Each year, we promise ourselves this Advent will be different. This Advent, we’ll dust off our Rosary beads more, crack open our Bibles more, or just enjoy quiet time with the Lord more. This Advent, we’ll actually live in prayerful anticipation of Christmas.

Yet each year, December 25 somehow turns into a finish line. It’s the day we can finally collapse on the couch after a month-long triathlon of shopping, baking, and Christmas decorating. We’re left wondering: Where did Advent go?

Let one of these great Advent and Christmas books be your guide this season. Written by Catholic authors, some are rich theological reads you’ll want to spend hours with curled up by the fire. Others are daily devotionals with five-minute Scripture readings and reflections that’ll help you pray each morning before the flurry of activity begins.

No matter which book you read, you’ll draw a little more deeply into the Advent season—and a little closer to Christ who is the true gift of Christmas.

Joy to the World: How Christ’s Coming Changed Everything (and Still Does)

By Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn, a Franciscan University theology professor, illuminates the familiar yet extraordinary event that is Christmas. You’ll explore the scriptural meanings, historical contexts, and important figures—from the lowly shepherds to the Magi—that surround the Nativity of Jesus Christ. By the end, you’ll be ready to welcome Christmas morning with a newfound joy.

The Advent of Christ: Scripture Reflections to Prepare for Christmas

By Dr. Edward Sri

Journey through the Advent and Christmas season with Dr. Edward Sri, a Franciscan University alumnus and well-known Catholic theologian, author, and speaker. Every day, you’ll enjoy a short Scripture passage, insightful reflection, and closing prayer. The Nativity may be a story you’ve heard countless times, but Sri will transport you to the ancient Jewish world and help you see the miracle of Christmas as if for the first time.

The Reed of God

By Caryll Houselander

Grow closer to Our Lady this Advent. Caryll Houselander’s beautiful book about Mary has been a must-read for Catholics since it was first published in 1944. You’ll come to see how Mary acts as an instrument of the Lord and serves as a model for your own relationship with the Father who loves you.

Advent of the Heart: Seasonal Sermons and Prison Writings 1941-1944

By Father Alfred Delp, SJ

On February 2, 1945—the feast of the Presentation—Father Alfred Delp, SJ, was executed in a Nazi prison. Decades later, however, his profound sermons and meditations on Advent continue to live on. Advent of the Heart includes writings that were smuggled from his prison cell, as this heroic priest resisted the Nazis and penned spiritual encouragement for generations of Catholics to come.

Advent and Christmas with Fulton J. Sheen

Edited by Judy Bauer

Bishop Fulton Sheen’s heartfelt charm, humor, and wisdom shine in this selection of his writings about Advent and Christmas. You’ll explore this season like never before and gain practical lessons for how to keep this often-hectic holiday holy.

Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting

By Mother Mary Francis, PCC

Waiting is hard. Luckily, Mother Mary Francis, PCC, has faith-filled advice on how to do just that. Her words will show you the value of both active preparation and patient waiting—and challenge you to keep your gaze on the Lord despite the world’s ever-present distractions.

Meditations for Advent

By Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet

Travel back to Bethlehem in your heart this Advent. From Thanksgiving to Christmas, Bishop Bossuet’s 40 daily meditations will be your road map. You’ll reflect on the creation of the universe, rejoice at the Annunciation and Visitation, and marvel with Mary and St. Joseph at the manager.

Oriens: A Pilgrimage Through Advent and Christmas

By Father Joel Sember

Oriens means “rising” or “dawn” in Latin. Together with Father Sember, you’ll become a pilgrim on a journey toward “the dawn from on high” as you deepen your prayer and learn how to listen to God’s voice in your life, even amid the daily hustle and bustle.

Advent and Christmas: One Day at a Time for Catholic Teens

By Katie Prejean McGrady and Tommy McGrady

Steubenville Youth Conferences speaker Katie Prejean McGrady and her husband, Tommy McGrady, have put together a short, easy Advent devotional perfect for your teen. The McGradys provide Bible quotes, reflections, and activities to help teens look past the Black Friday sales and Hallmark movies to see the true meaning of Christmas.