Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2: 8-14
Confession: This Advent; I have said the names “Santa” and “Saint Nicholas” more than I have said the name “Jesus”. I know, not a good thing. However, I know my weaknesses and since I am determined to teach my child how much Jesus loves him, I reached out to DaySpring and asked if I could review
Five Reasons Why I LOVE DaySpring’s The Shepherd on the Search
1. The Shepherd can be used with or without the Elf!
If you already use the famous Elf on the Shelf; you can easily add the Shepherd to the mix. In fact, you could probably have a ton of fun teaming them up to do some entertaining things and allow your children to find them both together some mornings. However, if you are not an elf fan – you can use The Shepherd instead! We don’t have an Elf. Our view is – Santa sees you no matter what – all the time. I will say, sometimes I wished we had one. The Shepherd was exactly what I was looking for . .. we can still have fun with looking for the little guy in the morning – but we are always reminded of who we should always search for . . .
I’ve heard that for those who do participate in “The Elf on the Shelf” that no one is allowed to touch the Elf. I’ve also heard, that when children inevitably touch him, that creates more work for the parents. The Shepherd can be touched and in fact, DaySpring offers online activities that go along with The Shepherd’s search – and our son’s FAVORITE involves hiding and seeking the Shepherd. That leads me to my next reason . .
3. The Daily ADVENTures found on DaySpring’s Website
DaySpring offers lots of ideas to use The Shepherd as a teaching tool and gives me ways to simply spend quality time with my son. Our son, Xavier, is 4 years old. He loves to cut and use scotch tape! So, I was thrilled when I saw the first suggested activity was to create a paper chain countdown! We made that chain together and it was a great activity for us. We don’t get to do each ADVENTure – but again, that’s okay! One of the suggested activities is “Find the Shepherd”. My son is so into hide and seek right now, so I thought, “he’ll like this game”. Well – he LOVES it and wants to play EVERY DAY! I’m sure there is an ADVENTure your child will love as well!
4. Your child gets to name the Shepherd and he gets to look for him in the morning
You can hide him – or you could lose him for three days and say he must have found a really good hiding spot (cough, cough – that might have happened here). Sometimes he’s in a funny spot. No matter where he is, when Xavier finds him he smiles and is so happy! I get a kick out of where my husband puts him sometimes. Other times, I like to be creative and silly. It’s fun – for all of us!
5. And Finally, The Shepherd is based on Scripture and the true meaning of Christmas
When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.
The Shepherd on the Search book uses this Bible verse as a starting point. The Shepherd, who comes with the book and your child names, is a child that helps the adult shepherds. The men tell the child to stay back – but he is to excited and follows behind – but not to close, because he doesn’t want to get seen (since he was told not to come along)!
It’s a great book to add to the nightly bedtime routine. The illustrations are fantastic. The story is fun and clear.