It’s that time of year when we begin to think of Christmas themed books and books to give as Christmas gifts. Of course, any of the books I’ve reviewed this year would make great Christmas gifts, but there are a number of new Christmas themed books to consider as well. The following are just a brief sampling of the many Christmas books available. A visit to your local or online bookstore will also provide a large array of booklets, art pieces, puzzles, and even socks that will be great Christmas gifts!

ADULT FICTION:

CROSS-COUNTRY CHRISTMAS by Laurie Lewis

Two people with shattered pasts come together when CC Cippolini undertakes a temporary job, driving a Tesla from Chicago to Las Vegas. Placing too much trust in the car’s ability to self-drive, she suffers an accident on a remote, snowy stretch of road in Utah. She is rescued by a handsome rancher and taken to his home. CC is seeking a new life far from her controlling, unfaithful former fiancé. Reese, the cowboy rancher, is the son of a wealthy entrepreneur and is recently divorced from a refugee he rescued, then married, only to find she had no interest in working out their cultural differences. Neither is interested in a new romance, but as CC turns his sterile house into a Christmas dream, feelings are awakened between them. As CC, at last, continues her journey to Las Vegas and elements of the past reappear in their lives, will their hearts say good-bye with remembered pain, or take a chance on love? Laurie Lewis was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but recently moved to Utah. Cross-Country Christmas is her thirteenth published novel. Many of her books have achieved nominee or award status from various literary groups. Readers will love this tender, thoughtful story with a delightful Christmas setting. –Covenant Communications, Inc.

A MAGICAL VICTORIAN CHRISTMAS by Michele Bell

Clara Rose works in a sweets shop in York and lives with her father who lost a leg in military combat. She is content with her simple life but regrets the mother of a young man she cared about removed him to London to ensure the two wouldn’t marry. One morning she is surprised to discover a large, green fir tree on the city square. On following mornings pieces of a wooden nativity are mysteriously added to the Square. The village people are excited by the display and worry that the archbishop and Lord-Lieutenant Bradford will insist on its removal since they are adamantly opposed to Christmas celebrations other than midnight mass. At work Clara meets a young man, Erik Bauer, who has come to York to clear out his deceased uncle’s business across the street from the sweet shop where she works. As the two get to know each other she begins to develop feelings for him and to dream of marriage and a family. Her dreams are smashed when Lord-Lieutenant Bradford announces his intent to marry her and her father agrees to the betrothal. Bradford is pompous and over-bearing as well as being physically unattractive and much older than Clara. He is also adamantly opposed to the Christmas celebration Clara, Erik, and the townspeople are planning. When disaster strikes, her courage and faith are called for. Can she step up to help others? Also can she escape an unwelcome Christmas wedding and can she and the townspeople find a way to observe Christmas according to their own needs and wishes? Michele Ashman Bell is a native of St. George, Utah, but currently lives in the Salt Lake Valley with her husband. They are the parents of four children. She is a fitness instructor and the author of a large number of books and Christmas stories.

ADULT NON-FICTION

CREATIVELY CHRISTMAS, Inspired Yuletide Décor by Jennifer Rizzo

Serious craft lovers will want to have this book. It includes pictures, a CD, and instructions for all kinds of home seasonal projects from porch decorations to tree and home adornments to celebrate the season. This is not the little projects for children, but crafts older teens and especially adults may undertake to add a festive touch to their homes. Many of the projects include specific materials to be purchased from a craft store and the use of equipment such as hot glue guns, ink, glitter, doilies, clay, and much more. It also teaches ways to incorporate plants, foliage, vintage, and heirloom items into a decorating scheme.

