Celebrating Christmas: Embracing joy through art and reflections

Celebrating Christmas: Embracing joy through art and reflections

Authors : Amy Boucher Pye and artist Leo Boucher
£9.99

A father-daughter duo give you art and words to foster joy as you celebrate Christmas

Grab a cuppa and sink into a cosy chair as a father-daughter duo leads you into the celebration of Christmas through their art and reflections. Considering not only the story of Mary and Joseph journeying to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, but also our modern-day expressions of Christmas, they bring light and life to what can be a fraught and exhausting season. A book perfect for giving as a gift or using oneself to foster joy and peace.

Title Celebrating Christmas: Embracing joy through art and reflections
Authors Amy Boucher Pye and artist Leo Boucher
Description

Grab a cuppa and sink into a cosy chair as a father-daughter duo leads you into the celebration of Christmas through their art and reflections. Considering not only the story of Mary and Joseph journeying to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, but also our modern-day expressions of Christmas, they bring light and life to what can be a fraught and exhausting season. A book perfect for giving as a gift or using oneself to foster joy and peace.

Details
  • Product code: 9781800390515
  • Published: 17 September 2021
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 128
  • Dimensions: 155mm wide and 165mm high

Grab a cuppa and sink into a cosy chair as a father-daughter duo leads you into the celebration of Christmas through their art and reflections. Considering not only the story of Mary and Joseph journeying to Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, but also our modern-day expressions of Christmas, they bring light and life to what can be a fraught and exhausting season. A book perfect for giving as a gift or using oneself to foster joy and peace.

Amy Boucher Pye is a writer, speaker and editor, and the author of Finding Myself in Britain: Our Search for Faith, Home & True Identity (Authentic Media, 2015). She runs the Woman Alive book club and enjoys writing Bible reading notes for Day by Day with God and Our Daily Bread, among others. She blogs at amyboucherpye.com.

Leo Boucher is a retired data systems analyst and creator who paints in his art shack and volunteers with his church and other organisations, including teaching art to seniors at retirement communities.

Amy Boucher Pye and Leo Boucher share their art and reflections from London and Minnesota.

Jen Baker www.jenbaker.co.uk

This is a beautiful book filled with treasure in illustration and words which will usher the reader into the Christmas season with joy, truth, reflection and hope. Written by the daughter, with illustrations by her father, only enhance the uniqueness of this delightful Christmas journey. I personally am looking forward to sharing this gift with more than one person this holiday season!

 

 

Baptist Times online. 18.11.21. Review by Terry Young

https://www.baptist.org.uk/Articles/623657/Celebrating_Christmas_by.aspx

If you want to slow down and spread advent over an entire month, here is a super little package to help you along.

One of the most difficult things about Advent is slowing down enough to make the most of it. This usually involves some form of less is more, and Amy and her father have produced something that may help you to slow down in order to enter into the wonder, mystery and miracle of Christmas.

The idea is simple: a set of meditations written by Amy with interleaved artwork by her father, Leo. There are four themes: symbols of Christmas; the joys and sorrows of Christmas; He is Jesus; and God becomes man. Each has a set of six meditations (except for the last, which has a seventh: Outsiders welcome!) Every meditation has a piece of art to look at, a couple of pages of thoughtful text, and a short prayer. At the end, there are questions and some idea as to how you might use the book over the four weeks of Advent (presumably skipping the Sundays to fit the 6, 6, 6, 7 pattern).

I prefer to review books in soft copy, and so I may have missed one of the best features: that it is something to feel, with pages to turn, and images to get up close to – much better in print than on a screen. Something small and tangible that you can secrete about your person and pull out in thoughtful moments is still a glory of the printed page that hasn’t made it to the screen.

I can’t say whether you will enjoy the (good quality) art or not. As I say, I think it will be more fun on the page than on the screen. I loved the colours as wise men worked their way under skies a deep shade of azure – but I’m a sentimentalist at Christmas and so it worked for me. Whatever your taste, the reflective interludes help to slow you down. Topically, the images go with the words – some in expected ways and some as a surprise.

So, that’s what Amy and her father have delivered – but what is it like as an experience? I love Christmas, so I was won over by the title. The book is dripping with nostalgia – particularly from childhood – with Minnesota’s snow, or star-filled skies. With her own children growing up, there is a fresh dose of Christmas past, candlelit churches, presents, excitement and transcendent experiences that burst past the sentiment.

Like Amy, I was born on one side of the Atlantic and live on the other so I understand the disappointment that comes when you first discover that carols are sung to all the wrong tunes, and also that sense of joy that ebbs back as you acclimatise to a new Advent culture.

Amy has shared her experiences of sterner Christmases – or blue Christmas, as she calls it – and I appreciate the balance this brought to the book. I felt a little edgy at times lest people who had hurt Amy might now feel hurt if they could identify themselves in the narrative. It’s a tricky call, and necessary, I think, to making a grown-up contribution.

Amy’s list of roles includes that of a spiritual director, and there are some stretching exercises at the end. I didn’t try them – like the Levite in the parable, I was too intent on getting on with my job, and so passed by on the other side of the road.

But if you want to slow down and spread advent over an entire month, here is a super little package to help you along. 

Professor Terry Young is an author and member of a Baptist church. He set up Datchet Consulting which combines his experience in industry and academia

 

Caversham Bridge, community paper. Reviewed by Meryl Beek

Have you noticed how much improved book covers are these days? Instead of a plain title and author plate, there is a bright picture here which makes us want to open the book and look more closely.

The approach taken by author Amy Boucher Pye in this book is original and likened to a chef making a Christmas pudding, with choice ingredients well blended. There are reflections on both familiar, and perhaps unfamiliar, Bible passages, mixed with memories of our Christmases gone by (and not just the good ones!), candlelit services and family customs.

The artwork is by Amy's father, Leo Boucher. It is simple but means more as we take a closer look. The book could be used on a daily basis through Advent, as a preparation for the Christmas festival, or just picked up over the Christmas holiday. Keep it for use again next year, as there is nothing in it which dates. It will certainly help us to come closer to God in these strange and difficult times. 

Reviewed by Penelope Swithinbank

This gorgeous little hardback gift book is full of new ways to reflect and pray through the Christmas story. It’s a treasure to have, to give, and to return to year after year, whether to be used as an Advent devotional or perhaps through the 12 days of Christmas. There are beautiful, simple paintings to use as aids to your prayers and meditations; thoughts and ideas to ponder; and suggestions for going deeper in new ways. I love it and have bought several copies as Christmas presents this year! (ssh - don’t tell my family and friends!)

 

Reviewed by Lucy Rycroft in her blog The Hope Filled Family

This gorgeous offering from writer and speaker Amy Boucher Pye and her dad Leo Boucher would make a stunning Advent gift for anyone in your life who you’d like to bless this year! Each day contains a beautiful colour painting by Leo (and there’s a guide at the back of the book for how to practise ‘visio divina’, allowing God to minister to you through art). There’s then a poignant reflection from Amy, linking to the painting, and a prayer suggestion. Whilst not being a Bible devotional in the strict sense, each day quotes Scripture directly or makes reference to a Scripture narrative, and there are questions at the back if you want to use this as the basis of an Advent study for small groups. Definitely a book to enjoy with a hot drink by the tree!