Holidays are so exciting your first year of marriage. You get to choose traditions for a whole new family! My husband Joey and I received inspiration for one of my favorite Christmas traditions while we watched our first Christmas Devotional together 10 years ago.
In that devotional, one of the speakers mentioned that President Thomas S. Monson (the Prophet and leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) reads three books every year during Christmastime: A Christmas Carol, The Mansion, and the Gospel of Luke in the Bible. We decided if such a busy, wise, and caring person felt that this was an important use of his time each year then we wanted to do it too!
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As newlyweds, we read these books snuggled up on the couch drinking cocoa or on drives to visit family. Now that we have more cuddle buddies we usually read aloud in the hall when they’re tucked in bed (otherwise it becomes a wrestling match) or in the van while we look at Christmas lights. We know so many quotes by heart. These stories have become a favorite part of our children’s Christmas memories too.
We’ve talked about other fun and beautiful Christmas traditions at This Blue Dress, but if I could only pick one that makes me want to be a better follower of Christ and to keep Christmas in my heart all the year–reading these books would be my top pick. I highly encourage you to give it a try!
In case you aren’t able to squeeze this in this year (or just for your enjoyment!) I’d like to share a few quotes from these books to brighten your season.
Mind! I don’t mean to say that I know, of my own knowledge, what there is particularly dead about a door-nail. I might have been inclined, myself, to regard a coffin-nail as the deadest piece of ironmongery in the trade. But the wisdom of our ancestors is in the simile; and my unhallowed hands shall not disturb it, or the Country’s done for. You will therefore permit me to repeat, emphatically, that Marley was as dead as a door-nail.” -Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
The Spirit of Christmas Dickens
The Mercy in The Mansion
All three of these books are available to read for free online! We have also loved collecting other lovely versions over time. Some current favorites: this beautiful collector’s edition of A Christmas Carol and the illustrated 100th Anniversary edition of The Mansion (both abridged and unabridged included).
I hope these books can bless your family during this Christmas Season.
As Tiny Tim said, May God Bless Us, Everyone!
Please note: A Christmas Carol talks about death in a beautiful, poignant way. I personally find it appropriate for children, but it can lead to some serious questions and discussions. I have also struggled with reading it aloud in seasons of grief. However, I’ve always found reading it to be a softening, wonderful influence in my life and worth it for me to work through those feelings. If you are grieving the death of a loved one, this could be a difficult read for this season. I am sorry for your sadness and loss.