Why Another Christmas Book?

21daysxmasI had my first radio interview for 21 Days of Christmas last month. The hostess asked the questions my publicist had sent her, so I was prepared with answers.

But toward the end of the session, she asked a question I wasn’t expecting. “With so many Christmas books out there, why this one? What makes 21 Days of Christmas unique?”

For a second, I thought, She’s right. There are a lot of Christmas books out there. And more are published every year. What was unique about mine?

I told her that there are many compilations of true Christmas stories out there. And those are wonderful! But this book has fictional stories, so it appeals to readers who love fiction.

But then I thought about all the Christmas novels and novellas that come out this time every year. Those appeal to readers who love fiction. What’s different about my devotional?

I added that with twenty-one short chapters, this devotional would 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.

Though I didn’t think fast enough to include a more in-depth response in that interview, I contemplated the question further afterward and came up with additional answers.

For one thing, 21 Days of Christmas incorporates fiction and nonfiction in each chapter. So it appeals to readers who enjoy both.

And Christmas is a hectic time of year for everyone. With so many holiday activities added to our usual busy schedules, it’s tough to carve out the time to read a full-length novel or even a novella (and keep up with the characters and the plot). In 21 Days of Christmas, each chapter takes only about ten minutes to read, including both the story and the Life Application. So it makes for a great “break-time” book—over breakfast as you’re preparing for the day, or at lunchtime when you take a midday break, or in the evening as you transition from your daily routine into family time, or just before bed when you’re trying to unwind and relax after a long day. You can toss it in your purse and read a chapter whenever you have to wait a few minutes for something. And since each chapter stands alone, it doesn’t matter whether you read one or two stories, half the book, or the whole thing (unlike a novel or novella).

Perhaps what’s most unique about 21 Days of Christmas is that it’s such a beautiful hardback gift book, with its debossed cover, full-color interior, and even a ribbon page marker. So it makes a lovely Christmas gift for family and friends. With stories about the Nativity as well as tales of modern-day people celebrating that event, almost everyone on your gift list 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 (except for really small stockings) 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.

I took three copies of 21 Days of Christmas to my dentist’s office a couple of weeks ago—one for the doctor, one for her assistant, and one for the receptionist. None of them are born-again believers, but they all expressed appreciation and excitement for receiving a copy of the book. When I returned for my next appointment, the dentist told me she’d read my Introduction and the first chapter. She said she’d found the stories heartwarming, as expected, but they also made her think about Christmas with a fresh perspective.

I’m praying the Holy Spirit will speak to the hearts of everyone who reads this devotional … no matter how God got it into their hands.