A Better December: Proverbs to Brighten Christmas

by Steven Estes

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Know someone frazzled, sad, or lonely this Christmas? A Better December by Steve Estes applies Solomon’s Proverbs to holiday stresses. Playful and tiny, this illustrated work would be a good gift for your unbelieving friends as it gently introduces Jesus during a month when they are more receptive.

Combining true, heart-warming stories with pen-and-ink illustrations, the book uncovers and answers our December longings.

Beginning with bite-sized chapters of Solomon's advice to frazzled, lonely people at Christmas, Steven Estes presents the ancient sage as penning his blockbuster Proverbs to help future readers through holiday stress and even sadness. Meant to be shared with all who long for a better December, it points the way to true comfort and a true home.


Steven D. Estes, MDiv, is the senior pastor at Community Evangelical Free Church in Elverson, PA; a conference speaker; the author of Called to Die; and the coauthor with Joni Eareckson Tada of A Step Further and When God Weeps. He and his wife, Verna, have eight children. 


"I've found it! The perfect gift for special friends at the season of the year that's so full of delights and stresses. This unique little gem of a book seems to have managed lightning strikes on every page—surprise lightning strikes of wit and wisdom that wouldn't let me put it down until I'd explored it to the end, an end that came all too soon. Steve, you've done it again—invented a new genre and made it soar."
Robertson McQuilkin, President Emeritus, Columbia International University

"In a uniquely original style, Steve seamlessly merges poetry, narration, and Scripture, with strikingly creative phrasing. A master of prose, poetry, and the Bible, Steve has written a little book that bends and blends genres. A Better December is a winning combo of insightful content about how to 'do life' (Steve's phrase) and innovative style. We enjoyed this little book so much that when we finished it, we immediately reread it—for its profound biblical tracing from Solomon to Someone, for its emphatic message about 'unstuffing' life, and for its fresh use of language and memorable style."
Don and Jenny Killgallon, coauthors of the Sentence-Composing textbook series. Don teaches writing at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

"In listening and in reading I respond to brevity, clarity, conviction, common sense, and love. That describes both the Proverbs of Solomon and my friend Steve Estes's A Better December. In this little book Steve applies his heart to blending Proverbs with Christmas and delivers a strong dose of longing and joy."
Max McLean, President & Artistic Director, Fellowship for the Performing Arts

Reviews (14)

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Compassion, Celebration, and Counsel for a Joy Filled Christmas

Steven Estes captures the full gambit of feelings that accompany the Christmas season in A Better December: Proverbs to Brighten Christmas. Sage counsel from King Solomon's writing.

Over the years I have experienced the same frustrations and the excitement of family Christmases Steven describes. I am grateful for a Christian heritage that shaped my values, attitudes and outlooks, especially as I face the Christmas season, with its commercialism, celebrations, traditions, and ceremonies.

Steven Estes brings together a combination of comfort, humor, and hope as he illustrates eternal truths through the inspired proverbs of Solomon, guiding the reader into the blessed truth of God's gift, His Son, our redeemer.

In this pre-Christmas season I am facing new personal challenges. Reflecting on the heartwarming, sometimes heartbreaking, stories included in A Better December has given me a new appreciation for the message of the season - the birth of Jesus, the promised savior.
Posted by Richard R. Blake on 10th Jun 2019

Offers Biblical wisdom from Solomon as a cure for the holiday woes

Don’t look now but December is right around the corner. This time of year can be as stressful and frantic as it is enjoyable and memorable. And as the pace of life quickens for everyone, the stress and panic seem to outweigh the peace and quiet.

Steven Estes has offered us a short but poignant book to help us have "A Better December." He looks to the Biblical wisdom expressed by Solomon in Proverbs as a cure for the holiday woes. In just over 80 brief pages, Estes provides an extended meditation on a Christian vision for this time of year. With poetic verse (at times), and personal stories, Estes crafts a masterful tale that is disarming, fresh and inspiring. Each of the brief chapters reads like an essay or reflection and the takeaways are direct yet unscripted.

The book is short, gift-sized, you could say. It would adorn a coffee table if larger. The simple yet alluring sketches from illustrator Sarah Bland Halulko make this small book a joy to look at and page through.

It is the perfect gift book for the non-reader and reader alike. It points the interested to a few additional resources at the end, and encourages us all to find true life in Christ. The book would make for a great evangelistic aid or conversation starter and brings Solomon’s wisdom to bear on the contemporary world with unequaled ease. The writing style will make the book accessible to all and a joy to page through. For those looking for some inspirational reading this Christmas, look no further than this truly unique offering.
Posted by R. Hayton on 10th Jun 2019

Get it now & prepare your heart for Christmas

I know I'm going to like a book when I read the introduction and smile, even chuckle a bit out loud when I'm all by myself. And it gets better from there. Estes has authored a delightful little book that uses the Proverbs of Solomon to help us think about Christmas. Yes, that's right: Christmas.

He writes about gifts, contentment, children and perfectionism. The Proverbs speak into longings, disappointments and changes. I'm really quite taken by this short, well-illustrated book. It's probably one of those little coffee-table sized books, but it would make a great gift for Christmas. It's meditations can help prepare the heart to celebrate Jesus' birth, with such thoughts regarding contentment.

All the while, Estes is masterfully working to get us to see Jesus. Because this is not only what Christmas is all about, it's what Proverbs is ultimately all about.

The Women's Readers Group at Cornerstone EFC is going to be reading this in late November/early December. I look forward to hearing from them their thoughts. I know this, I can highly commend this book to you.
Posted by Kevin Sorensen on 10th Jun 2019

Additional info

SKU: 1025
Availability: Usually ships within 24 hours
Weight: 0.45 LBS
Width: 6.30
Height: 6.30
Depth: 0.35
Author: Steven Estes
ISBN-13: 978-1-936768-67-7
ISBN-13 (eBook): 978-1-936768-60-8
Publication Date: 10/01/2013
Format: Hardback
Page Count: 96
Read a Sample: https://newgrowthpress.com/content/Samples/A-Better-December-Sample.pdf