6 Favorite Christmas Books & Traditions to Keep the Focus on Jesus
I am excited to share with you some of my favorite books and traditions to help you celebrate the true meaning of Christmas this year!
1. *The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp
I read this book back in December 2015 and just loved it. Ann begins each chapter with a section of scripture and then adds her own thoughts which are so full of truth. At the end of each chapter, she also includes an action step and some reflection questions to encourage you to go deeper. The book is intended to read one chapter a day from the 25 days leading up to Christmas.
“Your greatest gift is not your gifts, but your surrendered yes to be a space for God.”
Love this nugget of truth from Ann especially in such a busy time of year with so many items on our to do list. Sadly, sometimes we forget to make space.
My challenge for you is to be open to how God wants to use you this Christmas. It could be encouraging another person with words, giving to someone in need, extending love and forgiveness to someone that has hurt you, or welcoming someone into your home for the Holidays. I don’t know the exact details, but I know God wants us to be willing to say yes just like Mary modeled.
2. *Because of Bethlehem by Max Lucado
I read this book more recently in 2019 and was captivated by the truth Max brings. In one of my favorite chapters, Max says, “Christmas can feel more like a hole-iday than a holiday.” Can you relate? Are you feeling deep sadness this Holiday season? Maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one
“When everything shakes, God remains unshaken.”
Love this quote from Max’s book. When your world gets turned upside down, cling to the truth that God has not changed. Your circumstances may have changed, but you are still a child of God, chosen and deeply loved.
Friend, there are so many powerful quotes that will encourage you this Christmas. Let me share one more from the chapter titled Worship Works Wonders. Max says, “For your own sake do what the angels did: make a big deal about the arrival of the King.” I know I needed this reminder today. So much of Christmas is about the gifts, but what if we could make a bigger deal about Jesus especially to our kids. This leads to my next 4 recommendations.
3. *A Savior Is Born: Rocks Tell The Story of Christmas by Patti Rokus
I was introduced to Patti Rokus’ amazing rock books when I had her on the podcast for her Easter one. I was thrilled to hear that she made a Christmas rock book too and it is truly one of my favorites to look through each year!
First of all, I am fascinated with the beautiful pictures made from the rocks. I think you will be captivated too. Great for both kids and adults, I think it is fun to gather rocks and try to make your own Christmas story. Secondly, I loved hearing what birthed the idea for these books and the truth Patti learned from her camping trip.
Even though God felt silent, He was still working.
If you missed my conversation on the podcast with Patti, check out Depth Podcast Episode 124. Honestly, it is one of my favorites from 2022 and full of depth, honesty, and vulnerability.
4. Advent Blocks by GoodKind
I so wish I had this product when my kids were younger. I think it is a phenomenal way to help keep the focus on Jesus, not just presents. There are 25 blocks, each with a number and picture on the. The image goes with a Bible Story and the accompanying book, The King is Coming, goes into depth about each story. It has a fun repetitive statement each day helping us remember this important message:
Emmanuel, God is With Us.
Since I have teenagers in my home, this year, I ordered the book, He is Here. This book was written for adults to focus on Advent and can be used with the blocks or not. I am hoping to use it with my young adults in my home to help us remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.
If you want to learn more about the Advent Blocks, check out Depth Podcast Episode 109 where we talk about why them made them as well as some of our favorite devotionals in the book.
This week on the podcast, I talk with Casey Hilty about her Nativity Garland. Check out Depth Podcast Episode 201 and learn more about these amazing Nativity cards you string across your mantle.
Also, I love the description from Casey’s website: Starting December 13th, turn one card over each day to reveal a new character, object, or place in the Nativity. Read the verses out loud and find them in the Bible to read more about Jesus’ birth.
On Christmas Day, enjoy the entire panoramic of Bethlehem and the land beyond.
We are giving a free set of the Nativity Garland this week on the podcast. Click this link to enter the giveaway!
6. What God Wants for Christmas
When my kids were younger, we loved this special interactive nativity set! There are seven boxes that you open. The first six have pieces of the nativity scene that you can use to tell the story, but the 7th box is a surprise! It was always our favorite to open it up and see what God wants for Christmas! Spoiler alert: the last box had a mirror inside! The kids would smile and giggle as we would remind them:
God wants YOU for Christmas!
We shared this with many guests in our home and it was always a fun surprise to watch them all open the final box. Whether a child or an adult, big grins of joy would appear as they realized just how much God loves them and wants him or her for Christmas. Sadly, this product is not sold anymore, but I did find it all over ebay if you interested! It truly was a favorite of ours over the years!
I hope some of my favorite things will help your family focus on Jesus this year!
Lastly, I recorded a special podcast episode with my mom back in 2020 where we shared our favorite Holiday Traditions! Feel free to check it out: Depth Podcast Episode 60
*Note: If you are interested in purchasing these books recommended, I would love for you to use the Amazon Affiliate link above to help support the podcast. Thank you!