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Review of Unwrapping the Greatest Gift

“In the beginning—that is where this story begins. Which is far better than a story that begins with any old ‘once upon a time.’ This story is better than the greatest fairy tale you’ve ever heard—because this story is all true. And this story is our story—your story.” Ann Voskamp, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift.

As Christians we often bemoan the commercialization of Christmas. We put up trees, decorate our homes, give gifts, bake cookies….and somehow we know that this Christmas thing is really all about Jesus, but we just aren’t sure how to usher Jesus in without losing what feels like “the magic of Christmas.” In our efforts to bring Christ back to the center of our Christmas we focus on the things we need to get rid of, but somehow Christ can seem as distant from a simple Christmas as he does from a commercial Christmas. The truth is we will not find Christ in Christmas by simply removing things; we must intentionally seek Him out in His Word, in the creation around us, and yes, even in the trappings of Christmas that can seem so distracting.

In Unwrapping the Greatest Gift Ann takes her readers through daily advent readings focused on the family tree of Christ. Beginning with a passage of Scripture, Ann explains how each individual and story fits into Jesus’ family tree and leads us up to the moment we are celebrating—the birth of Christ. The book is best suited for elementary ages and up with beautiful illustrations and helpful application questions and family activities at the end of each chapter. Free, printable ornaments are available online and can be helpful for younger children who need a simple picture. 

As you seek to find your joy in Christ this Christmas, I encourage you to use this resource for personal and family devotions. After all, the real magic of Christmas is that “God doesn’t cut off all the big cheaters, bad liars, weaselly sneakers, battling brothers, fighting families and brokenhearted from His family tree—He makes families just like these perfectly His! He adopts all the messy and broken and imperfect people into His tree and His story and His heart, and He gives us His family name. He gives us His absolute perfectness and makes us alive and fully free.”

Look for this book in the Guest Center!