Advent is a celebration, a time of remembering and waiting, and ultimately―a season marked by hope. Beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, it recognizes the expectant waiting of Christ’s first coming and reminds us to wait expectantly for His return.

I did not know about Advent until eight or nine years ago. Now I can’t imagine the Christmas season without Advent. I hope the following list of Advent books and Bible Studies is a helpful resource to you! I’ve broken it up into multiple categories:

1. Advent books for individuals (these are mostly devotionals)
2. Advent books for children and families
3. Advent Bible Studies

Though this list is extensive, there are dozens of other Advent books and Bible Studies available. I’ve chosen to include ones I’ve personally read, as well as titles that come highly recommended to me by friends. All book descriptions are pulled from Amazon or DaySpring.

You may want to also look into Advent resources like calendars, playlists, wooden wreaths and colored candles. These are each beautiful ways to mark the days and weeks of the season!

Advent books and Bible Studies

 

Advent Books for Individuals

 

The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of ChristmasThe Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas :: Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus―the greatest gift―through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story (free download of each of the 25 ornaments available at annvoskamp.com).

The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for.

Sure to become a holiday staple in every Christian home, The Greatest Gift, a New York Times bestseller, is the perfect gift for the holidays and a timeless invitation into the richness of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

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Remarkable Advent: God's Extraordinary Plan Through Ordinary PeopleRemarkable Advent: God’s Extraordinary Plan Through Ordinary People :: Shauna Letellier

What if we peered through history’s frosted window and felt astonished by Jesus’ birth once again? In Remarkable Advent, Shauna Letellier drapes the fabric of imagination over the framework of Scripture, bringing the Christmas story to life through twenty-five devotional readings.

To retrace the story of Jesus’ birth, each devotional includes a daily plan for Advent Scripture reading, captivating storytelling and relevant reflections that connect Jesus’ birth to your extraordinary place in his family, and guided prayer to help you focus on the wonder of Christ.

With breathtaking imagery and a fresh take on Scripture, this Christmas devotional will prepare your heart to celebrate God’s greatest gift. Shauna Letellier draws upon her degree in Biblical Studies and two decades of Bible teaching to weave history, theology, and fictional detail into this delightful retelling of the Christmas story.

 

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Because of Bethlehem: Love Is Born, Hope Is HereBecause of Bethlehem: Love Is Born, Hope Is Here :: Max Lucado

For some, Christmas is a time of excitement, celebration, and family, while for others it is a time of loneliness, grief, and loss. No matter what this season holds for you, the promise of Christmas will bring you a lifetime of hope.

Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle becomes the King on the cross. Because of Bethlehem, we have a Savior in heaven. These are the heart shaping promises of Christmas. Long after the guests have left, the carolers have gone home, and the lights have come down, these promises endure.

No one expected God to come the way he did. Yet the way he came was every bit as important as the coming itself. The manger is the message. In the midst of your hectic Christmas season, Max will help you rekindle your connection to the Christ of Christmas who offers lasting hope, lay down your endless Christmas to-do list and receive what Jesus has already done, and heal your heartache by embracing the God who is always near you, always for you, and always in you.

 

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Shadow and Light: A Journey into AdventShadow and Light: A Journey into Advent :: Tsh Oxenreider

Though the holidays are often jam-packed with busyness, the weeks leading up to Yuletide are still a time to reflect on the miracle of Jesus’s birth. Shadow and Light is a concise and customizable guide for the Advent season to help you rediscover your childlike wonder and contemplate the sacred gift we celebrate in the Christmas season―a season of wonder and waiting.

From bestselling author Tsh Oxenreider, Shadow and Light is a rich yet approachable experience that invites you to explore the historical meaning of Advent. Drawing from liturgical tradition, Tsh provides fresh insights for new and longtime believers alike. Each day includes Scripture, a reflection, a question, and a simple activity to engage the senses, such as lighting candles, listening to music, and viewing artwork both old and new. Let yourself break away from the hustle and bustle of crafts, cookies, and Christmas parties, and receive your invitation to remember the quiet focus of our celebration.

