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Everything Christmas The Christmas Countdown

Creating 25 Days of New Advent Traditions for Families The Feast of Christmas
. 978-0-30772-929-3. Bordon, David & Tom Winters. Everything Christmas. WaterBrook: Random. Oct. 2010. c.320p. illus. ISBN 9780307729293. $14.99. Harding, Margie J. The Christmas Countdown: Creating 25 Days of New Advent Traditions for Families. Paraclete. Oct. 2010. c.112p. illus. ISBN 9781557256980. pap. $15.99. Kelly, Joseph F. The Feast of Christmas. Liturgical. Nov. 2010. c.136p. ISBN 9780814633250. pap. $14.95. REL
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It would be a remarkable year, indeed, if LJ did not see a new batch of Christmas-themed books. Among this season's bumper crop are what amount to two Advent calendars in words: Harding's The Christmas Countdown and Bordon and Winters's Everything Christmas. Harding, a volunteer in Native American missions, has written a kind of spiritual manual for the season, complete with Bible selection, family activity, "adult challenge," and "child prompt." Her book inspires readers to look outward from the needs of the self toward a Christmas that celebrates others. Bordon and Winters's book is a more traditional package, with excerpts from hymns and carols, stories by the likes of William Dean Howells and Pearl S. Buck, and recipes, all keyed to the days leading up to Christmas. In The Feast of Christmas, Kelly (religious studies, John Carroll Univ.; The Origins of Christmas) uses the perspective of history to illuminate the distinction between the secular and the religious vision of Christmas. To Kelly, these visions have often been in harmony and could easily be again: the enemy is really an irrational fear of "commercial" Christmas.
VERDICT For the Christian family, Harding's book is an excellent guide; for the thoughtful Christian believer or pastor, Kelly's book is suitable; and Bordon and Winters's anthology would make a fine gift as applicable.

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