Christmas is a time for tradition. Time-honored traditions have a way of unifying our experience of the holiday in ways that few other things can. I started a few traditions when my children were young and we still find them comforting today. Still, I wish I had started more traditions…and reading from a book of Christmas stories daily as the days count down is a great way to get into the holiday spirit.
Home for Christmas is a delightful anthology of short stories with Christmas themes. The authors are familiar (Pearl Buck, Henry van Dyke) and less-familiar, but all are enjoyable and pleasant. Most are secular stories that capture the “spirit of Christmas” in subtle ways. The 20 stories are all great for reading aloud to children or adults and most are about 10 minutes of reading or less. I didn’t get the book until right before Christmas so I didn’t get to read it much in my run-up to the holiday, but I will next year.
I received a complementary copy of this book in exchange for my review. The opinions expressed are entirely my own.
T. S. Eliot, John Donne, Philip Yancey, Martin Luther, Søren Kierkegaard, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, Sylvia Plath, Bernard of Clairvaux…Big names. So why, then, was I surprised when the first day’s reading was 12 pages long?
This book has some wonderful stuff in it, but if you’re expecting something you can read aloud with your family…this isn’t it. There is a huge spectrum of viewpoints contained in Watch For the Light. The biographical titles of the authors range from American Poet to Liberation Theologian to Priest to Martyr to Trappist Monk. The authors come from Britain, Italy, France, Brazil, Holland, Germany the United States, Nicaragua, Switzerland…and more. The viewpoints are as diverse as the origins!
I’d recommend this book to people who are ‘intellectuals’ but not so much for the ‘average Joe.’ It certainly isn’t family reading. I applaud anything that helps us shift our focus from commercialism back onto the Savior. In that respect, I like this book. Overall though, it’s not one I’d recommend or give to most of my friends.
Handlebar and Plough Publishing provided me with a complementary copy of Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas in exchange for my honest review.