By Kelly Wise Valdes

As usual, most of us notice that Christmas decorations begin intruding into our stores before Halloween and Christmas songs begin playing even before the Thanksgiving turkey was finished cooking. Although it may seem impossible to slow down, try to use these last few weeks of 2016 to reflect on family, tradition and the birth of Jesus. The books listed below are a perfect place to start and also make for the perfect gift for a loved-one that may also need to cultivate joy and peace in the midst of the flurry. Carry the truth of the birth of Jesus in your heart this season and enjoy the miracle of Christmas.

Devotions for Christmas: A Celebration to Bring You Joy and Peace
By: Zondervan

Want to avoid holiday burnout? Unplug from the craziness and center your heart on the true meaning of Christmas. This amazing book is filled with photography and features a Scripture-based devotion and journaling prompt for each day in December.

In the Manger: 25 Inspirational Selections for Advent
By: Max Lucado

In The Manger invites readers to witness the birth of Christ as never seen before. Through 25 Advent-themed selections, you’ll feel as though you’ve joined Mary and Joseph at the feet of the King lying in the manger. This is a great book for family devotions and gift-giving this Christmas.

After Christmas: How Christ’s Birth Changed Everything
By: Jeremy Royal Howard, Doug Powell

At Christmas we celebrate Jesus’ birth but many non-believers wonder “So what?” This faith-filled book describes what the Nativity means for our lives and the world and provides thought-provoking questions to guide personal reflection.

The Expected One: Anticipating All of Jesus in the Advent
By: Scott James

Bringing to light the many promises of Christ from His birth to ascension, these daily devotions will help you realize the greatness of God’s love for you this Advent season. Designed for individuals, families and churches, these readings come complete with Scripture verses and reflection.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.