With the holidays coming up, it is important to our family to focus on the reason for Christmas- Jesus Christ’s birth. We were able to read and review a precious book, If He Had Not Come. Originally written by Nan F. Weeks, it has been reintroduced by David Nicholson, a retired school teacher and missionary.
This is a wonderful story for any Christian family that wants to truly show their children what Christmas celebration is all about. Though the book is recommended for ages six and up, my (just turned) four year old really enjoyed and understood it. The casebound hardback version can be purchased for $18.95, or choose the e-book version at $3.99.
About If He Had Not Come
This book was such a pleasant surprise to receive in the mail! In the front cover was a special, handwritten note from David himself, which Lexie thought was just wonderful. The book is a beautiful hardback, illustrated by Charles Jaskiewicz- there is a lot of detail in the illustrations that support the story so well. We have read this book many times already, and Lexie has noticed something new in the pictures each time.
The story begins with a young boy, Bobby, getting ready for bed on Christmas Eve, anticipating opening the gifts from his family the next morning. (I will say, one of my favorite things about this book is there is no mention of Santa Claus). But when he goes to sleep, he dreams of a world where there is no Christmas; there is no church, no Christian run/owned businesses like homeless shelters, hospitals, etc. When he goes looking for each of these things, in its place he finds a sign reading, “If I had not come.”
After realizing what a desolate world he would live in were it not for Christ, Bobby wakes up and thanks Jesus for coming, for being the very best Christmas gift.
What We Thought and How We Used It
This is honestly one of the best Christmas books we own. Really. It isn’t too much for a young child to understand, and it clearly and honestly opens their eyes to Christmas and the Christ in Christmas. The story shows them not only would we not have Christmas to celebrate His birth, but our world would be so different without Jesus. There are so many things we take for granted that we would no longer enjoy if Christ had not come to save us. This is a great book for all families, and Sunday school classes alike!
We have been reading this book for my four year old’s bedtime routine. I wasn’t sure at first what she would think, or if she would enjoy it. Well, she has requested it for nap and bed time since the day we introduced it! My husband and I have been able to take If He Had Not Come and go deeper into the meaning of Christ’s birth-even farther than the meaning of Christmas. (in the picture she was in her gymnastics leotard and I am not sure what was up with the crazy headband ..)
In the back of the book you will find several helpful pages. There is a page of interactive topics for families and Sunday school teachers- the questions are thought provoking and open ended to allow plenty of discussion. They will really help you have a deep, wonderful, honest, discussion with your child/ren.
There is also a section titled, “Going Deeper;” these are questions to help you and your child explore what the Bible says about the birth of Christ. I really like this section, as it has possible answers for you to share/follow up with, and references specific Bible verses! That is really helpful for any parent trying to lead their little one to God. There is also a small section on the last page with an idea to help you celebrate Christmas using a fun activity.
If you are looking for a book to add to your Christmas collection, or want to do a unit on Christmas with your children, this is the book I would suggest you look at first.