Flickering flames from the fireplace throw a warm glow around the family room. A blanket spread out on the floor hold three children waiting expectantly to hear a story. My husband lies on a sofa comfortably resting after a long day at work. Sitting with a book propped up on my knees I read aloud the title.
Years have passed since the oldest first sounded out her first word, and yet we still love reading together as a family. Traveling with missionaries in Africa and feeling prairie winds on our faces; our imagination has carried us far beyond our home.
Christmas books stand together on our bookshelf waiting for this special time of year. There are those with tattered corners read for many years. Others are newly discovered from the treasure troves of used bookstores. Every year our Bible stands open to Luke 2 waiting for the story to be read
Stacked now on our family room table are some of our favorite books. The words are familiar, and yet somehow new every year when we find the books again. They weave a tapestry of memories in our Christmas celebrations making traditions meant to last beyond today.
Peer closely at our stack of books. The pages hold treasures waiting to be unpacked.
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
A beautifully written and illustrated book about a lamb who could not go out in the field with the other lambs. His sadness is erased by the joy of seeing the Lamb of God born in a stable.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A touching story of heartache transformed by Jesus’ redemption. It always reminds me how love can change hardened souls.
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
Follow a little girl as she meets a candy maker and the real story of Christmas. Jesus’ birth is cleverly explained in the shape and color of the candy cane.
All is Well by Frank Peretti
A heartwarming story about a family in need and neighbors who show love in a powerful way. It encourages me to love those who are hurting.
Any day the mail will bring our new books for this year.
Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant
We discovered this book last year, and we can hardly wait to add it to our collection. It is a beautiful story of a man who gives Christmas presents to boys and girls in the Appalachian Mountains.
Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer and Chris Ellison
The true story of a man who lived many centuries ago. His acts of secret brought joy to the families in his village.
These books remind us that Jesus came to live with us and in us. We are thankful that our Savior came to this world so we can life and peace with the Father.
Copyright © words and photographs by Jane Carole Stein