My favorite Christmas picks from Deseret Book (+a giveaway!)

Here are a few books that I’m using around here to a) celebrate Christmas or b) give as Christmas gifts or c) keep for myself. I wanted to share what they’re about and give you a chance to win some Christmas music too!

If you have someone on your list who likes inspiration with a no-nonsense approach, I recommend this new book by President Packer:


This book includes some of President Packer’s most significant messages, delivered over a span of twenty-five years, on such topics as the plan of salvation, listening to the voice of the Spirit, spiritual growth, and marriage and family. Typical of his unwavering style, he tackles some of the challenges the world faces in the 21st century, such as the disease of profanity and the need for personal responsibility. He thoughtfully and powerfully address many major doctrinal, moral, and social issues of our day. At a time when the adversary has succeeded in “confusing the choices of man,” President Packer shares timely insights gained from many decades of serving as a special witness of Jesus Christ in the highest councils of the Church.


If you enjoy biographies or books with a journal-style, this new book about President Henry B. Eyring’s book is really charming. I love the drawings he did and the sweet way he talks about his family and the hand of God in his life.

Years of his journals form the backbone of this intimate biography, a candid look at his walk through life with his beloved companion, Kathy. “The journal shows how a good-but-imperfect man works each day to win divine approval,” write the authors, and this window into his past provides unforgettable insights about the man the Lord has shaped him to become. Henry B. Eyring’s professional, academic, and personal experiences all combined to make him uniquely qualified for the responsibilities that would become his. And Kathy, always at his side, matching his intellect and spirituality, has influenced him profoundly and contributed to his life mission in unmatchable ways. Their story, told largely in his own words, vividly demonstrates the power of the Lord and the example set by one who strives to follow His commands.


If you spend any time online, you have probably seen some buzz about the place of women in the Church. Some of the confusion comes from voices claiming that women should hold the priesthood. I happen to think that women already have a lot of power–both within themselves and within the Church–and already have access to all the power and blessings available through the priesthood. (I’ve written my own thoughts here and here about some of that.) Well it turns out that someone else has already written about the real doctrine behind this issue, and done it well. I’ve long been a Sheri Dew fan because I think she’s a great example of a powerful woman–even by the world’s definition of power, but most especially in the spiritual sense–who uses her gifts and stewardship to truly influence the world in righteous ways. I have to admit I have not completely finished this book yet, but I have found myself spending all my time in it so far by nodding, saying, “Yes. Yes.,” and highlighting and underlining things. So I feel safe in giving it a hearty recommendation. Definitely ask for it or buy it for yourself for Christmas.


For those who seek greater understanding about women and their relationship to the priesthood, Sheri states that the place to start is with the core doctrine of the Church. In this book she discusses the eternal truths that women are vital to the success of the Lord’s Church, that God expects women to receive revelation, and that both men and women have access to God’s highest spiritual blessings. Sheri writes that studying the doctrine of the priesthood will help people find the answers they seek about women and the priesthood, about women in the Church, and about the vital influence righteous women can have in the world.


I love to collect Christmas picture books. This year I got Christmas from Heaven, which tells the very cool true story of a WWII bomber who dropped candy down from the skies to suffering children below. It’s heartwarming and has cool vintage-style artwork. The book makes for a great read-aloud along with good discussion about kindness, giving, and sacrifice–all appropriate Christmas themes. It also comes with DVD (info below)!

Christmas-from-Heaven_Berlin Candy Bomber

Christmas from Heaven is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn land, the story of Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the US Army Air Corps who was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which US forces flew much-needed supplies into a Soviet-blockaded Berlin. Fashioning small parachutes, he and his crew sent them floating down as they approached the Berlin airport, wiggling the wings of their C-54 as a signal to the children that their anticipated cargo would soon arrive. Word soon spread, and donations of candy and other supplies poured in to the “Candy Bomber” from sympathetic Americans. Lt. Halvorsen’s small idea became a great symbol of hope not only to German children in a bombed-out city but to all those who yearned for freedom.

Famed broadcast journalist and author Tom Brokaw brings this remarkable true story to life in a stunning live performance with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, captured on the accompanying DVD. Also included in the book is a template and directions for creating your own “Candy Bomber” parachutes.


