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It’s 86 degrees out and probably equally as humid. Labor Day passed and schools opened everywhere. I love Christmas so it seemed like a great day to delve into Loving My Actual Christmas by Alexandra Kuykendall.

This book is meant for all of us who start out each Christmas with the desire for it to be “the perfect one”. We pile on the expectations higher than we pile the gifts, only to find ourselves often let down.

In this book, the author offers practical help, suggestions, and inspiration to remove the stress and rediscover the beauty of Christmas and the reason for celebration.

Alexandra Kuykendall calls us back to remember:

There is a rhythm to the Christmas season that is found in the blueprint of the church calendar year known as the liturgical year.

Liturgy is simply the set order of worship. As Joan Chittister says in her liturgical book The Liturgical Year, “Liturgical time raises our sights above the dailiness of life to the essence of life.” (from page 17)

And that is the goal of this book – to raise out sights to the true reason for the Christmas season of Advent.

The book is broken down into the four Advent weeks covering the topics of Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. Each week is then broken down into daily devotionals and suggestions to implement and questions for reflection.

The book also includes practical tips and suggestions for your holiday which includes:

  • Schedule and saving time
  • Finances and gift giving on a budget
  • Relationships and navigating family with grace
  • The logistics of holiday meals and preparations

This book is written very openly and authentically as the author experimented with ways to make Christmas different and more meaningful for her family. She includes Scriptures and questions for reflection, which I found to be meaningful and designed to keep our soul focused on each week of Advent.

Holidays are not always as we hope and can often be difficult or painful. Some years all we need is a book like this one to help us set our homes in order and fall in love with Christmas all over again.

For it is Christmas that brings the reminder of “Emmanuel” – God with us. And God is with us not only during the Christmas season but throughout the entire year. This is a wonderful book to not only change our Christmas season but to change our lives.


** I was provided a copy of this book by Baker Books Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.

Today I am joining … #ChasingCommunity and Tune In Thursday and Salt & Light and Heart Encouragement Thursday and Booknificent Thursday .