I just discovered that I’m not a Christmas book reader. I got excited about writing a post for you about some of my favorite Christmas books, and then I realized that I didn’t have many. I haven’t even read very many! So, here are those I have come up with as “favorites,” but they honestly represent 90 percent of the Christmas books I’ve ever read. So, I’ll need your help adding to this list.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (1983) by Barbara Robinson
I was reminded of this book just a few days ago, when I received a delightful package in the mail containing this book. It was from one of the women I had interviewed as part of my blog research. Her name is Aleisha, and I can’t even describe to you how wonderful she is. She is the most kind, caring, loving, enthusiastic, and fun person I have ever met. She has a blog called She Calls Me Mama Leisha, and she graciously allowed me to interview her about that blog for my research. And then, after that, she sent me a copy of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever JUST TO BE NICE. How much nicer can you get? Not much. So, thanks Aleisha for the fantastic package and lovely surprise.
This book really focuses on the true meaning of Christmas, which is to be Christlike and to love our neighbors as ourselves. It brings tears to my eyes each time I read it. I can’t wait to read this one to my daughters.
Skipping Christmas (2001) by John Grisham
I’m not a huge John Grisham fan. I have more literary tastes when it comes to reading, but I do like his type of storytelling in movies. As to this book, it is a nice departure for Grisham and provided me with some lighthearted reading when I needed it. I don’t remember the entire story, but I do remember the main character falling while hanging up lights. That chore is a familiar (and dreaded) part of the holidays for many people. Although I would like lights up on our house every single year, our record has been every other year. It’s hard to convince my husband to get up on the roof and hang lights in freezing, icy temperatures. I can hardly blame his reluctance. So, this year, the lights from our Christmas tree shining through the window on our front door is going to have to be enough.
The Books of Matthew and Luke from The Holy Bible
For me, as a Christian, it isn’t Christmas unless I acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ. I mean, that’s what the holiday is for, right? The other day in church, I reviewed the birth story of Christ in The Bible as I sat quietly. I think my favorite account is from Luke, in which the birth of Christ is preceded by Mary’s visit to her cousin Elisabeth, whose baby leaped in her womb upon Mary’s arrival. I don’t know why, but that is always touching to me. Perhaps the idea that Elisabeth had waited so long for a son is what touches me, and the fact that her young cousin, a virgin (no less), turns up pregnant as well and yet she’s gracious and kind and loving is what touches me.
I had fertility problems before having my second child. It took two years before I could say that I was expecting another. When that happened, many of my neighbors and friends (more than 12 of them) were also expecting babies. I privately told my husband that I was a little bit disappointed, for I kind of wanted to feel as if I were the “special” one who was having a baby. Why did everybody else need to be having babies at the same time? He wisely responded, “Just think how you would feel if you were the only one who wasn’t pregnant?” I changed my attitude right then and there, and honestly, it’s been nice having so many playmates for my little Daphne.
Now the interesting thing about the account of Christ’s birth from Matthew is that the chapter, chapter 1, begins with a genealogy. Matthew lists the family history of Jesus and then gets down to Joseph, who was the husband of Mary, who was the mother of Jesus. I like the emphasis on family lines and the fact that Christ has royal lineage.
I don’t have any royal lineage, but to me, my ancestors are magnificent people. I have a love for them and for searching out my history, which you can read about here.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas (1957) Dr. Seuss
My little Daphne has been wanting to read this before bed each night. It’s heartwarming, silly, and ultimately about the true meaning of Christmas as well. I can’t help getting choked up when after the Grinch steals all of the “stuff” and expects to hear sorrow, he instead hears singing. It reminds me that Christmas isn’t about stuff, but about love.
Sadly, that’s that end of my list (and represents nearly all of the Christmas books I’ve ever read). Pathetic, I know. I do want to read A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens, but it has been so popularized and widely performed and retold that I hesitate to read it just because I already know the story. I like reading books that will surprise me. I don’t like knowing the beginning from the end. Perhaps I should make it a goal to read A Christmas Carol during the holidays next year.
What are your favorite Christmas books?