And finally, what is Christmas without good–really good–music? Nothing is more classic that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir belting out Christmas favorites. The only thing that makes it better is when they team up with amazing individual talent: in this case, Alfie Boe of Les Miserables fame. I could listen to the “Bring Him Home” track on repeat for hours.  Deseret Book has offered to do a giveaway for my readers. Yay!!

Enter by leaving me a comment below telling me what is your very favorite Christmas song and you will be entered in a drawing. Two individuals will be chosen to win the DVD or CD of Home for the Holidays. Drawing will close Sunday night at 11:59 pm.

Home for the Holidays DVD Home for the Holidays CD

As seen and heard by more than 80,000 people in the LDS Conference Center, Home for the Holidays is the live recording of The Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s 2012 Christmas concert. This year’s release features internationally acclaimed TV personality Tom Brokaw and Tony Award–winning Les Miserables tenor Alfie Boe.

The Choir also welcomed surprise-guest Gail “Hal” Halvorsen, the renowned Candy Bomber of World War II. Together with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square, these three special guests delivered an unprecedented excitement to the stage that brought all in attendance to their feet more than once during the night.


Good stuff available from Deseret Book for Christmas, folks. Make a comment below to win Home for the Holidays, and all these items are available at your local Deseret Book or at their website.


19 thoughts on “My favorite Christmas picks from Deseret Book (+a giveaway!)

  1. I have a very favorite secular Christmas song, and then religious Christmas hymn. Sleigh Ride is the first one- I love how you can hear the horses clomping along, the trumpets make the sound of the horse whinny, the sound of the sleigh bells, and even the crack of the whip. Its magical to me how it can be orchestrated so you get the feel of an actual sleigh ride.
    The second is Silent Night. I like it because it is the first Christmas Hymn that my children could sing all the way through- and I love the simplicity of the song. Just like the Gospel. Its simple in all its power.

  2. My favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night, but I love many others as well.
    As for the books, I am currently reading Sheri Dew’s book (enjoying it a lot). Several of the others are on my to-read list as well. I wish I had more time to read this time of year (not to mention, time to write!).

  3. I wish that I had seen this list last night 😦 I was on line and placed an order with Deseret Book of all places. I don’t normally buy thing from there but they had exactly what I was looking for, for a gift for someone. I think I might just go back and order Christmas from Heaven as it looks like an awesome book. I love inspirational stories that come from war time struggles. I hadn’t heard of that book so thank you for sharing your list! Have a wonderful Christmas. x

  4. What’s my favourite Christmas song? That’s like asking which is my favourite child?! I love them all really. But when pressured to respond… O Holy Night.

  5. Thank you for the reviews. I have several of them and am hoping for Santa to bring me Pres. Eyring’s. I love journals and what a privilege to be able to enjoy his life through his journals. He’s such an inspiration to me.

  6. It is hard to choose just one! Little Drummer Boy for the nostalgia of my upbringing, but favourite would have to be O Holy Night.

  7. I forgot to list my favorite Christmas songs to be entered in your contest…oops…So here they are!
    Religious: Gabriel’s Message, and Silent Night
    Secular: Do They Know It’s Christmas Time At All?. and John Lennon’s Happy Christmas 🙂

  8. I love Christmas music so it’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’ll say “Silent Night.” My mom has been ward organist forever and every Christmas Sunday she arranges to have “Silent Night” as the closing hymn. The congregation sings in unison on the third verse and she does a special accompaniment. It makes me well up every time.

  9. I cannot say what is my favorite Christmas song for I love so many for so many different reasons. Silent Night is always touching as is O Holy Night, Angels We Have Heard on High, We Three Kings, and the list goes on.

  10. Hi Stephanie. Today my favorite Christmas song is Silent Night. It is one recognized around the world and I love the war story when it was sun on the battle field and soon picked up by the soldiers who were the enemies and before the night was over there were friendships formed.

  11. My favorite Christmas song is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. I love the roles of the Savior mentioned in the 2nd verse, risen with healing in his wings and born that man no more may die.

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