I haven’t done any book reviews for quite some time. November is busy transitioning from fall to winter; from busy to busier!
So, when I had the chance to read and review TWO Christmas-themed books I jumped at it. I love Christmas and my 31 Days to Redeeming Christmas series in October has opened my eyes and my heart to the desires of so many of you out there to do Christmas differently than you have in the past.
That’s where this book comes in. C is for Christmas is an A to Z guide to find the real meaning of Christmas,which could sound fairly daunting. But it’s not. This is a paperback book, not any bigger than most books you are already reading, but it is broken down simply and efficiently to allow for maximum knowledge in minimum time spent reading.
Back of the Book synopsis: David and Warren Wiersbe cut through the fancy wrapping paper and pretty bows to give the background of the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. They also explain the reasons for our various Christmas symbols and beliefs. From angels and Bethlehem to yuletide and Zechariah, the authors shed light on a wide variety of Christmas-related topics.
And by “wide variety” , they’re quite literal. Just look at some of these topics: Advent, Epiphany, Gifts, Rush, Tidings, “Unto Us” and Xmas. What I love is that each topic is no more than a page or two long allowing this book to be a great companion to your December Advent devotionals, sermon prep, Bible Study or even just interesting coffee table reading. You certainly don’t have to start at the beginning; you can open up to any topic and find out something you may have never known or be challenged to think of Christmas in a new and exciting way.
One of my favourite topics is the one on gifts. This is what they write: ” When we give gifts to others at Christmas, we are imitating God. Of course those who don’t know God do it unconsciously. God’s giving was intentional…….A good starting point is why we give. What are our motives? Giving should be a joy, not a burden. When we give because it’s tradition or because it’s required, it can get to be a seasonal expense that we resent……..(The wise men)’s gifts were appropriate for a king, and they gave according to their means(going into debt to give Christmas gifts is not good stewardship). Their gifts were planned long before they found the Child. ….When we actually present the gift, we should do so thoughtfully, deciding ahead of time what we will say to the person as we place the gift in his or her hands.”
The section on the wise men is enlightening. Why have we always thought there were only three? That’s not in the Bible. Debunking some of our perceptions about the Nativity story is a great place to begin to make Christmas real again. It’s a real story with real characters set in a real place. Like Bethlehem. Have you ever stopped to consider the significance of Bethlehem throughout history before Jesus was born there? It’s fascinating and you begin to see this story over centuries rather than in the light of one silent night.
If you love Christmas as I do, if you are looking for some deeper food for thought this Christmas season, if you don’t know why we use Yule Logs or what role Elizabeth plays in the story, if you’re seeking and wondering….this book is for you. And if you’re a young person or have children or teens in your home, you’ll be pleased to know that this book is something for everyone. It’s a great tool and a great literary addition to your Christmas library. Go out and get one today!
“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group”.