Did you hear that? It’s the magical sound of every radio station around switching their songs to Christmas music. I love it! Christmas is my absolute favorite time of the year, and a huge part of that is Advent. There’s nothing like really preparing for Christmas by focusing on the real reason we celebrate. So today I’ve rounded up a great selection of Advent resources for your whole family. It’s my hope that you’ll find something here to get you ready for the birth of Jesus!
And as a side note–if you aren’t familiar with the liturgical season of Advent, it always begins on the Sunday closest to November 30th, and it includes the four Sundays leading up to Christmas. Because of the dates this year, Advent actually starts pretty late–December 3. But the good news is that the later start date gives you plenty of time to order these books from Amazon or your local library! Now, let’s get started.
Behold the Lamb of God
Up first is this lovely little book that’s become a Christmas staple for me. I’ve read it every Christmas since 2013, and I know I’ll be reading it again this year. In fact, I love this book so much that last year I hosted a “read along” of Behold the Lamb of God. What’s really special about this book is that it’s a retelling of the Christmas story that starts back in Genesis. Ramsey’s writing style is great, and honestly perfect for reading aloud! This one has 25 chapters, so it’s a perfect book to start reading on December 1.
Watch for the Light
I read this devotional two years ago, and it was a pleasant surprise. I’d recommend this one for anyone who’s interested in reading what lots of different authors have to say about Christmas and Advent. There are readings from Dietrich Bonhoeffer, John Donne, Madeleine L’Engle, C.S. Lewis, Henri Nouwen, and so many more. It’s divided up by day, beginning with November 24 and going all the way through January 7. Some of the readings in this book are a little bit longer and more philosophical, and others are brief poems.
You can purchase Watch for the Lighthere.
This book isn’t quite a devotional and it isn’t quite a collection of short stories, it’s a delightful mix of both. Max Lucado has a really easy, fast-paced style of writing, and this book is a collection of all the things we love about Christmas. It’s full of quotes from his other books, short little stories, and other more devotional-style thoughts about Christmas. I’d recommend this one as a gift for people in your life who might not be ready for a heavier, theological devotion book. This would also be a great one to snuggle up under the tree and read.
You can buy Christmas Stories here.
I think it’s also important to note that I used giant glitter in this photo, and that was a mistake. It took me like fifteen minutes to clean up. #neveragain
The Dawning of Indestructible Joy
With a title like that, how could this not be an awesome book? I haven’t read this John Piper book yet, but I’m hoping to add it to my Advent rotation this year. It’s around 80 pages with 25 readings, so this is another one you could start on December 1 and read through Christmas day.
You can buy The Dawning of Indestructible Joyhere.
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri Nouwen
When I read Watch for the Light two years ago, one selection I enjoyed the most was by Henri Nouwen. Recently I read his book The Return of the Prodigal Son, and I loved his insights into scripture. So when I saw this book on Amazon, it was an impulse buy that I’m hoping will pay off. This book has shorter readings, with small selections from Nouwen’s work, a prayer, and an “Advent Action.” It goes through the four weeks of Advent and the twelve days of Christmas.
You can find this book here.
God is in the Manger
This is the Advent devotional I added to my list last year, and it was a good one. I love Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s style of writing and his insights into the Christmas story. This short book combines one passage from Bonhoeffer’s works with a passage either from his letters or another author’s writings. Each day is also accompanied by a passage of Scripture. It’s divided up by week, so you can start whenever it suits you!
God is in the Manger is available here.
The Greatest Gift
Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts was a huge success, and this Christmas devotional takes the same style and adds space for reflection, prayer, and scripture reading. It’s a beautiful book that would make a lovely gift for any fans of Voskamp’s writing on your Christmas list!
You can find The Greatest Gifthere.
Advent for the Kids
You’ve probably heard me mention The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones, and I’m really excited to share that this year she’s published an Advent reading guide that pairs Scripture passages with pages from The Jesus Storybook Bible. There’s a free printable schedule and some tips for parents, as well as these adorable printable cards. You might not be able to tell from the picture, but each card features a day’s reading and an illustration from the book. They’d make adorable ornaments or garlands like the one I have in the picture.
The printable is totally free, and you can download and print it out here.
So there you have it, seven Advent devotionals and one fun idea for the whole family. I’m going to be deciding today which of these books I’ll be reading this year. A few years ago I tried to read three or four, and it stressed me out instead of adding to my enjoyment of the season. I’m thinking this year it’ll be the Nouwen devotional and Behold the Lamb, but I’ll let you know on social media which ones I decide.
Let me know in the comments which of these books you decide to incorporate into your Advent celebration!