Six New Things – Week of December 04, 2023

From delight to despair: the holy seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are full of opportunities to experience the full, wide range of human feelings. Emotional awareness can help us appreciate the joy and navigate the challenges. Resources for all ages help make the most of these days.

ONE

As we move toward Christmas, Littles are getting antsier and antsier about the PRESENTS. Share the Joy! A Christmas Lift-the-Flap Book (Paraclete) ‘helps kids explore and share all the fun, love, and true joy of this special time of year’ while centering Jesus and the Birth Narrative.

If you’re looking for a fun Christmas gift for leaders, parents, young adults or volunteers, check out Bible Word Search for Adults: A Modern Bible-Themed Word Search Activity Book to Strengthen Your Faith (Penguin Random).

We’ve got a pile of Advent and Christmas resources, including:

Contact us for access by December 18, 2023!!

TWO

This time of year can be especially difficult for young ones experiencing parental separations or divorce. Once Upon My Dads’ Divorce (Magination) ‘sensitively portrays the challenges of moving from one house with both parents to two houses, and offers reassurance on many questions and feelings readers may have after their parents divorce’.

Too often, relationships get entangled in – or become fodder for – the much-dreaded holiday ‘difficult conversations’. Yes! Magazine offers 8 Tips to Get You through Difficult Conversations This Holiday Season – a resource to use and share with others.

THREE

You might avoid those ‘difficult conversations’ by broadening your circle of revelers this New Year’s Eve. Spread more joy – and feel more confident doing it – with A Year of Celebraciones (Magination), which explores how different kids and families celebrate New Year’s: kids learn about their own families traditions while discovering many diverse ways to celebrate!

FOUR

Discovering meaning and beauty behind family traditions is one way to deepen a sense of self. Frizzy Haired Zuzu (Magination) discovers that to truly ‘feel like herself’, she ‘must dig deep down to sort out her feelings about what is beautiful to others…and herself’.

[NOTE: Before straightening their hair, girls – and their caring adults – should be aware of the dangers of straightening agents: Nothing Can Prepare You for This: A Rite of Passage fro Many Black Women is Raising Deep Suspicions (NBC News).

Get to know God better with, Biblical Names for God: An Abecedarian Anthology of Spiritual Reflections for Anytime (Wipf and Stock), an exploration of forty-two biblical names for God which invite the reader to know the Holy One, and be transformed.

FIVE

Self-awareness goes hand-in-hand with emotional intelligence. The Best Fruit: How Raising Your Emotional Intelligence Helps Spiritual Development (Wipf and Stock): reveals how ’emotions can highjack a person’s cognitive ability’, and ‘extolls the virtues of high emotional intelligence’ as a means ‘to successfully navigate life’s challenges’ – and includes ‘resources to start increasing emotional intelligence’.

Find additional Emotional Awareness resources in our lib guide.

SIX

For those ready to move into Epiphany, Illustrated Ministry has Youth Ministry/Young Adult/Adult Coloring & Conversation: Epiphany Star Words, which ‘includes an Epiphany star word activity, a coloring page, and a leader’s guide for conversation and reflection’.

See also their Illustrated Worship Resources: Epiphany of the Lord which includes, ‘a children’s moment illustration, a leader’s guide, a coloring page, and a children’s worship bulletin’.

For something more contemplative, see the Iona Community’s What If God Isn’t One of Us… and What If God Is?: The Saga of the Magi (Wild Goose), worship resources that include a responsive reading, a prayer, and an extensive reflection’ for sermon fodder.