The Christmas decorations hit Costco mid-October this year; hiding the more relevant Halloween costumes. Each year they appear sooner and sooner, and I can’t help wonder if it’s because people feel about Christmas the way Ferris Bueller feels about life: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
I’ve certainly had those years. Even with a month to prepare, Christmas comes and goes in a blink of an eye and it feels like I missed it. If one month is not enough time, perhaps two will be better?
So here we are, still weeks away from Thanksgiving with stores full of twinkly lights, shiny wrapping paper, and a dozen items you never knew you needed; all begging us to not miss Christmas this year. Yet, many people still will miss it, because it isn’t about how much time you spend preparing, but how intentional you are with the time you are given.
As Christians, we have seasons of preparation built into the church calendar, and for Christmas, that season is Advent. Noel Piper explains advent this way: “For four weeks, it’s as if we’re reenacting, remembering the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. That’s what advent means—coming.” Therefore, Christmas is a celebration of our faithful God delivering what He promised and an encouragement for us as we anticipate Christ’s return.
One of my favorite ways to reflect on the coming of Jesus and prepare my heart for Christ is with a good book. Below are my recommendations for Advent devotionals. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, with the hope that as Christ followers, we can be more intentional with our preparation for Christmas this year.
Advent Devotionals For Your Quiet Time
Written by Christian scholars, these Advent books will guide you into a deeper understanding and appreciation for the coming of Jesus.
Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas
The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper
God Is In the Manger by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
From Heaven: A 28-Day Advent Devotional by A. W. Tozer
Joy Upon Joy: An Advent Devotional by Charles H. Spurgeon
Advent Devotional Books For the Whole Family
Read these Advent books aloud to the whole family! A few even include family activities.
A Storybook for Advent Series by Arnold Ytreeide Including: Jotham’s Journey, Tabitha’s Travels, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Ishtar’s Odyssey
Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional by Asheritah Ciuciu
When Will It Be Christmas? 25 Stories and Family Activities for Advent by Carol Garborg
The Wonder of the Greatest Gift: An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent by Ann Voskamp
Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room by Nancy Guthrie
Advent Books For Kids
Books and activities books for the littlest ones of the family.
Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider
The Nativity Activity and Coloring Book by Yuko Green
The Beginner’s Bible A Christmas Celebration Sticker and Activity Book
Advent Coloring Books
In case you want something a little different.
All Is Bright: A Devotional Journey to Color Your Way to Christmas
*Includes 31 devotions written by Nancy Guthrie
Christmas Quiet: Receiving the Gift of His Presence: A 25-Day Devotional Coloring Book
*Includes 25 Devotions written by Maisie Sparks and Lauren Younis
Because of Bethlehem Christmas Coloring Book: Love is born. Hope is here.
Do you have a favorite Advent book I didn’t mention? Let me know in the comments! I am always looking for good books.
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