New Holiday Books from the Jesus Calling Series

I absolutely love Christmas, so I don't mind getting a head start with the holiday books as early as October, especially when the books glorify our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Jesus Calling collection is a series of books that I've personally cherished throughout the years. Author, Sarah Young, had previously released versions of the book for both adults, as well as children. What I love most about this series is that the books are written in such a way that Jesus is speaking directly to the reader. I was happy to hear the news that Young had just released two new books to add to this series, Jesus Calling for Christmas and Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas.

Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Always and Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling®, Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling® for Little Ones, Jesus Calling® Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.

Jesus Calling® for Christmas is a compilation of 50 seasonally appropriate devotions from Sarah Young's bestselling brand. In addition to the heartwarming devotions, enjoy the Christmas story from the Bible, Old Testament prophecies about the birth of Jesus, and exquisite images.

Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas would make a beautiful gift for the holiday season. It offers fifty devotions taken from three of Sarah Young's' popular collections–including Jesus Calling, Jesus Today, and Jesus Always–so the writing follows that same unique style that I've seen in the rest of the previously released books from each series. As I read the devotions, I couldn't help, but feel peace and comfort. It is as though Jesus was right there telling me what I needed to hear that day, at that very moment. While not every devotion has a Christmas themed passage, the entire book is all about Jesus, so in that aspect, you can definitely correlate it to this very special holiday. There are also plenty of scripture passages from the Bible that are included to help affirm each devotional message.

Of course, I can't forget to mention the gorgeous photography throughout. From hot cups of cocoa and baked sugar cookies, to snow capped mountains and berries covered in delicate ice crystals–with each turn of the page, I was blown away with the exquisite imagery that really helped encompass the entire season and the beauty that can be found around us during the cold winter months.

As with all of the Sarah Young books that I've read in the past, I had a difficult time putting this down. I couldn't just read one devotion and be done for the day. I would have to keep going, because it was just that encouraging. This was my first Christmas read for this year, and definitely a wonderful way to start the season off right.

Jesus Calling®: The Story of Christmas uniquely teaches the Christmas story to your children by starting at creation and sharing that Jesus has always been present and that God has always had a plan for Christmas. Bible verses and Jesus Calling devotions are on every spread of this beautifully illustrated book with foil and glitter on the cover.

Christmas books that teach the story of Jesus' birth are always first in line in our list of holiday reads. Through all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, I always make sure to remind my child the true reason of the season, so we like to have a lot of reading and study time with a focus on this message. Jesus Calling: The Story of Christmas is a picture book that's beautiful both inside and out.

What's unique about this particular book is that it doesn't just start off from Mary being pregnant with Jesus. Instead, it emphasizes that the story of Christmas began at Creation, and how God had Jesus in His plan the whole time. The book then follows with brief stories of Jesus' ancestors such as a Abraham and King David, providing a timeline of how it all came to be. The only thing that I did pick up was that it mistakenly listed Joseph as the father of Judah, which must be some sort of typo from the advanced copy that I had received. After discussing the lineages, there are mentions of the prophets such as Micah and Isaiah who spoke of the coming of the Messiah. I also like that there was a mention about the birth of John and how he became an important messenger for God, proclaiming to others that Jesus is the Savior. These introductions are then followed up with the complete story of Jesus' birth from the moment that Gabriel visited Mary to tell her the news, all the way through the presentation of gifts from the Three Wise Men. There are even several pages of story to tell of what happened when Jesus grew up, and the true meaning of Christmas and what it represents.

The illustrations by Katya Longhi are precious as they tell the story of Jesus from before his birth, to the day of, and then thereafter. I love her choice of colors, especially some of the pages that offer deep blues and violets. I also appreciate the inclusion of a special letter to children in the back of the book that reminds little ones of the friendship that they can have with Jesus. This is also written in that signature style of writing where it appears as though Jesus is speaking directly to the reader. What a beautiful way to ring in the holiday season by reminding children about God's plan right from the beginning, to bring us a Savior who will care and love us unconditionally.

I have also discovered that there is a board book version of Jesus Calling:The Story of Christmas, which should prove to be equally enjoyable and a wonderful way to spread the story of Jesus' birth to babies and toddlers.

If you're interested in learning more about Sarah Young and her books, here are several additional titles that were previously discussed here on Our Everyday Harvest: