Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Star from Afar : A New Christmas (or Epiphany) Tradition with GIVEAWAY and DISCOUNT CODE

Special thanks to The Christmas Star from Afar  for providing a "St. Nicholas" a kit for my children to enjoy and another for me to offer one lucky reader here as a giveaway.


Happy St. Nicholas Day!


This morning, my children were surprised to find a gift alongside their treat-filled shoes.  In fact, they were delighted to discover The Christmas Star from Afar, a lovely wooden nativity set and game that celebrates the TRUE meaning of Christmas. 

Truth be told, I am happy, too.  I have long wanted a beautifully designed wooden nativity playset for my children and
Star from Afar is just that and more!

What Is Star from Afar?


Star from Afar is a nativity set and book that helps families create new Advent and Christmastide traditions that place the focus on Christ through a fun hide-and-seek game.  The idea is for you to set up the single-sided wooden nativity scene, sans its star and wise men.  Then, you hide the star a distance from the nativity scene and, ask your children to find it.  When they do, they can place the wise men near the star. 


Then, the next day, you hide the star somewhere new, each day, hiding the star closer and closer to the manger, until finally, you place the star atop the manger scene, reminding your children of the true meaning of Christmas: Christ being born!


As a bonus, you may also want to add Bible verses to the daily hide-n-seek game.  In the companion book are daily verses that you can copy and place near the star or may simply read once your children find the star.




It's Flexible and Fun (Plus Ties in Well with Learning!)



Of course, though, you need not use
Star from Afar exactly as suggested.  In fact, one thing I love about the gift set is how flexible it is!  The pieces of the nativity set are sturdy and perfectly sized for young children to play with.  The Bible verses quoted in the book are dated with one for each day of December through Christmas, but, really, they can be used anytime.  The hide-n-seek game is meant to be played as a countdown to Christmas, but could be used equally well between Christmas and Epiphany. Truly, you can make Star from Afar your own, adapting it to your family's needs and traditions. Here, we are doing just that this year. 


As regular readers know, our family already has a Works of Mercy Wise Men tradition that helps us focus on one way we prepare our hearts and home for Jesus: service!  The
Star from Afar could easily be layered into that tradition and, indeed, may be in years to come.  However, this year, we have decided to use the star in a different way.

For, while our hearts are already becoming more and more prepared for Christ this Advent season, our home remains in a less-than welcoming condition.  Daily, we make efforts to clean, declutter, and organize some of the mess we've let accrue.  However, there is just so much to be squared away that we are beginning to feel  discouraged. Thus, I suggested to my children that we focus our  
Star from Afar game before Christmas this year on literally readying our home for the celebration of Christ's coming to earth.  Then, from Christmas through Epiphany, we can play the game the way others typically play it, helping our wise men journey towards Jesus.

My children agreed to this idea, so our plan is that
throughout the rest of Advent, instead of having ME hide our star daily, any one of us who notes a mess that could be taken care of in 15 minutes or less may take the star and hide it within the mess.  Then, as soon as another of us finds the star, we will all take a break from our lessons and activities to set a timer and see if we can beat the clock in cleaning up the mess to make a safe spot for our wise men to hunker down in until they are ready to continue on their journey. 

If we succeed in beating our timer, we can take a break until the timer goes off.   If we don't, then we shall simply persevere, hopefully, making a bit more headway on our home before Christmas and having fun along the way.

Then, from Christmas through Epiphany, we can simply enjoy hiding the star, celebrating Christmas, and knowing we have a home that is, literally, a bit more ready to welcome others!

We also have a plan for the book that comes with with set. 

When we read the story and noted the Bible verses, we realized how easy the list of verses could make our copywork and studied dictation efforts this month and next.  Each week, the children are responsible for picking a passage o use for copywork and one for studied dictation.  We've all decided that the
Star from Afar verses will make a great go-to list for choosing this season's handwriting and spelling work. 

Yippee!  I just love it when a fun product can dovetail into existing goals and lesson plans, acting both as a tool for fun and one for greater independence. 
I am delighted that both the nativity set and book in The Star from Afar gift set are quality items we can easily use and enjoy right away and for years to come.
 

Enter a Giveaway!

If you would like to help your children reconnect with the true meaning of Christmas using
The Star from Afar, today might be your lucky day! 

