November 26, 2020

A Favorite Children’s Advent/Christmas Book

By Chaplain Mike

My entry for a recommended Christmas book is one we read for our children when they were young. It was written by one of my favorite authors, a woman renowned in children’s literature: Madeleine L’Engle. Her award-winning book, A Wrinkle in Time, is a classic that still captures my imagination.

L’Engle’s Christmas book, The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas, is simpler and homelier, a lovely “Christmas card” of a story.

Seven-year-old Vicky Austin loves the Christmas season. Each December, her family does one special thing every day for twenty-four days to prepare for the celebration of the Christ-child’s birth. From opening the doors on the Advent Calendar, to making cookies, to fashioning a homemade Christmas mobile, to getting out the Christmas mugs for dinner, each day in December provided something the children enjoyed with the family.

This year is extra special because Vicky has been chosen to play the angel in the Christmas pageant. At first she is gawky, but through her mother’s help she gains confidence and coordination, and soon people are saying she may be one of the best angels the pageant has ever seen.

Speaking of mother, she is expecting a baby of her own, and it looks like the baby might be born close to Christmas. If it comes at the wrong time, Vicky fears, it will spoil the holiday. Mother will have to be in the hospital; and she won’t be able to attend the pageant, cook the Christmas dinner, and be with the family for all the special activities they enjoy. How could they possibly have Christmas without mother?

I have to admit, I still enjoying reading this simple look at Christmas through a child’s eyes each year. It gives a wonderful sense of what Advent is all about — an uncertain future, hard-won hope, and practices that prepare our hearts for Christ’s coming.

Read it with your kids or grandkids this year. Or just enjoy it yourself.


  1. One of my fav. authors too! I love this book and both families that cross over in her books. I love Crosswicks themed series as well