many of you can remember what you got for Christmas when you were eight
years old? A teenager? Graduate? Newly married? What if I asked you to
recall how many of those gifts were books—does that help prompt your
I’ll never forget the year Mom
and my brother, Wade, went in together to purchase the Little
House on the Prairie series for me. We were a huge book
family, but our books were shelved at the public library, not at home.
So to receive not one but an entire collection of books by my favorite
author was a huge deal to me. It expanded my world to another time and
another place. So precious, this gift, that I still have it after
One Christmas I discovered an
unexpected book under the tree: a book of poetry. That was the year I
experimented as a poet and learned to cope with the emotions of life
(good and bad) through lyrical words. I studied the great poets of all
times, enriching my life and bringing me to a new depth of insight.
Sounds a lot like growing up, doesn’t it?
After I came to faith in Christ,
I received a package in the mail from my aunt Deanna and uncle Bob.
They sent me Streams in the Desert to teach me how
to practice a devotional life. They also sent Three Steps
Forward, Two Steps Back to help me learn acceptance of life’s
obstacles. Through these spiritual works, I grew as a Christ-follower
and learned how to embrace a victorious life. That was the Christmas I
dealt with a difficult diagnosis and learned I was barren. These books
helped me not to be spiritually barren.
twenty years. My husband, Russ, spoiled me with a special luxury: a
brand-new Bible for Christmas. All those years, I’d been reading
hand-me-down Bibles or discount Bibles. This was my first high-quality
study Bible. I savored it. There is power in words, but there is
ultimate power in the Word.
Every Christmas I think of
books. Do you? Here are a dozen newly released Christmas-themed novels
for your shopping consideration:
Blue and Gray
Christmas, Joan Medlicott
A Door Country Christmas, Melby,
Phillips, Key, Ruchti
A Plain and Simple Christmas
A Prairie Christmas Collection,
Peterson, Bateman, Griffin
A Simple Amish Christmas,
A Woodland Christmas,
Franklin, Cecil, Mowery, Murray
An Amish Christmas,
Wiseman, Fuller, Long
Christmas at Herrington’s,
Christmas Mail Order Brides,
Turansky, McDonough, Davis, Stenzel
Love Finds You under the
Mistletoe, Brand and Higman
Sarah’s Christmas Miracle,
The Snowflake, Jamie
Reflect on any books you’ve received as gifts. Do they represent
milestones in your life? What books have you given others? Do they
represent a special quality found in your relationship? What role will
books play this Christmas? Read them, give them, pass them on!