Before you sign me off as a Grinch, please know that I’m just as big a fan of Christmas as you are.
I like the joyful anticipation of Christmas. I like that families get together and celebrate. I like giving (and getting!) presents, not to mention the alluring sales. I like the way streets and houses are festively decorated. I like the cheerful songs, the flavours and the scents that make Christmas such a marvelous time of the year.
Yet, I hold on to my opinion. Christmas is not special.
Christmas is not special without Christ.
It is the birth of Christ alone that gives the whole celebration a meaning. With all the parties, the presents, the food – it still gets exhausting, stressful, even depressing. So many of us have grown weary and frustrated with all the big fuss. Am I not right?
Christ is born. With Christ, hope, joy and love was born into this world. It is because of Who He is and the miracle of His birth that Christmas is so incredibly beautiful, so incredibly special.
And you know what else I like about this holiday season? Christmas books.
Yes, I mean books about Christmas, that we read at Christmas. Side- note: Do you also feel that it’s somewhat inadequate to read Christmas books at any other time of the year?
I haven’t read many of these, but here’s the ones I did:
The Christmas Blessing, Donna VanLiere
I got this book as a Christmas present – books DO make the best Christmas presents – and read it in a breath. It is a lovely story about pain and love, despair and hope, loss and new birth. Easy to read yet captivating, sad yet joyful – this is what all Christmas books should be like.
Shepherd’s Abiding, Jan Karon
Part of the Mitford Years series, this is a book about Father Tim, the town’s Episcopalian Priest and the endearing community he loves and serves. Jan Karon has a way of warming your heart towards her characters and this book is no exception. I enjoyed anticipating and celebrating Christmas with the Mitford bunch.
The Christmas Wedding, James Patterson
Having read only the first chapter so far, I can’t exactly give you an informed opinion. Somehow I’m not impressed quite yet, but shouldn’t be quick to judge. It has been on NY Times Bestseller’s List for a while, and although I wouldn’t vouch for the quality of all the books in that list, I guess they must be there for a reason.
Matthew chapter 1 and 2, The Bible
This is the ultimate Christmas story. A detailed account of how God’s son was born on earth, a story of suspense, miracles, danger and glory. The first Christmas was by no means the fun and easy holiday we are enjoying now. Even so, it was the most amazing and significant night in the entire history of humanity. God came down to live amongst us. Now THAT is worth celebrating.
Told you I haven’t read that many Christmas books. What about you? How many books about Christmas have you read?
p.s. I’m taking a break from posting on Gribook this holiday season. I look forward to seeing you again in two weeks and starting a new year, with new books and new exciting reading adventures. Merry Christmas and merry reading!
p.p.s. Isn’t the featured illustration that my husband made just adorable? He made it for Gribook Accessories, so make sure you go see the new cute Christmas accessories we have.