I’m just now realizing Christmas is a week away. Do I have my shopping done? No.
Am I ready? No.
Do I have a tree up and the house decorated? No.
Before you gasp in shock, let me make this confession: I don’t generally decorate for Christmas at all.
We do have lights on the outside of the house, and a giant blow-up frosty in the yard. Stockings will make it to the mantle and maybe a small tree on the hearth, but generally, no one around here really cares about decorations anymore.
One thing I do like is my Christmas books. I’ve spent the past few hours digging through my bookshelves looking for ones I know will put all of us in a true Christmas mood. I’ll list my favorite books for all ages this week.
Today is a booklist for moms and teens.
Melody Carlson is a favorite author of many. She writes for both women, teens and kids and has some great Christmas stories. Here’s a few of her Christmas books that have been mainstays throughout the years. Here are just a few.
Betty Kowalski isn’t looking forward to the holidays. She just can’t seem to find Christmas in her heart. There’s church, of course. But who can she bake for these days? And who would care whether or not she pulled out the Christmas decorations?
Her new neighbor just adds to the problem. He’s doing home improvements that don’t appear to be improving much of anything. These days when Betty looks out the window, she sees a beat-up truck, a pile of junk, lots of blue tarps, and–horror of horrors–an old pink toilet.
But when a mangy dog appears at her doorstep, the stage is set for Betty to learn a very important lesson about what Christmas is all about. This contemporary Christmas story is a timely yet gentle reminder that God can work miracles through something as seemingly insignificant as a little brown dog.
Sometimes the best gift is a second chance
Christmas is approaching, and Lena Markham finds herself penniless, friendless, and nearly hopeless. She is trying to restart her life, but job opportunities are practically nonexistent. When a secondhand red coat unexpectedly lands her a job as Mrs. Santa at a department store, Lena finally thinks her luck is changing. But can she keep her past a secret?
For Colleen, life is spinning out of control. She just lost her husband, and her relationship with her young adult son Jamie is crumbling. Should she confess to him the secret that has been haunting her for twenty years? Jamie has a few secrets of his own. When he announces his plans to join the military, Colleen decides it’s time for the two of them to take a trip together–to Ireland. The truth they discover there could fulfill both their dreams in a way neither ever thought possible.
An Irish Christmas is a captivating story of love, deception, and secret passions, from popular and prolific author Melody Carlson.
Eight-year-old Lucy Turnbull knew better than to wish for a pony that Christmas in 1937. Her mother had assured her in no uncertain terms that asking for a pony was the same as asking for the moon. Besides, the only extra mouths they needed at their boarding house were the paying kind. But when an interesting pair of strangers comes to town, Lucy starts to believe her Christmas wishes might just come true after all.The queen of the Christmas novel, Melody Carlson pens another magical tale of expectation and excitement as one little girl dreams big and the impossible becomes possible.
Richard Paul Evans is another favorite. He is a New York Times best selling author, and his book, The Christmas Box is a Christmas classic. Four of his books have been turned into television movies.
The Christmas Box
A Christmas story unlike any other, The Christmas Box is the poignant tale of a widow and the young family who moves in with her. Together, they discover the first gift of Christmas — and what the holiday is really all about.
Tracing the lives of a young couple as they discover love, loyalty, and the power of forgiveness, Timepiece is a tale of wisdom and of hope — and a gentle reminder that the connections from one generation to the next are indelible.
A mysterious letter is found at the grave of a couple’s only child in this unforgettable conclusion to the collection. As they face love’s greatest challenge, they find its truest meaning and learn the lessons that are echoed throughout.
James Calvin Schaap wrote Finding Christmas, a book filled with stories of miracles in the modern day world. A short read that makes a very big impact.
Finding Christmas: Stories of Startling Joy and Perfect Peace
A gift. The baby. The pageant. The parties. The worship. The afterglow. The story. These are the elements of almost every Christmas. In Finding Christmas, award-winning author James Calvin Schaap takes a look at each of these elements through seven stories that show how imperfect people can find joy and grace in an imperfect world.
His eyes turn on an outgoing bus driver, a passionate mother, a daughter reluctant to return to church, and even his own assumed-mediocre performance at a Christmas pageant. Along the way, readers see how the amazing message of Christmas can be found in the oddest of places. This heartwarming read is both moving and magical and will help readers usher in a joyful Christmas season even amidst the howling winds of winter.
Jeremy Seal has a book for history buffs. He documents his journey to discover the roots of the modern day Santa Claus and the Saint he is based upon. Be warned, in some ways this is written like a text book, so it’s not necessarily a read for just anyone.
Nicholas: The Epic Journey from Saint to Santa Claus
An elegantly written, idiosyncratic biography of Santa Claus, from his saintly origins in Turkey to his current reign as the king of Christmas.
Nicholas is a biographical travelogue tracing the evolution of one of the greatest cults of modern times—the rise of Santa Claus from his origins in Byzantine Turkey to his role as the jolly man who grants every child’s wish. It is a compelling story of religious worship and strife, cultural interpretation, and mass commercialization brilliantly framed by Jeremy Seal’s modern-day voyage in Santa’s footsteps. Saint Nicholas, as Santa was originally known, lived and worked in Myra on the southern coast of Turkey 1,700 years ago. He became a revered figure in the Orthodox and Catholic churches, attracting devotees across the Christian world as his cult shifted westward with the centuries. The saint’s bones are said to still exist, and Seal’s dogged pursuit of these relics launches his quest for Santa’s true lineage—one that takes him through present-day Turkey, Italy, Holland, England, America, and finally Lapland as he pieces together the history of this extraordinary man-to-myth transformation. In the tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Tony Horowitz, Jeremy Seal is a natural storyteller, weaving fascinating history and intrepid travelogue into a book every bit as enchanting as its subject.