by Kathy Ide
21 Days of Christmas will warm your heart with stories about giving, loving, and family. These engaging tales celebrate the hope and joy that make this blessed season unique. At the end of each story you’ll find an insightful message that will help you discover anew the true meaning of this special time of year. So grab a cup of hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick, curl up in your favorite chair beside a picture window overlooking a serene spot, and savor the true meaning of Christmas through these inspirational and encouraging stories.
This collection of Christmas stories makes the perfect devotional for the Christmas season. After each story there is a life application section, where you can reflect on your own life and how these stories may pertain to you. Some of the stories are sad and will make you cry, while others are very happy and uplifting. It is a nice combination of the two. You could even read some of these stories to your kids and use the stories as a way to teach your children the true meaning of Christmas. What I did not like about this book was the author's use of different version of the Bible. I only read the King James Bible, so the different versions were not really working for me.
I received a complementary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.
She is also a full-time freelance editor, working with aspiring, new, and experienced authors as well as publishers.
Kathy speaks at writers’ conferences across the country.
She is the founder and coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).
For more about Kathy, visit www.KathyIde.com.
21 Days of Christmas: Stories that Celebrate God’s Greatest Gift is book two in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series. It’s a collection of 21 fiction stories, each written by a different author—including well-known novelists such as Lena Nelson Dooley, Joanne Bischof, Jan Cline, and Lynn Kinnaman. Some stories are about the first Christmas, when Mary and Joseph brought God’s Son into the world. Others are about how we celebrate that history-changing event today. Each story is followed by a brief Life Application written by the author of that story.
The first chapter starts out with an amusing tale of a modern-day couple in the front seat of a car, on Christmas Eve, traveling to see relatives for the holiday. They’re griping about the hassles of the season, and hollering at the the kids, who are playing with the foil on Mom’s Jell-O salad in the backseat. Then we break from that to a scene of Mary and Joseph entering Bethlehem, about to bring God’s Son into the world. It contrasts the modern-day wife, not wanting to go into a sleazy diner because it’s the only place open on Christmas Eve, with Mary hesitating to go into a smelly barnyard to give birth. When the modern-day couple decide to tell their children the Christmas story—complete with snow and a little drummer boy—the contrasts become both highly funny and very poignant.
I wrote one of the chapters in the book. It’s about the first Christmas, from the perspective of Joseph. What he must have thought and felt when Mary was giving birth to Jesus, knowing that he had been personally given the divine responsibility to teach God’s Son about God. Based on the Old Testament teachings he’d been raised with, what did Joseph think Jesus would be like when He was born, and how did reality clash with those expectations?
This book makes a great gift for family and friends, with its beautiful debossed hardback cover, full-color interior, and a ribbon page marker. With stories about the Nativity as well as tales of modern-day people celebrating that event, almost anyone would enjoy receiving a copy and reading it—even those who don’t believe in Christ as their Savior. It’s small enough to be a stocking stuffer (or tucked into the pocket of a Christmas-themed pot holder!) and inexpensive enough to be a practical gift for those people you’re not sure will reciprocate, or who may feel uncomfortable if they didn’t get you anything.
This devotional would also be ideal to incorporate into an individual’s or a family’s advent celebration, reading one chapter a day during the three weeks leading up to Christmas.
Each chapter takes only about ten minutes to read, which makes it ideal for the hectic holiday season. And since each chapter stands alone, it doesn’t matter whether you read one or two stories, half the book, or the whole thing.
Other books in the Fiction Lover’s Devotional series are:
21 Days of Grace: Stories that Celebrate God’s Unconditional Love
21 Days of Love: Stories that Celebrate Treasured Relationships
21 Days of Joy: Stories that Celebrate Motherhood
Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, November 21
Reflections From My Bookshelves, November 21
Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 22
Reader’s Cozy Corner, November 22
Blossoms and Blessings, November 23
Carpe Diem, November 23
Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner, November 24
Multifarious, November 25
A Reader’s Brain, November 25
A Greater Yes, November 26
Lane Hill House, November 26
Texas Book -aholic, November 27
Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 27
Karen Sue Hadley, November 28
By The Book, November 29
Seasons of Opportunities, November 29
Mary Hake, November 30
Have A Wonderful Day, December 1
Remebrancy, December 2
God’s Little Bookworm, December 3
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 4
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