illustrated by Bee Willey right now, and while in later years I’ll likely prefer that one, for a 4 and 2 year old? Her entries are a lot shorter and keep their attention better.

The book is very short – that’s not a complaint, just a heads-up. It’s actually nice, because it makes it very easy to get through quickly, and not feel like you’re bogged down in millions of details. I really appreciated her way of explaining Advent, and her emphasis on explanations and activities for younger children. If you’ve got older children in your family, the book might not do as much for you. For me though, it was just about perfect for this stage.

Publisher’s Description:
Here’s a treasure trove of exciting ideas that will enable your family to focus anew on preparing for the holy time of Advent and Christmas! With a fresh, lively set of suggestions that will attract young and old alike, Joy to the World will help lay the foundation for long-lasting family memories.

“Joy to the World” takes a three-pronged approach to the season:

The Advent calendar, where daily activities are organized into four categories of Service, Spiritual Growth, “Homebody,” and Pure Fun

The Evening Ritual, incorporating the Advent wreath and the Jesse tree, and featuring simplified Scriptures that young children can readily understand

The “Good Deeds Manger,” which puts the family’s focus on preparing their hearts for the coming of Christ

Book Details

Title: Joy to the World: Advent Activities for Your FamilyJoy to the World: Advent Activities for Your Family by Kathleen Basi
Author: Kathleen M. Basi
Category: Nonfiction
My Rating: 3.5

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  1. We did the Jesse Tree when I was growing up and I do it with my kids now. I found that a lot of resources were not geared toward little kids. After trying one year with all of the scripture reading we did in my family (we started it when my brother and I were in later elementary school, not when we were littles) I wrote up my own plan using children’s Bibles we had on hand. ( is where I have it for reference) I’ll have to check out this book to see what her references are. It seems like every year I kind of amend what we do to the ages the kids are and the time we have available. But I think it’s worth doing because it helps us to keep focus on the reason for Christmas and it’s a tradition the kids really love.

    • Your comment reminds me that I first heard about a Jesse Tree from your blog (yes, I’ve been reading you for a long long time). I’d forgotten about that, because it was one of those things where I read about you doing it, and thought that I’d never heard of such a thing before, and then suddenly I was reading about it everywhere! I will have to go to your site and see what you’ve got there. This year we haven’t done much, but I’m hoping next year to do more. Maybe even some {gulp} crafting.


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