Since our sons, Trent and Troy, were little, we've gathered as a family for regular devotional times throughout the Christmas season.
Some years, that's been daunting, but as the boys have grown older, it's become easier for all of us to keep focused. Then on Christmas morning, we rise with the sun, open gifts and enjoy a breakfast feast of red and green pancakes. Traditions are an integral part of our family, but we're always eager to refresh our perspective on Christmas.
Through all the ups and downs of this past year, I'm reminded of the true reason behind the season — not the colorful presents and pancakes, but the story of the newborn King. The birth of Jesus is the gift that gives meaning to all gifts, and I want our boys to have a genuine understanding of the mighty Savior who arrived as a baby and was laid in a manger. I want them to truly know Jesus and His role in our lives.
As a father, I'm pleased to present Focus on the Family's 2012 Advent calendar, a practical, convenient way to journey through the season with your children. This year's theme teaches the names of Jesus, and we'll focus on how Scripture uses different names to describe the character and role of the Savior. The pages of our calendar are filled with faith-based activities that will help your children develop a deeper understanding of the identity of Jesus. He is the Word, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the Lamb of God!
As you and your children study the Scriptures and enjoy the activities, I hope you will gain a new understanding of Jesus and of that silent night in Bethlehem.