At Christmas, I sometimes like to read something that gets me in the Christmas spirit. I'll share a few of the books that have helped me do that.
Mary's Journal, A Mother's Story by Evelyn Bence gives life to Jesus's mother, before she conceived him, during her pregnancy, and in the early years of Jesus' life. It is imaginatively written, but done in such a way that it seems very believable. I gained fresh insight into that time period, its customs, and what might have been some of Mary's thoughts and feelings as the mother of God's Son.
Shepherd's Abiding by Jan Karon is the heartwarming story of Father Tim trying to restore an old nativity for his wife, Cynthia. It's filled with the usual quirky characters from Mitford and written with Karon's typical warmth and humor. If you're a Mitford fan, you need to add this to your collection.
The Modern Magi, by Carol Lynn Pearson is short, only 71 pages, which may be one of the reasons I love it so much. I actually read this one to my children when they were upper elementary age, one chapter each night. It's about middle-aged Annabelle Perkins, whodreams of visiting the Holy land to give Jesus a gift at his birthplace just like the wise men did two thousand years ago. She saves her money for months and months and is about to fulfill her dream. But then some surprising things happen that force Annabelle to rethink her trip. I highly recommend this book.
Two from Galilee by Marjorie Holmes is a classic. It's the love story of Mary and Joseph and includes the early life of Jesus. Holmes uses her generous imagination to bring the pages of scripture alive. If you love this book, you might also want to read its sequels, Three from Galilee and The Messiah.
God's Precious Gift in a Manger - by Rebecca Ann Lamb is unlike any other children's Christmas book I've seen. Written for kids ages four through seven, it begins at creation and, as the back of the book says, "puts the Christmas story in historical perspective. Ever since sin separated people from God, God had a plan to restore their relationship with Him. Since the beginning of time, He knew His gift would give life back to humanity. And that gift was given...in a manger. Follow God's plan through the Bible to the birth of Jesus. And gain a deeper understanding of God's love for His people." The illustrations by David L. Erickson are absolutely beautiful and the text is written simply enough for young children to understand. At the back of the book are activities and questions for parents to use with their children.
The Christmas Conversation Piece (or as I like to call it, The Christmas Question) by Paul Lowrie and Bret Nicholaus is a book of Christmas related questions. You can use it to spur conversations and get to know people better. I've used it as an ice breaker in Sunday school classes, parties, Christmas open houses, and just with my own family. However you choose to use it, it's lots of fun and because of that it has earned its place on my favorite Christmas books list.
So there you have it, my favorite Christmas books. Did I leave out your favorites? List them in the comments. Happy reading!