Jennifer Rizzo is an artist and designer who owns a design company. She teaches art and handmade classes, is a popular speaker, and writes a lifestyle blog (www.jenniferrizzo.com). She lives in a suburb of Chicago with her husband and three children. —Cedar Fort, Inc.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

A CHILD OF GOD, by Chantel and Mauli Bonner, illustrated Morgan Bissant,

When children wonder how they can all be children of God if they have different hair, different eyes, and different colors of skin, the answers are given in delightful pictures and prose. Realistic questions children may wonder about as they see most religious art and as they associate with children from other nationalities and religions are used to illustrate that

Even with a different name

And skin a different shade,

Everyone’s a child of God.

He loves us all the same. Mauli Bonner is a songwriter and film director. Chantel Bonner is a licensed marriage and family therapist. Morgan Bissant received a fine arts degree from Louisiana State University.  – Published byEnsign Peak, an imprint of Shadow Mountain.

WHERE IS THE STAR? Written by Stefanie Hohl and Illustrated by Jefimua,

This little book reminded me of one of my granddaughters who has always been extremely shy of appearing in school or church programs. She would hide under her chair, behind a curtain, or behind the tallest child. In this story the child playing the Bethlehem star can’t be found in any of the well-known scenes surrounding the birth of the Christ Child until the very end when he appears with a burst of courage and is quite proud of his contribution to the pageant. — Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

THE DRUMMER BOY Written by Calie Scmidt and Illustrated by Alycia Pace

A retelling of a favorite Christmas story, The Drummer Boy, is the story of a little shepherd boy whose dearest possession is a drum. When the Christ Child is born he has no gift to give Him. He decides to sacrifice his only possession, his treasured drum. Mary urges him to play the drum instead of giving it away. He discovers sharing his talent is also a gift of love. — Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

PAPA’S BOOK OF MORMON CHRISTMAS Written by Emma Rae Parker, Illustrated by Alexa Terry Hanson

Six-year-old Alice asks her Papa (Grandpa) to tell her a Christmas story. He starts a traditional story, but she wants one she hasn’t heard before, so between making snow angels, baking cookies, and all the things little girls and their grandpa’s do together, he tells her about being in the Army during World War II and being cut off from his unit behind enemy lines on Christmas Eve. With no family or friends to reach out to, he observed Christmas by reading a gold lettered Book of Mormon given to him by his Papa. That Christmas he made a new friend called Nephi who taught him about love. The illustrations in this little hardback book are delightful.

Emma Parker graduated from Southern New Hampshire University. She was born and raised in Southern California and now lives in Utah. Alexa Hanson is also a California native. She and her husband still live in California where as a freelance artist she has worked with TOMS Shoes and Disney Television Animation Studios — Published by Cedar Fort, Inc.

OLD TESTAMENT ACTIVITY BOOKS

Walnut Springs Press has introduced three great Old Testament activity books for younger children. They’re perfect for a restless child at church, for a child recuperating from an illness, or just for fun. One is filled with Dot-To Dot pictures to sketch and color. One is a series of mazes. And the third one is a mixture of many kinds of activities that will delight a child. The author of these books is Mandy Atkin. –Walnut Springs Press

GENERAL INTEREST (GREAT GIFTS)

Discoveries – Essential Truths for Relationships by H. Wallace Goddard, PHD. Published by Walnut Springs Press

This book written by a professor of family life gives solid counsel, examples and, instructions on ways to be better and happier people, partners, and parents. He shows where research and God’s instructions merge to build stronger, more workable relationships. He gives positive solutions for solving problems in our marriages, challenges with our children, and in dealing with our own self-doubts and inadequacies.

Goddard earned his PHD in family and human development at Utah State University. He created many family development programs used across the country and was awarded the Outstanding Family Life Educator Award by the National Council on Family Relations. –Walnut Springs Press

MY FAVORITE THINGS (100 Journal Prompts)

My Favorite Things is a different kind of journal. Instead of a diary format this book gives prompts to help owner write about specific things that are highlights of the person’s life. Highlights include prompts such as “My favorite things that make me laugh,” “My favorite ways to unwind”, “My happiest moments”, “My favorite childhood memories”, and many more. –Covenant Communications, Inc.,