 

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The Advent of the Lamb of GodThe Advent of the Lamb of God :: Russ Ramsey

For centuries God’s people awaited the coming of a Savior. In the midst of a world of trouble, they hoped for one who would deliver them from evil and restore them to true life. Would God be faithful to his promises?

Pastor Russ Ramsey narrates anew the greatest story ever told―the true tale of the coming of the Christ. It’s more than the story of a baby born in Bethlehem; the story encompasses the whole of the Old Testament and all of human history, unveiling God’s longsuffering, loving pursuit of his people. Rediscover how the purposes of God culminated in the coming of Jesus, in twenty-five readings ideal for Christmas or any season of meeting the Savior.

The Retelling the Story series explores the narrative arc of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in compelling language that is faithful to the text of Scripture. The stories are told afresh to help readers hide God’s word in their hearts by way of their imaginations.

 

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The Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already LivingThe Advent Narrative: The Life You Didn’t Know You Were Already Living :: Mary Geisen

Advent is rushed. One glance at the calendar clearly displays Advent as a four-week season reaching its climax on Christmas. But what if Advent is not just four weeks long? What if instead, Advent is a lifetime of living?

Mary Geisen has walked through years of wilderness living while working just to make it to the other side unscathed. The loss of both parents, retirement from a job she loved, and empty-nester syndrome led her straight into a period of wilderness living. God took her limited knowledge of the “not yet” and created a new understanding for walking in faith and hope. Using the season of Advent, God took the ideas of preparation and expectancy and applied them to her everyday living.

This book marks the beginning of your chance to choose a life that is lived outward rather than inward—an invitational life where you can prepare your heart to receive the joy and hope that comes with knowing Jesus. A life that will keep you focused on Christ as you clear out what weighs you down to make room for the One who lifts you up. May this book lead you to learn a new way to live in the “not yet” and find that Jesus has never left your side along the way.

 

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Celebrating Abundance: Devotions for AdventCelebrating Abundance: Devotions for Advent :: Walter Brueggemann

To “prepare for Christmas” in our society is to be sucked into a vortex of indulgence, from decor to gifts to calorie-rich foods. Layer upon layer of tinsel, lights, and wrapping paper create the illusion of abundance, disguising the feeling of emptiness in our souls. The arrival of the Messiah, by contrast, is true abundance disguised by the impression of scarcity. Training our eyes to see through the rough stable, the adolescent mother, and the anxious escape to Egypt, we can see in that poverty and powerlessness the wonder of God’s abundant life and grace coming down to dwell among us.

This powerful devotional by best-selling author Walter Brueggemann includes daily reflections on the Scriptures and stories of Advent in order to invite us to see beyond the world’s faux extravagance and realize the true feast laid out before us. Twelve prayers are also included for the twelve days of Christmas.

 

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Advent: The Story of ChristmasAdvent: The Story of Christmas :: Sherri Gragg

Unwrap God’s love this Christmas as you experience the everlasting story of Jesus Christ written through the powerful simplicity of story. See, hear, and feel as never before the miraculous fulfillment of the promise of ”God with us” through these thirty-one, poignantly retold Advent Stories.

Each story is a journey through Scripture with rich historical, cultural and geographical context of the Bible. You’ll discover how God used ordinary men and women to weave the scarlet cord of redemption throughout history.

Powerful and insightful, yet written in a way that is approachable for readers young and old, this Advent book is perfect for personal reflection or reading as a family devotional for meaningful moments of reflection with guided prayers leading up to Christmas Day.

 

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Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of ChristHidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ :: Timothy Keller

From pastor and New York Times bestselling author Timothy Keller comes the perfect gift for the Christmas holiday—a profoundly moving and intellectually provocative examination of the nativity story.

Even people who are not practicing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the nativity. Christmas displays of baby Jesus resting in a manger decorate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air. Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this Biblical story?

Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the nativity. By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a deeper and more meaningful way.

