Perspective. Such a powerful word.
To be able to see something from someone else’s perspective is so important to being a kind and respectful person. It is something I’m constantly working on with my children. When they have an argument (which they, of course, never do), I try to help them put themselves in the other person’s shoes and imagine the situation from their perspective.
In our literature and history lessons, we often take the time to write a journal entry or story from a different perspective to try and really understand the events we’re learning about.
I find perspective can also be really helpful when a story or situation has become too familiar. Today, I’m sharing over at OneFunMom how looking at the Christmas story from different perspectives has made it fresh and challenging to me this year. The post I’ve written there comes from a deep place in my heart that I don’t often write from, so I’m feeling a little nervous about it.
I’m much more comfortable reading and sharing about other people’s writing from the deep places in their hearts! Hence, my deep love of books and my joy over our Booknificent community that gets together and shares about books each Thursday!! So, I thought I’d highlight for you a few of my favorite retellings of the Christmas story that other people have written! 🙂 (Links to Amazon are affiliate links.)
The Animals First Christmas Board Book – This is a sweet little board book for the youngest readers that uses the lyrics of a traditional children’s Christmas carol dating from the twelfth century, The Friendly Beasts. It is a very sweet read that highlights the idea that no one is too small or insignificant; we all have something to give.
The Animals’ Christmas Eve (Little Golden Book) – This was a favorite of my sister’s and mine when we were kids, but I’m sad to say that the illustrations are different now! To see the one I know and love, you can go to my sister’s blog and see her review and pictures of our old book. I do still love the story and these illustrations are fine – they’re just not the ones I remember, you know?
The Crippled Lamb – I love this story from Max Lucado about a small lamb’s perspective of Jesus’ birth. My kids want to read this one over and over again even though it brings tears to their eyes every time.
Jacob’s Gift – This is another one from Max Lucado, told from the perspective of the innkeeper’s son. Max Lucado is a master at seeing a story from many angles, and I love that he shares his gift so beautifully with children (and with me!)
Mary’s First Christmas – To be completely honest, I bought and love this book completely for the illustrations. Tim Ladwig is a personal friend of mine, and I could stare at just the cover of this book for days! That said, I do also enjoy the story. Walter Wangerin Jr. has a very different way of seeing things than I do, and he always opens my eyes to new facets of Biblical stories.
The Small One – I’m usually not a fan of books made from Disney movies, but I never saw this movie and I absolutely love this book. It tells the story of that first Christmas from the perspective of a young boy who needs to find a home for his beloved donkey.
The Innkeeper – This is a heart-wrenching poem by John Piper for adults. It explores the terror that followed Jesus’ birth for families in Bethlehem when Herod called for the death of all the boys under 2 years old in his efforts to get rid of Jesus. This is a powerful read with a hope-filled conclusion. The link above is the Amazon link, but you can get this poem free in pdf format from John Piper’s website. It is definitely worth the short amount of time it will take you to read it!
Unafraid: Mary (The Lineage of Grace Series #5) – And finally, one last recommendation for adults is Francine Rivers’ novella on the life of Mary. I re-read this nearly every Christmas as I find it so powerful to put myself in Mary’s shoes on that first Christmas.
How about you? Do you have any favorite “perspective books” of the Christmas story?