If you’re looking for books about, and for, Christmas and with inspirational themes, look no further. Here is a list of books perfect for the entire family to enjoy this Christmas season and beyond.
Our Family Christmas: Creating Meaningful and Memorable Christ-Centered Traditions, by Christie Gardner, is a day-by-day calendar beginning with December 1 and ending on Christmas Day. Each day is packed with several pages showing stories, recipes, journal entries, Christmas songs and scripture references. The day begins with a beautiful full page old-fashioned colorful picture on the open page. The opposite page begins with a quote or scripture. December 24 begins with John 3:16. The focus is completely on Christ and family.
Nativity, by Cynthia Rylant, is a gorgeous picture book in illustration and tells of the birth of Christ in scripture form. The glorious paintings, done with pastel acrylic, fill the double pages with a scene. Halfway through the book, the book veers to Christ, now grown, and teaching some of the beatitudes.
Make & Play Nativity, by Joey Chou, is a delightful book with press-out figures of the Nativity. Each figure includes parts to allow them to stand independently. They include Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, the manger, animals, an angel and shepherds. There is also a brief re-telling of the story, instructions for making a Christmas star, an angel and an advent calendar. Children ages three and up will enjoy making these easy creations.
Christmas Jars: Collector’s Edition, by Jason F. Wright, is a new edition of a popular and highly successful story that was originally written back in 2006. This story celebrates generosity – especially at Christmas. It’s Christmas Eve and young adult Hope has just come to her apartment to find that she has been robbed. She finds a small jar of cookies on her doorstep. Since she is a journalist, she sees there might be a story here. So, she proceeds to try and discover if there are other “jars” left for strangers. This leads to much more than she could ever have imaged changing her list for the better forever. This touching story includes amazing true stories from readers and how this story inspired them. This book is a must for Christmas!
Celebrating A Christ-Centered CHRISTMAS: Children’s Edition, by Emily Belle Freeman and David Butler, and beautifully illustrated by Ryan Jeppesen, is a wonderful story version to help youngsters, ages four through eight, better understand and celebrate Christ’s birth during the holidays. The original book, Celebrating a Christ-Centered Christmas, which was first published in 2014, is one of my most favorite books to truly celebrate Christmas appropriately! That book is a must and should be in every family’s home. This book ties right into that original book, but this book is a picture book making the text easier to read and follow. Each section takes one person from the nativity story and emphasizes a theme and lesson, along with an activity for the youngster to learn and enjoy.
The Little Match Girl (Mormon Tabernacle Choir Concert Series), retold by David Warner, and with glorious paintings rich in color and detail by Greg Newbold, is adapted from the classic by Hans Christian Andersen. The story uses many of the same elements of the original version as it showcases the vision that the little girl sees from her little match before it burns out. But the ultimate ending takes on a more eternal aspect as the spirit of grandmother takes her to heaven.
My Broken Horse Christmas, by Scott Livingston, is a small booklet that is also available in Kindle version, about a true story of young John going out for his yearly venture in search for the perfect horse to add to their farm. John is surprised when his father selects the meanest horse in the bunch. However, John is about to learn a very good and important life lesson. He begins to understand unconditional love, patience and long-suffering. This is also available on DVD which is inspirational and perfect for this season!
Christmas Grace: A Regency Christmas Collection includes four wonderful young adult authors: Jennifer Moore, Krista Lynne Jensen, Anita Stansfield and Charon Linton. Each story is filled with hope, the spirit of Christmas and miracles. There is an aura of Charles Dickens and Jane Austin tied up in each story. Once you read these stories you will likely be searching for more from each of these outstanding authors.
The Little Lamb from Bethlehem, by Christine Stevens Mower, and brightly illustrated by Kevin Kelle, has a plush little white lamb included with the picture book that goes right along with the story. The little lamb loved baby Jesus and both grew up together. The little lamb promised to share Christ’s life and story with everyone he encountered. This is an interactive story because there is a list of activities for your youngster, from ages three to seven, to share and become actively engaged in by doing service and good throughout December.
The Book of Mormon Family Reader (Family 5-Minute Study), by Tyler McKellar, and wonderfully illustrated in hues of brown and copper by Dan Burr, progresses in order through the Book of Mormon but choosing portions of chapters that highlight a lesson to learn or an event to remember. For instance, it begins with The First Book of Nephi and the heading reads: “Lehi Sees a Vision of The Savior”. The scriptures covered are 1 Nephi 1:8-14. This is on one page and would take about 5 minutes to read, not counting discussion. The next page covers 1 Nephi 2:16-20. You can take longer depending on the amount of time you wish to take or depending on the age of the children in the family. This book should be in every household.