We're hosting a GIVEAWAY* and I am making entry easy:



On your honor, pop on over to The Star from Afar website to watch a video about the kit or to get more ideas for using it. Then, before 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 9, leave a comment on this post telling what you already do to point your children to the true meaning of Christmas and how you envision The Star from Afar playing into your Christmas and Epiphany traditions.  Be sure to leave a way for me to contact you in case you win, too.  For we will be selecting and notifying a random winner on Friday night, and, if the winner does not respond within 24 hours, we will pass the opportunity onto a new random winner.

*Note:  This giveaway is
open to U.S residents only, ages 18 and older, with no purchase necessary.

Good luck!

Take Advantage of a Discount Code

Even if you do not win, you can still enjoy
The Star from Afar using a discount code.  Simply order The Star from Afar by December 25, 2016 using  FOLLOWTHESTAR as a discount code for 10% off. 

Learn More
 
Image: Star from Afar
As you can see, The Star from Afar
is more than just another nativity set to add to your collectio
. Rather, it is a beautiful boxed set that includes a child-friendly nativity playset with a companion story book/Bible verse list. The set can be ordered in Spanish, and you can also choose a set with characters that have light or dark skin tones. Add-on stable animals and Scripture cards can be purchased, too.


If you'd like to get social with The Star from Afar, find them
on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


My children are excited to follow the star throughout Advent and Christmastide.  I bet yours would enjoy doing similarly!

This is a sponsored post in that we received a product in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


36 comments:

Crazy mom of 2 said...

We have a basket that we add yarn to every day, at least once a day, and one every time they do a good deed or work hard to overcome something. They are preparing a bed of kindness for baby Jesus who we place in it on Christmas morning. I would love to add this kit to our traditions!

Anonymous said...

The point my children towards Christ in the holiday season I wrap the baby Jesus to our nativity set in the prettiest wrapping paper and let that be the very first gift the kids open as a reminder of the ultimate gift God gave us. - Amanda

Anonymous said...

We are doing the 25 daily Bible readings and lovely advent ornaments from the swap so many wonderful moms participated in last year and we focus on the Christmas season of giving--by being Jesus' hands and feet with good deeds, surprise presents/paying it forward, etc. The Star from Afar would add another dimension to our focus on Jesus with the game and scripture reading tying in the joy of the manger season and the very first Christmas gift of our Savior. - Sandy

Dana Lambert said...

We do our Advent and devotional each year for Christmas but this year I've been looking for something more in depth and hands-on for us to do. The Star From Afar would be great to add to our traditions for my younger ones (and I think the older kids would love it too). Just to have that hands-on experience to really show them the trials that Mary and Joseph went through would make it so much more relatable for them.

A Learning Journey said...

We use a Jesse Tree with scripture verses, unwrap a Christian Christmas book each day leading up to Christmas, and the Christmas Angel visits us who leaves encouraging, golden notes about how to give, help, or serve others. We also open the most important gift first on Christmas Day which is a baby Jesus figurine. My daughter also fills a Sparkle Box with her good deeds and services (Christmas Angel projects). The Star From Afar would be included in our Advent activities. It would be one of the books we read first. We would play the game as part of our Advent Countdown activities. I always try to include activities that help us focus on the real reason for the season. Thank you for the opportunity to win! I would LOVE to add this set to our Christmas traditions.

Unknown said...

Fantastic! Very lovely! And looks like it would last year's to come!

Katy Notebaert said...

This is great! And truly lovely! Looks like it would last for years to come.

Katy Notebaert said...

This is great! And truly lovely! Looks like it would last for years to come.

MammaNatty said...

We try to read many books about the true meaning of Christmas. This looks adorable! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

Laura Espaillat said...

This looks like a wonderful idea! My kids are young (4yo and almost 2yo), so we keep it somewhat simple for now: Advent Wreath, Jesse Tree, visiting libe nativities, reading several books, doing some crafts and we're also trying to incorporate some feast days during Advent, like St Nicholas. I love making a big deal of St Nicholas so to have it ingrained in them who he was, and when they realize about the man in the red suit it doesn't grab much their attention, as we hope that all attention is on Jesus :). So far looks like it's working well, as my 4yo will excitedly say "Jesus birth/birthday" or "Jesus is born" whenever Christmas is mentioned :)

Jessica said...

We don't do Santa here we focus on Christ and His birth. We are following the Jesus Storybook Advent printable which guides us to read a story in the book each day for 25 days until the birth of Christ. It is simple and we really enjoy it!

Lenetta said...

We light our advent candle(s) and sing a sweet song, adding a verse for each candle, and there's one for Christmas, too! We are doing a names of Jesus paper chain this year and looking up the verses, and after that we add an ornament to our Jesse tree. The Star from Afar is s cool idea! I love that it's designed for the littles to play with, there is so much "don't touch!" this time of year. I especially like the scripture cards, my 9yo would eat those up!

