Advent Companions: Three Favorites and New This Year

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This beautiful advent devotional by Ann Voskamp is a treasure. The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas invites you to celebrate the lineage and majesty of Jesus through the Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree. 

Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, the book retraces the lineage of humankind from Adam to the Messiah. Each day of advent has a reading, prayer, and reflection. This is a book you will want to revisit year after year. 

Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas includes daily readings from the last week of November through the first week in January. This book helps my heart to prepare a way for the Lord during advent. 

Includes writings by Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt, Sylvia Plath, J. B. Phillips, Friedrich Wilhelm Foerster, Henri Nouwen, Bernard of Clairvaux, Kathleen Norris, Meister Eckhart, St. Thomas Aquinas, Karl Rahner, Isaac Penington, Madeleine L’Engle, Alfred Delp, Loretta Ross-Gotta, William Stringfellow, J. Heinrich Arnold, Edith Stein, Philip Britts, Jane Kenyon, John Howard Yoder, Emmy Arnold, Karl Barth, Oscar Romero, William Willimon, Johann Christoph Arnold, Gail Godwin, Leonardo Boff, G. M. Hopkins, Evelyn Underhill, Dorothy Day, Brennan Manning, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Romano Guardini, Annie Dillard, Martin Luther, St. John Chrysostom, Giovanni Papini, Dorothee Soelle, C. S. Lewis, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Philip Yancey, J. T. Clement, Thomas Merton, Eberhard Arnold, Ernesto Cardenal, T. S. Eliot, John Donne, Gian Carlo Menotti and Jürgen Moltmann.

Treasured Stories of Christmas has been a favorite for many years and it seems that each year I find a new favorite holiday tale. This is not a book of children's stories, rather a collection of classic short stories that embody the essence of the season. 

The collection includes time-honored classics by Charles Dickens, Washington Irving, and O. Henry and little known tales by Stephen Crane, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Bret Harte. There are stories for children by Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Lucy Maud Montgomery as well as surprising stories from Cleveland Amory, Pearl Buck and many others. 

New this year:

These are the books I am reading for the first time this advent season.

Joy to the World: How Christ's Coming Changed Everything (and still does) by Scott Hahn

The Reed of God by Caryll Houselander