 

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Light Upon LightLight Upon Light: A Literary Guide to Prayer for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany :: curated by Sarah Arthur

“As Lauren Winner says “Maybe it’s not right to think of feasting during the somewhat penitential season of Advent, but that is what this book is: a sumptuous feast.”

This collection contains daily and weekly inspirational readings to help the reader prayerfully experience God through the liturgical seasons of winter. Well-loved classics by Andersen, Dickens, and Eliot join contemporary works by Frederick Buechner and Gary Schmidt. Poems by Donne, Herbert, and Rossetti are paired with newer voices: Scott Cairns, Benjamín Alire Sáenz, Susanna Childress, and Amit Majmudar.

Readers are invited to experience Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany in its raw strangeness, stripped of sentiment, and to turn toward Emmanuel.

 

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Honest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and NowHonest Advent: Awakening to the Wonder of God-with-Us Then, Here, and Now :: Scott Erickson

For too many of us, Christmas has lost its wonder. Maybe for you, the joy of the season is painfully dissonant with the hard edges of life right now. Or maybe you feel wearied by the way Christmas has become a polished, predictable brand. Or maybe this sacred story feels too far removed from our world today, a world that’s hard to make sense of.

But what if the Christmas story is not just something that happened a long time ago . . . but a story that is still happening today? Honest Advent illuminates the astonishing, hope-filled truth that the God who showed up in the hardest parts of our humanity is still doing so today.

Through heart-stirring images, powerful benedictions, prayers, and questions for honest reflection, you will discover how the wonder of God-with-Us is still happening today: in your unexpected change of plans, your unaccomplished dreams, your overcrowded lodging, your humble stories of new beginnings. In a world that’s difficult to make sense of, and a season that’s so often overtaken by consumerism, find here fresh eyes to see this powerfully sacred story.

 

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The Beautiful Word for ChristmasThe Beautiful Word for Christmas :: Mary E. DeMuth

With gorgeous illustrations to stir you, Scripture to remember, prayer prompts to guide you through prayer, and meaningful activities to do, The Beautiful Word for Christmas is the heartfelt book you need this season.

Inside you’ll find the Christmas story alongside 23 Bible passages hand-lettered and illustrated in full color. The Beautiful Word for Christmas also includes 31 timely devotions written especially for the Christmas season and activities to bring the heart of the season home.

The Beautiful Word for Christmas is an Advent devotional that is beautiful enough for display and profound enough to be a meaningful guide through the season.

 

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Come, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of WaitingCome, Lord Jesus: The Weight Of Waiting :: Kris Camealy

Come, Lord Jesus is a companion in the waiting season of Advent.

It’s a quiet invitation to sit with the weight of waiting, and recount the faithfulness of God, to trace the hope of Christmas, and prepare the way for Jesus’ coming into the world, into our own hearts, into our everyday, ordinary time.

With its offering of a daily reading, a reflection, prayer and one or two reflective questions for you to contemplate, this book is a welcome friend to readers during the Advent, or any other season of waiting.

 

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The Wonder of Christmas - Advent Journal for GirlsThe Wonder of Christmas – Advent Journal for Girls :: Shanna Noel

Just as every child excitedly waits to open their gifts on Christmas morning, they can experience the anticipation of Christ, God’s Gift to us.

The Wonder of Christmas opens young hearts to the greatest of joys with twenty-five verses, readings, and prayers representing each day of Advent, plus “Creative Sparks”―fun crafts and activities, journaling ideas, and things to draw―all building toward that celebrated morning when we wake to the glorious gift of a child-King, born in a manger.

 

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A Moment of Christmas: 25 December Devotions for MomsA Moment of Christmas: 25 December Devotions for Moms :: Anna E. Rendell

This book is for the woman who craves a less crazed-feeling Christmas, who longs for a season that is intentional and full of joy.

It includes 25 devotions, each of them guilt-free, inspiring, and able to be read in 10 minutes or less!

As you prepare your heart for Christmas by reading through these pages, you’ll be inspired to drop the pursuit of perfection and chase holy.