Martianne said...

I LOVE all the ideas people are sharing. Wonderful! Just one more day before the random drawing. :)

Wendy said...

We focus our daily devotions leading up to Christmas on the birth of Jesus. We would have so much fun using this game to support our learning, especially since my son loves games and is a very hands on learner.

Gina @ Oaxacaborn said...

We read from the Jesus Storybook Bible each day leading up to Christmas, and talk about how everything points to Jesus. I really love the idea of hiding the star closer and closer to the nativity each day, for a concrete example of pointing to Jesus, and growing closer to Jesus. Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Rachel said...

I'm pregnant, so I'm keeping it simple! Just trying to talk with the kids about seasonal things, and especially tying in the special feasts and holy days!

I also saw this set for the first time this week at our homeschool co-op and fell in love with it! I collect nativities and I LOVE the idea of an elf on the shelf alternative. It's not creepy, and it teaches something useful and good and true and beautiful!

Karen Reep said...

This is beautiful, thanks for the chance! We read from the Bible and use Holy Heroes materials during advent. Id love to use the nativity scene to demonstrate the tough journey in which Jesus began His life. Thank you!

Dorothy said...

My children are grown, but this sounds ideal for my grandsons. I also like your creative ways of using the Star from Afar. For Advent this year, we are picking a Christmas carol each day and researching its background. And we select verses to go with the carol.

Isabel Howard said...

This is such a cute idea! We've been reading books every night and are visitng Lasalette this week. My son just turned 4 :) -Isabel Howard

Anonymous said...

hank you!! I was saying that we do the kindness elves at home.. I started doing them with the kids a while back and they love it. We do the whole Santa gig but I really love keeping the spirit of giving and Christ in Christmas as much as I can. I hide the elves in a new place every night with a note of an act of kindness for the kids the following year. They look forward to it every year and talk about it way more than the gifts left under the tree. I am huge for traditions. Since I'm home with the kids all the time, I want to start so many new ones for them to carry on as adults. Nativitys are wonderful and this one caught my eye because it's kid friendly! Thanks for reading :) God bless - Bridgette

Anne Campbell said...

We decorate a Jesse Tree, and read good picture books throughout the season. -Anne mylearningtable@gmail.com

LeAnn Harbert said...

We read the Christmas story in the Bible and they participate in the children's Christmas program at church.

LeAnn Harbert said...

I will play this with my granddaughters when they come to visit at Christmas. I left this part off my last comment.

Bethany Eskro said...

We do advent calendars and celebrate the feast of Saint Nicholas!

Christine Coots said...

This would fit into our Christmas tradition perfectly. We already hide baby Jesus until Christmas. So I love the idea of hiding the star and moving it closer each day!

Darlene said...

My son reads to his 4 children (under 8) everyday from the Bible and teaches them the true meaning of Christmas. He does not celebrate with decorations or a tree as it is too commercial.

Kristina S said...

We read a lot of books about the Christmas Story and talk about what Christmas is truly about

Kristina S said...

I forgot to leave my email
klsiegler at gmail dot com

aperry said...

Wjat a great tradition to begin!!

Janet Boyanton said...

We attend church regularly and have Advent devotionals. My grandson is only 9 weeks old and this would give a nativity he could touch and interact with growing up.

Ken Ohl said...

this is so beautiful and it is truly the real reason for the season love this and would love for my little niece to have. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

lildevilgirl22 said...

My kids are kinda young but we tell them about about baby Jesus and tell them bible quotes.

robin s. said...

My little girl is only 3 years old. So, what I do to let her know why we celebrate Christmas is we tell her it is Jesus' birthday. I also tell her the story of the birth. This book would be great to read to her and she would love it.

Molli Taylor said...

every day i teach my children how christ was and we practice christ like character traits

Leela said...

We go to church and learn the bible.

Martianne said...

Dorothy, you are the winner, but your blogger profile has no way for me to get in touch with you! Please get in touch with me no later than 9:15 tomorrow (Sunday) via PM on Facebook or via email at mmstangerbus (at) comcast (dot) net with the name and address youw ant the STar from Afar sent to or I will be offering the win to the next random person selected.

"Dorothy said...

My children are grown, but this sounds ideal for my grandsons. I also like your creative ways of using the Star from Afar. For Advent this year, we are picking a Christmas carol each day and researching its background. And we select verses to go with the carol.
"

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