On November 30 our family will begin our celebration of Advent. Advent for us is not just a countdown to Christmas. It is a time for us to prepare for the celebration of and to remember the birthday of Jesus.
This year we are using a book written by Arnold Ytreeide called Bartholomew’s Passage. It is about a young Jewish boy and his adventures just prior to the birth of Jesus. This book is one of three interrelated books for Advent written by Mr. Ytreeide: Bartholomew’s Passage, Jotham’s Journey, and Tabitha’s Travels. Every night we read a portion of the story until, on Christmas morning, the story ends with the main character of the story arriving at the manger where the baby Jesus lays.
This is an excellent way for the entire family to get into the Advent season. Even our youngest child sits quietly to find out what will happen to Bartholomew tonight.
If you haven’t yet begun celebrating the Advent season or if you are looking for something new for Advent, why don’t you look for one of these books. You won’t regret it.
Countdown to Christmas with CustomsOfChristmas.com’s Cinnamon Bear Advent Calendar. Taken from The Cinnamon Bear radio program the advent calendar follows the adventures of Paddy O’Cinnamon as he helps Jimmy and Judy find the silver star, stolen by Crazy Quilt Dragon, that belongs on top of their Christmas tree. The 26-segment story, each segment 12 – 15 minutes long, begins on Saturday, November 29, and continues through Christmas Eve. Join us and the Cinnamon Bear this Christmas season as we count down to Christmas.
1 cup powdered sugar
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 pound milk chocolate
In a large mixing bowl, stir together powdered sugar, peanut butter, and butter until well combined. Shape into about 30 1-inch balls. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Let stand for about 25 minutes or until dry. Place water in the bottom of a double boiler to within ½ inch of upper pan. Make sure the upper pan does not touch the water. While balls are cooling and the water is heating, finely chop the chocolate so it will melt quickly. Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and place about ¼ of the chocolate in the top of the double boiler. Stir until melted. Add about ½ cup more, stir, and repeat until all chocolate is melted. Stir until chocolate has reached 120 degrees; reheat if necessary to reach this temperature. After the chocolate has reached 120 degrees, refill bottom of double boiler with cool water to within ½ inch of upper pan. Stir frequently until chocolate cools to 83 degrees. This should take about 30 minutes. Using a toothpick, dip balls in chocolate, working quickly and stirring chocolate frequently to keep it evenly heated. Place balls on cookie sheet. (Chocolate will stay close to 83 degrees for about 30 minutes. If temperature falls below 80 degrees, chocolate must be remelted.) Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.