Just in case you have forgotten this about me, I LOVE books. I am a bookworm and have been as long as I can remember (and my memory stretches back to the tender age of two).
I firmly believe that books become friends. When one makes friends, one should not get to know them and then never revisit them. What a loss that would be! No, one should go back and revisit these friends often, enjoy their company again and again and learn new things about them each time. Yes, I re-read books. Yes, I know that the outcome will not change with each re-reading.
There are certain books that I particularly enjoy at Christmas time each year. The Twenty Four Days of Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle is a must, as is Barbara Johnson's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I enjoy looking through Karla Dornacher's The Heart and Home of Christmas. The Festival of Christmas: A Book of Days by Mary Hinderlie and Edna Hong is a terrific resource (good luck finding this one). Mrs. Ruth Graham's book Our Christmas Story is another great one. So many favorites to read through and enjoy!
This year I added back in Jan Karon's Christmas book, Shepherd's Abiding. I found it used at the local library book store (sorry, Mrs. Karon!) and could not resist the purchase. I am so glad I grabbed it. Father Tim is one of my favorite literary characters and his approach to the reality of the Christmas season is marvelous. As he reminds himself to stop and listen to God throughout the work and the activity, I am taught the same much-needed lesson. Jan Karon writes well and her work moves at a slower pace. I am aware that many people don't care for her writing because of the slower pace. For me, it is an encouragement to slow down and find and enjoy the little patches of God-light that are more evident when one slows down.
My all-time favorite Christmas book is this one.
My Dad wrote this series of sermons in 1968 at the height of the Vietnam war. They were difficult days, and our church lost one of it's own young men that Christmas. I have always loved this book because of the hope that is expressed in the reality of life in a fallen world. Our world is a tragic place; you don't have to read very far in the news to figure that out. Illness, natural disasters, wars and rumors of war, terrorism; the list of tragedies goes on and on. Yet in the darkness of the world shines the one true light. This is the world to which He came. This is the world to which He will return. He knows our struggles. He cares enough to have surrendered His own royalty and accept a full humanity.
And it is written by my all-time favorite author!
That is my reading list for the next week or two.
Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go make an orange marmalade layer cake....