Christmas Around the Fire

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Advent is just a few short days away. When the season arrives, I am always looking for a book to guide me and accompany through the 24 days leading up to Christmas. Many do not consider Advent to be a penitential season, but it is. We should use the time to focus on preparing ourselves for the coming of our Lord and Savior, and this is why I look for particular books to use. This year I’ve decided to use a new one from Ryan N. S. Topping called Christmas Around the Fire: Stories, Essays, & Poems for the Season of Christ’s Birth.

In the book, Ryan invites readers to turn off our devices, push aside the hustle and bustle, and focus on the reason for the season. How does he accomplish this? Ryan has compiled some of the best writing out there centered upon the Christmas season.

What you will find in the 285 pages of this is a collection of stories, poems, and essays that touch upon the heartstrings and the mind. They portray the warmth of Christmases long ago and point one’s mind to the real reason for the season. What follows is just a sampling of what it contains.

Stories include:

  • The Modern Scrooge, G.K. Chesterton
  • The Spirit of Christmas Past, Charles Dickens
  • The First Christmas Tree, Henry Van Dyke
  • The Selfish Giant, Oscar Wilde
  • A Canadian Christmas, Ryan N.S. Topping

Essays include:

  • Advent Calls Us to Silence, Pope Benedict XVI
  • Rejoice, the Lord is Near, Pope St. John Paul II
  • A Christmas Sermon, St Augustine
  • Great is the Lord’s Love for Us, St. Bernard of Clairvaux
  • Keeping Christmas Local, Joseph Pearce

Poems include:

  • That Holy Thing, George MacDonald
  • The House of Christmas, G.K. Chesterton
  • The Shepherds had an Angel, Christina Rossetti
  • The Oxen, Thomas Hardy
  • The Three Kings, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This Christmas take some time away from the daily grind and use these upcoming days to focus. Focus on family, focus on faith, focus on the coming of the Lord. Christmas Around the Fire is a unique mix of heartwarmingly entertaining stories and poems to some very thought-provoking essays that shed light on the true meaning of Christmas. Join me this Advent with this refreshing book.

Where to Find

I received  a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Read my complete archives at

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