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My 5 Favorite Christmas Books

It's the season of Christmas. I love this time of year when I get to decorate my Christmas tree, light the candles and listen to holiday music. Nestled underneath my tree are some of my favorite Christmas books. During the next few weeks, I will pick up each one and read.

Here are my 5 favorite Christmas books:

1. Let's Keep Christmas by Peter Marshall. Peter served as Chaplain of the United States Senate and pastor of New York Presbyterian Church until his death in 1948. This short book can be read in 5-10 minutes but it's loaded with wisdom. He writes about Christmas traditions and the 'spirit' of Christmas as he writes about its true meaning -- "the beginning of Christianity, the Second Chance for the world, the hope for peace, and the only way." It is a book I read and reread every year.

2. A Christmas Longing by Joni Eareckson Tada. Joni was paralyzed from the neck down in a diving accident many years ago. Despite her physical limitations, she has lived her life giving glory to God. This book addresses the longing within each one of us for something more. Only Jesus can truly fill that longing. Each short chapter offers encouragement as she shares the true Christmas story. Included are stories of family celebrations and reflections on the Christmas season. But she invites us to consider Jesus, who is the answer to our Christmas longing.

3. The ADVENTure of Christmas by Lisa Whelchel. You may recognize Lisa's name from the long running television show 'The Facts of Life'. I enjoyed watching her more recently on the TV show 'Survivor'. She is a Christian and a mom. In this book, she writes a fun guide for families that focuses beyond the family traditions of Christmas. You will be able to teach your children and yourself about the history of decorating and lighting the Christmas tree, the wrapping and giving of gifts, angels and candles. It is packed with simple recipes you can make with your children. There are teachable moments that include questions like "Why do you think we decorate with red and green at Christmas?" This is a great reference book for me each year.

4. Keeping Christ as Christmas by Jennifer Walker is an eBook I have on my Kindle. My blogging friend Jennifer of Smelling Coffee has been such an inspiration to me over the years.  It is jam packed with practical advice, ideas, worksheets and helpful resources. Jennifer writes in a beautiful conversational style. Everything focuses on the gift of Jesus, including the motivation behind gift giving. She outlined how to spend 10 minutes with Jesus in the morning. She writes, "10 minutes with Jesus will make a world of difference in the next 23:50 hours of your day." Jennifer offers this book in a variety of formats and you can find it here.

5. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voscamp. This is a new book for me but one that I will be placing under my Christmas tree each year. I enjoy reading Ann's blog A Holy Experience as she is the one who inspired me to begin counting my every day blessings. This is the perfect book to explain the Advent season to your children. Each day leading up to December 25th, Christmas Day you will be able to read true Bible stories. At the end of each day, she includes thoughts to discuss and family activities. She provides instructions for making a Jesse Tree with your children or grandchildren. Creating a 'family tree' traces the family line and heritage of the family of God.

Each one of these books are a treasure to me. I'm sure you may have favorites of your own.

I'd love to hear some of your favorite Christmas books. Would you share in the comments?

Blessings and love,

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