 

Advent Books for Children and Families

 

Unwrapping the Greatest GiftUnwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas :: Ann Voskamp

With vivid, full-color illustrations, downloadable ornaments, and moving scenes from the Bible, this book is a gift your whole family can experience each day leading up to Christmas.

Person by person, story by story, retrace the lineage of Jesus. Fall in love with Him all over again as you experience God’s plan of salvation for us―from the Garden of Eden to the manger and beyond.

Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.

 

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Names of Jesus - Advent Ornament BookNames of Jesus – Advent Ornament Book :: DaySpring

This ‘Names of Jesus’ ornament book is such a fun way to get your family involved with Christmas decorating while learning about our Savior. And no one has to worry about breaking these beautiful paper ornaments!

The book contains seven ornaments featuring the names of Jesus alongside devotions explaining the name. Simply pop out the die-cut ornaments, then add strings or hooks so you can hang on anything from a Christmas tree to holiday garland! At the end of the Christmas season, simply place the ornaments back into the book and easily pack away.

 

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Unwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent DevotionalUnwrapping the Names of Jesus: An Advent Devotional :: Asheritah Ciuciu

Most Christians agree that Christmas is all about Jesus, yet most of us spend little time preparing our hearts to celebrate Him. Why is this? Partly because we don’t know how. In Unwrapping the Names of Jesus, Asheritah Ciuciu leads readers through the four weeks of Advent (Hope, Preparation, Joy, and Love).

Each week begins with an interactive family devotional that equips readers to celebrate Advent together, offers five daily reflections that focus on that week’s name of Jesus, and includes suggestions for fun-filled family activities or service projects.

This devotional can be used by readers in their own personal worship times or as a tool to engage in family worship during the busy holiday season. Either way, participants will gain a greater sense of awe and wonder at who Jesus is.

 

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Emmanuel, God with Us - Advent Ornament BookEmmanuel, God with Us – Advent Ornament Book :: DaySpring

Celebrate Jesus, God’s greatest gift, with the Emmanuel, God With Us Advent ornament book. Including 7 devotions, Scriptures, and coordinating pop-out ornaments, this Advent activity is perfect for individuals and families.

Whether used as a daily countdown or read in one sitting, this book engages adults and children of all ages. The beautiful ornaments prompt you to reflect on the meaning of each devotion as you hang them on your Christmas tree and can be reused year after year―perfect for starting a new family tradition! A meaningful gift for sharing and celebrating Jesus, the reason for the season, with friends and loved ones.

 

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The 25 Days of Christmas: A Family Devotional to Help You Celebrate JesusThe 25 Days of Christmas: A Family Devotional to Help You Celebrate Jesus :: James Merritt

As a Christian parent, you already know how busy and commercialized Christmas has become. Amid the flurry of activity, it’s easy to lose sight of the real reason you celebrate this season—the birth of Jesus.

The 25 Days of Christmas is a unique Advent devotional written to help your family experience richer joy as you discover what the holiday is really about. Each two-page spread features a short story for you to read aloud, an inspiring Scripture verse, and a fun and easy family activity to remind you of what you learned that day.

This full-color, beautifully illustrated book will be a keepsake you’ll look forward to using every year and eventually hand down to your children as they start their own holiday family traditions. Make Christmas even more meaningful this December—one day at a time.

 

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This Is the Christmas StoryThis Is the Christmas Story :: Kids Read Truth™

This Is the Christmas Story presents the whole Christmas story—the story of God promising His people a forever King who would bring light into a dark world. From God’s promises to Adam, Abraham, David and Isaiah to the angel’s messages to Mary and Joseph, every page tells the story of God’s promises to send His Son Jesus.

Kids Read Truth™ Story and Scripture books retell key Bible narratives using story text and verses from Scripture. These books are written for ages 4–9, but will be enjoyed by the whole family!

 

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Jesus Calling: The Story of ChristmasJesus Calling: The Story of Christmas :: Sarah Young

The Story of Christmas uniquely teaches the Christmas story 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.

