Monday, January 4, 2016

2016 Grapevine Studies Calendar (Review)

Just before Thanksgiving, I had the opportunity to review  the Birth of Jesus study from Grapevine Studies.  We fell in love with the concept of using stick figures as a way to visualize the story and cement it in our minds.  Honestly, I found it to be one of the cutest concepts every and even my 16 year old daughter thought the drawings were absolutely adorable.  So when I was given an opportunity to also do a review for the 2016 Grapevine Studies Biblical Calendar, there was no way I was going to say no!!

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History
Just as cute as expected!!

Boy did I get more than I was expecting.  What was I expecting?  I expected a basic calendar with
Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History
those adorable stick figure drawings. I figured major holidays such as Easter and Christmas would have a cute graphic on the corresponding block. I figured there would be 12 months listed as January, Feb, on through December.  Well, I wasn't wrong in that sense.  All of those things are indeed there.  So I guess the calendar did meet my expectations.  What I didn't expect is just how beyond my expectations this lil calendar was going to go.

Most calendars consist of 6-8 pieces of paper, folded in half and stapled in the middle. One side of the fold has a pretty picture - maybe a cute kitten or a car. The other side of the fold has the typical grid of the month. Some might have an extra page where it shows you the entire year at a glance, along with the year before and the year after.   Major holidays are marked, maybe the start of the seasons and that's it.  You're typical calendar.

This calendar goes way beyond that.

The Grapevine Studies Calendar takes the standard Gregorian calendar which we are all familiar with with and pairs it along with the Biblical (Hebrew) calendar that will be very unfamiliar and strange to most of us unless maybe you're Jewish.  The Hebrew dates (such as Shevat 5 and Adar II 16) are on each date, letting you know where in the Hebrew calendar you are and those ooh so cute Grapevine stick figures mark important dates in Christian history.  This calendar does not non-religious holidays such as Valentines, Presidents day, ect as it's focus is on learning about the Biblical history. It does, however, show the new moon for each month.

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History
Very rarely do you see a calendar that is so packed with information that an optional 39 page Companion booklet of notes to help you understand all the wonderful information found in the calendar.  The booklet is thicker than the calendar itself!!  And it is packed full with AMAZING information that you probably don't already know.

Check out the Sample Pages Here:  2016 Wall Calendar Sample  |  2016 Calendar Notes Sample

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History

First off, it's filled with tons of those cute stick figures that Grapevine Studies is known for.  But it serves a very important purpose, one that you will not find with any other calendar.

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History
The calendar itself marks all these important dates in Biblical history, however, it does not have text that accompanies the graphic.  So, for example, in the month of January, there's a cute lil graphic of a baptism on the 10th and on the 11th there's a cute little guy sitting at a desk writing.   Without prior knowledge of the importance of these days, one would have no clue as to what either of these cute graphics represent.  One can, however, google Tevet 29 and Shevat 1 and hope to find out what of historical importance occurred on these dates.  If you have the companion booklet, this information is quickly at your fingertips.

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History
A glance in that wonderful booklet tells you that January 10th represents the day Christians traditionally commemorate the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist and that January 11th is to represent Moses making the 13 copies of the Pentateuch.  Because all this extra information would not fit into the calendar boxes without being too small to read, the Calendar Notes book is a WONDERFUL addition. The author, Dianna Wiebe, does an excellent job of explaining the history and evolution of both calendars as well as explaining the Holy Days and the traditions represented on the calendar in a way simple enough for all members of the family to understand..

And of course, it's got 12 large and super cute Stick Figure drawings representing each month..

Grapevine studies, calendar, Jesus, Christianity, Biblical History

If your like me, you probably didn't know Grapevine Studies had a calendar and even if you did, you probably wouldn't have thought to give it a second glance compared to the cheapo 5 dollar kitty calendars at Wal-mart. You probably think "A calendar is a calendar". But in all honestly, these calendars are so much more than just the typical and I would consider it more a Christian teaching tool than a wall calendar. Even my husband was enthralled reading through the Notes book and found it entertaining and highly educational.  I especially like that each note is accompanied with Bible scriptures to look up that explain or support where these dates are derived from as well as websites to visit and do more learning.

It's going to be lots of fun looking at the calendar throughout the year and then looking up the special graphics in our book and learning about all these Biblical dates and facts (such as in all my years of Church, I never knew there was a Second Passover).  It will also be a great way to jump into our daily Bible studies each morning.

 I highly recommend this calendar and I know that I will forgoing the cute Kitty and Cars calendars and buying these from here on out.


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