It’s an early morning in December, still dark outside. I curl up into the overstuffed couch, wrapped in my pink fleece robe. Efforts to get up and be productive are more of a challenge these days with cold, gray mornings and frigid temperatures icing the windows.

I force my sleep-fogged eyes to focus on what I’m reading. Moments of quiet before the day is off and running are an antidote for the winter darkness. In addition to reading my Bible, I’m also reading Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas. I’m so pleased that I received a copy of this book from the publisher to review.  I find myself looking forward to quiet moments each day. I don’t even mind that it’s still dark!

At first, I thought this book would be a more typical seasonal devotional–short, meaningful stories with a takeaway biblical principle. Though I always enjoy a good devotional book, Watch for the Light is different. This book is a collection of readings from a wide variety of classic and contemporary sources: C.S. Lewis, Dorothy Day, Philip Yancey, T. S. Eliot, Annie Dillard, Martin Luther, and many others. There’s a selection for each day of the Christmas season, starting with the last week of November through the first week of January.

These writings are no-fluff. Some are poems, some are longer essays, but rich in meaning and well worth taking time to read and ponder. I’ve decided I’m not in a hurry to complete this book on schedule, though you could easily read individual selections when you have time–and still find it valuable.

I’ll probably be reading Watch for the Light into January. It will be meaningful to consider the thoughts and inspirations of these novelists, poets, theologians, and composers from long ago and from more contemporary times. I’m reminded in these dark days preceding Christmas, to watch for the light, the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. If you were going to add one book to your Advent and Christmas reading, I highly recommend this one. As the editors point out, “it will give new meaning to the phrase ‘holiday preparations.'”