This time of year can be difficult for those of us who want to live out the true meaning of what Advent and Christmas is all about. I love that Restoration is reading the book by Tom Wright, Advent for Everyone. This is a wonderful devotion and it is certainly keeping me focused on Jesus.
I was at Barnes and Noble last week, shopping for some friends, and I saw this book that just spoke to me. It was Chicken Soup for the Soul: Joy for Christmas, 101 Tales of Inspiration, Love and Wonder by Amy Newmark. I picked it up and was captivated by a few of the stories. (I have not picked up a Chicken Soup book in years!!) There are wonderful stories included in the nine topical chapters. Some of these chapters include: “Holiday Miracles,” “Holiday Traditions,” and “Taking Care of Each Other.” I loved reading stories about how people get into the Christmas spirit, the funny things kids share, decorating homes and family traditions, and, one of my favorites, acts of kindness toward strangers. I don’t just view this as a book with feel-good stories, I see these stories as being a focus of conversations between friends or parents with older children in their family.
I see some of the stories providing new ideas, encouraging the gift of time, promoting love and caring for one another. One story that comes to mind is the story called, “Table for Eight.” This is a story about a couple that moved far away from any family. They spent several years by themselves feeling lonely on Christmas Day. One year, they decided to invite some friends into their home, who were also spending Christmas alone. It was a wonderful day of prayer, food, getting to know one another, and sharing of stories and traditions. It was a blessing to all who came as well as the couple who hosted. And so began a new tradition, and with each passing year, the list of invitees grew.
As it turns out, I bought several copies of this book to give to a few friends
As we focus on love during this next week of Advent, both in our service and in our Wright devotional book, how about reading some true-life stories that fit in perfectly with our focus this season; repentance, healing and love.
About the Author: Amy Newmark is the best selling author, editor in chief and publisher of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Since 2008, she has published 133 new books, most of them national bestsellers in the U.S. and Canada. Amy graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University where she majored in Portuguese and minored in French. Amy spent the next 30 years as a Wall Street Analyst, a hedge fund manager and a corporate executive in the technology field.
Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Joy of Christmas can be found at any Barnes and Noble Store, amazon.com and is available for Kindle.