Somehow. Someway. It happened again. The Fall has zipped right on past and the holidays are quickly approaching. Hallmark is already well on their way in their 3,000 movies with 1 plot “Countdown to Christmas.” But friends, I love Christmas and for the most part, I’m all in. I’m ready for hot cocoa, cookies, Christmas trees, carols, and the like. Number me among the multitude who think this is indeed the most wonderful time of the year. Of course, in all the festivities it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hubbub of Christmas and miss its central point. And in our current culture, children may be the most susceptible to this commercialization of Christmas. As Christian parents, I think we want to make much of Jesus as we make much of Christmas. Our families ought to join our world in celebrating during this season, but we must do so with a crystal clear focus on the content of our celebration – the Good News of Jesus Christ.
So, without further ado, here’s my short list of book recommendations for helping your family make the most of this Christmas season.
- A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman –– Starting with a book for the youngest kiddos, this story from Crystal Bowman is the most recent of her wonderful Christmas collection. It tells the story of the birth of Jesus through focusing on the star that announced His birth and pointed the way to Him. Easy to read with bright, colorful pictures, this board book will help your kids think of Jesus every time they see a star, even, or especially, the star that sits on top of your Christmas tree.
Just Nicholas by Annie Kratzsch –– This book became an instant favorite in the Strickland house and is a fantastic way to teach your kids how the true story of Santa Claus actually points to Jesus. It’s difficult to not let the fun and fantasy of Santa Claus distract from the true and miraculous story of Jesus Christ. Just Nicholas is a beautifully illustrated story of St. Nicholas, “the man who gave what he had to help others because he was grateful for what God had given him.”
- Prepare Him Room: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Family Devotional –– As Christians, our celebration of Christmas ought to be bigger, better, and deeper than anything the world has to offer. One way the church throughout its history has sought to make much of Jesus during this season is through observing Advent. The word advent means “coming” and this celebration of Jesus’ coming (and His coming back!) takes place the four weeks before Christmas. If you’ve never taken part in this celebration or if you can’t wait to get out your Advent wreath and candles, Machowski’s family devotional contains everything you need to help your family focus on Jesus and worship Him this Christmas. Each family activity is well-designed with crafts, activities, music, Scripture, and prayer for all ages to do together. Our family can’t wait to work our way through this devotional as we celebrate Jesus’s coming and as we long for His return.
Hope you enjoy these recommendations. And as always, I’d love to hear your questions, comments, and favorite Christmas resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or @jstrick16 on Twitter. Praying we all make much of Christ this Christmas!
Jeff Strickland – I am the Discipleship Pastor at Rock Point and a current PhD student at Southern Seminary. I am the father of an energetic, slightly crazy, talkative, and hilarious little man, Carson Nolan. Thankfully, he has an incredible mom, my patient and truly kind wife, Stephanie. Expect my posts to reflect our parenting endeavor and to often be a little on the nerdy side.