Christ was chosen before the world was made. (1 Peter 1:20) The Christmas story began long, long ago. Before the angel Gabriel told Mary she would have God’s Son. Before the shepherds saw the angels and before the wise men saw the star.

Even before the sun and the moon shone for the first time, before the first cows ever moooed and the first monkeys ever climbed! Before Adam and Even took their first walk in the Garden of Eden, God had a plan for Christmas. From the beginning of time, God had a plan to save his children. That plan was Jesus!

 

Advent Bible Studies

 

O Come, O Come, EmmanuelO Come, O Come, Emmanuel: An Advent Study :: LifeWay Women

The familiar carol rings true with beauty and grace, but few stop to consider the deep theology of this tune. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel: An Advent Study explores Jesus’ work on our behalf in the message of Christmas. This study will not only fuel our worship of Jesus, but help the reader foster steadfast love anchored in biblical truth now and all year long. Readers will more fully understand the anticipation and waiting that the Old Testament world endured, the light and life Jesus came to bring us, and the eternal promise that Jesus is yet ushering us into.

This beautiful resource features 4 weeks of personal study to be completed between the 5 group sessions, leader helps for group discussion, a beautiful 4-color interior to enhance the reader’s experience, and specific Advent activities for kids, students, and adults.

 

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Jesus Christ Is BornAdvent 2020 Digital Study Book :: She Reads Truth

Two thousand years ago, the birth of a baby boy fulfilled God’s earliest promises and answered generations of heartache. Jesus was born to bring light to a world in darkness, to seek and save the lost, to heal our wounds with His, and to make all things new. 

This four-week Advent experience features daily Scripture reading carefully curated for the Advent season, a chart exploring the seasons in the church calendar, and a look at how Christ fulfilled the roles of prophet, priest, and king.

It is also filled with daily prayer prompts, reflection questions, four favorite holiday recipes, four festive hymns, three mini cross-stitch patterns, and craft tutorials on gift wrapping, making paper snowflakes, and creating simple garlands. You can use your digital study book across all your devices and if you have a tablet, you can even write notes along the way.

 

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He Is: An Advent Study on the Attributes of GodHe Is: An Advent Study on the Attributes of God :: curated by Becky Kiser

Do you want less chaos and more Jesus this Christmas? Are you longing for the season to mean more than it has in the past? The parties, holiday cheer, gift giving, hot cocoa, and carols bring all the warm fuzzies. But after the last present is opened, you typically feel like you’ve missed what you were supposed to be celebrating—the coming of God in Jesus Christ!

Do you know who you are really celebrating? Although we’re quick to reply with the Sunday School answer “Jesus,” we all struggle to make the truth of who He is a reality amidst the craziness of Christmas. God is so big, so glorious, and so holy, the thought of Him can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be.

Jesus said in Mark 8:29, “But what about you? Who do you say I am?” Let’s find our confidence in the answers to this question! Let’s strive to know Him for who He says He is in His Word. Through He Is, Your faith will be strengthened, courage renewed, hope restored, and joy will overflow as you rediscover the One this season is all about!

 

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For All: An Advent Study of the Christmas StoryFor All: An Advent Study of the Christmas Story :: curated by Becky Kiser

This story is for all, but it is also just for you. To help you gain perspective, we will start at the very beginning of the Christmas story—the start of creation. Then we’ll hear from those who spoke of the coming Messiah and get to know some of the ancestors of Christ. Next we will come alongside Mary and Joseph as the angels told them unbelievable news.

We will celebrate with them, as well as Elizabeth, the angels, and magi. We will also feel the weight of oppression the people had to endure under the rulers of the day.  Just like us, they experienced joy and sorrow, celebration and struggle, laughter and pain, and community and isolation. Then came One who offers redemption for all.

 

Stay Tuned

 

I’m already working on the list of books you won’t want to miss that are coming in 2021. Subscribe below so you don’t miss it (you’ll receive lots of freebies as an email subscriber!) or click here to view the list of can’t-miss books that released September-December of 2020.

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Advent books for individuals, children and families