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Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas Hardcover – Unabridged, November 1, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 386 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Unwrap the greatest Gift with your family this Advent season!
Person by person, story by story, retrace the lineage of Jesus. Fall in love with Him all over again as you experience God’s plan of salvation for us―from the Garden of Eden to the manger and beyond.

With vivid, full-color illustrations, downloadable ornaments, and moving scenes from the Bible, this book is a gift your whole family can unwrap each day leading up to Christmas.

Each devotion includes the following:
  • Scripture readings to go along with each story
  • Questions and activities to engage the entire family
  • Beautiful illustrations to further enhance each reading
Celebrate the best love story of all time with your family!

About the Author

Ann Voskamp is wife of one good farmer, the home-educating mama to a half-dozen exuberant kids, and author of New York Times bestsellers, The Greatest Gift and One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are. Named by Christianity Today as one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today, and a partner with Compassion International as a global advocate for needy children, Ann's a regular loser of library books, usually has a sink full of soaking pots, sees empty laundry baskets rarer than a blue moon, and believes that the sky and fresh mercy over the farm is large and all is grace. Her blog, one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the web, has become a daily well for the weary and soul-thirsty.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (November 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414397542
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414397542
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.8 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (386 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is hard for me to do. Giving Ann Voskamp a two-star review seems like a bit of a betrayal since I admire her heart for Jesus, and I also admire many of those who recommended this book. She has contributed and encouraged many; however, this book didn't meet expectations. When I received this book, I was thrilled. I mean, it's beautiful. But, that's about it. If you simply enjoy a pretty display on your bookshelf or coffee table, go ahead and get it. It's night three in the advent, and my husband and I both agreed we were done with this book. Here's why--

1) Foremost, she is interposing her own interpretation of Scripture. In many cases, it appears to be erroneous. For instance, we read about the flood tonight. There was no mention of God's anger. It was all about love. I know, I know--I haven't read the entire book, but after browsing it, I just see more the same--lots of commentary and summation of Scripture. And, here's the alarming part--she mixes her words with words from Scripture, and then just puts a reference at the end. So, one (particularly kids) does not know which is which.

2) Verbose to the max. Everyone--including my literature-loving self--was distracted within a minute of this reading. The sentence structure is overly complex, as if she's trying too hard to be poetic. It was not very engaging.

If you're looking for something that solely seeks the truths of Scripture while engaging little ones, you will find more satisfaction in this humble, yet superbly done book: http://www.amazon.com/Advent-Jesse-Tree-Devotions-Christmas-ebook/dp/B009K6DLU6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1417744712&sr=8-1&keywords=the+advent+jesse+tree+dean+lambert
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am sooo disappointed, I really wanted to love this book. I thought it would even make a nice gift.

My first problem with the book is minor, though it is written to the whole family, most times it seems like it is written for young children, other times the reading seemed geared for adults, as on page 146: "Tonight we're just raggedy manger stragglers who feel the heaviness of our old raggedy clothes from fighting the long battle with evil and badness. With our raggedy rags, we've tried to polish this dark world into something good enough to win our way to freedom. With our raggedy rags, we've tried to patch together our own ropes to somehow climb to freedom. With our raggedy rags, we've tried to disguise ourselves as someone else, as someone better, as someone bigger, thinking we could sneak our way to freedom and back to God." Since most of the book seems written in language appropriate for my young child, the instances of speaking to an adult or older child seem a bit jarring. Not a deal breaker, it just seems strange when coupled with the children's book illustrations and sentences like this one, "The whole blue marble of the world spins happy right now with the gladness of His love."

My biggest problem with the book is the interpretation of Scripture that is on page 145, the reading meant for Christmas Eve, it says that the battle resulting in Satan being hurled to earth (Rev 12:7-12) took place on the night of Jesus' birth. I have never heard that interpretation and I was even unable to find that interpretation during a Google search and cursury search of commentaries. Why, oh why, would Ann put a belief in her book that is not widely held? How did this get past the publisher? And even if it were a widely held belief, why mention Satan on Christmas Eve?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oh, how I wanted to love this one. I'm still reading it to my children, determined it will change... The illustrations are beautiful, and I can see her heart for the Lord. There are just a few (rather weighty) aspects that seem disturbing...

She tries so hard with her words. The first day or two were simpler writings, and I thought this was a breath of fresh air from her other works. My children understood the words, I was blessed. But here I am, a few days in, and I'm trying to explain half of the sentences I read to them. I really don't like dumbed-down literature, but some of this is just plain confusing. It makes me think of the C.S. Lewis quote about writing plainly so others understand... Especially to children.

As others have mentioned, the theology is off a bit. Yes, she emphasizes the love - I am glad for that! Though she leaves A LOT out. The scripture itself is just her interpretation of the actual verses. And the stories - some of them don't get to the point of God Himself, just about us. I haven't read the Christmas Eve reading many seem to have a problem with, but I can tell already many liberties are taken by Day 6.

The other strange notice? No one seemed to question the repeated lines sound just like Sally Loydd-Jones wrote them? When she describes God's love, she does her very own spin-off on "His never stopping, never giving up, unchanging, always and forever love." It almost seems like she would have had to ask Sally's permission to write some of her sentences this closely. It's very strange. And we do love the Jesus Story Book Bible.

I am grateful for the heart behind the book. I just wish scripture could be enough without changing words, and adding in so many extra words to make one sound over-individualized.
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