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Advent Books Every Family Needs

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Christmas is one of the most profound pro-life feasts of the year. But how can you bring out the pro-life themes for your kids in the midst of all the busyness of the season?

By Laura Kizior and Mary Kizior


At Christmas, we celebrate the coming of the Christ Child. Jesus entered this world as a tiny baby, weak and vulnerable. He understood what it meant to rely completely on the generosity of other people. The birth of Jesus reminds us of the special love that God has for little children and how we have a duty to protect and defend the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society.

Here are five stories to share with your family during Advent and Christmastide to help your family reflect on the real “reason for the season” and the preciousness of every human being’s life.

For the little kids


“Little Star” by Anthony DeStefano

This sweet picture book tells the story of the first Christmas from the perspective of the stars in the heavens. Little Star is so small that the other stars ignore him when they talk about the new King they heard will be born in Bethlehem. When they see the baby Jesus in the stable, they refuse to shine their light on him because he doesn’t look like a king in such humble surroundings.

Little Star is the only one who shines his light for Jesus until he burns out. Because Little Star gave his light for Jesus, we honor him with stars on the tops of our Christmas trees. This book shows us the importance of giving our lives for Christ, no matter what the cost.


“Mortimer’s Christmas Manger” by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

The secular world teaches us to think of Christmas in terms of how many presents we will receive. Sometimes we can get so caught up in our excitement over the presents, the tree and the parties that we forget the people around us. In “Mortimer’s Christmas Manger,” Mortimer the mouse is tired of living in a cold dark hole and goes in search of a new home. One day, Mortimer stumbles across a wonderful little house — but it is full of statues of shepherds and other figures. Mortimer tosses the statues out and curls up in the soft straw of the manger. When he overhears the story of the first Christmas, Mortimer is ashamed that he threw Jesus out into the cold just like everyone else.

“Mortimer’s Christmas Manger” gives readers a challenge — when we see the poor, the homeless, and people with disabilities, will we ignore them like everyone else, or will we put our trust in God and reach out to those who are suffering the most in our world?


“The Baker’s Dozen: A Colonial American Tale” by Heather Forest

Van Anderson is a successful baker. People come from miles around to buy Van Anderson’s famous St. Nicholas cookies, making him one of the richest bakers in the area. But Van Anderson became greedy and began to bake his famous cookies with a little less of the expensive ingredients.

One day, an old woman visits the bakery and when Van Anderson tries to cheat her with the cheap cookies, she tells him that his business will suffer. It is only when Van Anderson learns his lesson and repents of his greed that his good fortune returns. “The Baker’s Dozen” is a great story about the importance of honesty and care for others.

For the older kids


“The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis

Not a typical Christmas book, this charming fantasy novel explores Christianity and moral themes through the adventures of the four Pevensie children as they discover the magical land of Narnia. Imagine what it would be like to have 100 years of winter, but no Christmas? The evil White Witch has taken over Narnia  and covered everything in snow and ice. The White Witch thinks her power is impenetrable, but slowly her enchantments begin to weaken as the Great Lion Aslan returns to Narnia once again.

The Pevensie children meet many talking beasts, mythical creatures, and even Father Christmas, who gives them an important lesson in courage and bravery. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” remains as a powerful reminder that good will conquer evil in the end.

Need more? Download an e-lesson with discussion questions and other activities about this book from the Culture of Life Studies Program.


“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

Ebeneezer Scrooge is a miser. His greed blinds him to the beauty and worth of the people around him. From the poor Christmas caroler to his employee Bob Cratchit, Scrooge treats everyone he meets with contempt. One Christmas Eve, Scrooge is given a chance to change his life when he is visited by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. With the help of the Spirits, Scrooge sees how his cruel attitude towards the plight of the poor brings about the needless death of the innocent child Tiny Tim.

Although the example of Scrooge is extreme, it illustrates a common attitude in today’s society about “overpopulation.” When we realize that every person is a gift, created in the image and likeness of God, we can finally understand that there is no such thing as an “extra” person.

Need more discussion guides? Visit the Culture of Life Studies Program for pro-life resources for the whole family.

Follow Jerry Windley-Daoust:

Publisher, Gracewatch Media

Jerry Windley-Daoust is a writer, editor, and father of five. He writes essays and stories at Windhovering and is the show-runner for Gracewatch Media, a small Catholic publisher. You can follow his latest publishing projects at gracewatch.org.

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