The Greatest Gift – Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

If you’ve never read the lyrical prose of Ann Voskamp, it can take some getting used to, but once you’re into it, you’re into it.  Voskamp takes the small, nearly always overlooked parts of the Christmas story and creates a journey that you’ll be so glad you went on.   She asks the question, What do you want for Christmas?  And answers in her endlessly creative and soulful way:  I don’t want a Christmas I can buy. I don’t want a Christmas I can make. What I want is a Christmas I can hold. A Christmas that holds me. Remakes me. Revives me. I want a Christmas that whispers Jesus.  Take the time to read this book and you’ll find yourself being held by Christmas in a new and beautiful way.

Hidden Christmas – The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ by Timothy Keller

Keller begins his book by stating something nobody would actually say out loud, especially at Christmas: Things are bad. Real bad.   “We can’t heal ourselves,” is the message of Christmas. “Things really are this dark. Nevertheless…there is hope.  The message is that “on those living in the land of shadow a light has dawned.”  Keller will point out over and over in this book that it isn’t from the world hope has sprung.  It’s the light outside of this world, and Jesus came from it to save us.  Journey with Keller on this profound trip through Christmas as you’ve never walked it before.

Joy to the World – by Charles Spurgeon

This is a small but wonderful collection of daily readings on Advent from one of the most profound preachers to ever live.  If you’re not familiar or haven’t read Charles Spurgeon, buckle up.  If you’re reading it right, about a page a day is all you’ll be able to consume, but it’s worth it.  Deep, surprising and sometimes offensive, Spurgeon will challenge your “western” thinking of Christmas and Advent and bring your soul into the quiet place where you can actually hear Jesus this season.  And more importantly, worship him.

A Classic Nativity Devotional – A collection of timeless Christmas readings, compiled by James Stuart Bell

This book will take you back in time, to a time when people thought differently than this modern world, and that can be a good thing, especially when it comes to our faith and the church.  Ever wonder what your grandfather and great grandfather and even beyond was reading or hearing from the pulpit at Christmas?  Sit by the fire, warm some tea and read passages from long ago writers and preachers like Martin Luther, John Wycliff, George Whitefield, Billy Sunday, Evelyn Underhill, John Milton, Saint Augustine, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many more.  The language can be challenging, but the depth of truth will be well worth the effort.

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift – A Family Celebration of Christmas by Ann Voskamp

This is a wonderful family devotional to guide you and deepen your understanding of Advent. The entire family will love and be engaged with the stories, questions and activities.  Each story is also accompanied by beautiful illustrations and of course the poetic loveliness of Voskamp’s writing.