The Characters of Christmas

The Unlikely People Caught Up in the Story of Jesus

Learn Something New This Christmas

We hate to admit it, but after years, sometimes even decades, of reading the same Luke 2 story of Christmas, we get a little bored—we lose some of the awe we ought to have when discussing the greatest miracle in history. That’s why The Characters of Christmas was written, to help you take a fresh look at the Christmas story by getting to know the minor characters that played a part in Jesus’ birth, such as Zechariah and Elizabeth, the Shepherds, and Herod.

As you slow down, engage your imagination, and enter into the stories of these women and men, you’ll see the most important character—Jesus Christ—with new eyes. And with discussion questions and a Christmas song suggestion at the end of each chapter, it’s perfect for engaging your whole family. Break free from the familiar, and discover something you never knew about the story you’ve always heard.


Available at your favorite retailers:

Download Free Church Series Kit

This Christmas, have your church discover the unlikely people caught up in the story of Jesus. Transform your church into The Characters of Christmas theme! Download a free package of digital files, including: 

  • Study Guides
  • Banners
  • Invite cards
  • Presentation graphics
  • Digital slides
  • Nativity Scene


If you need a trusted printer, my friends at Wax Family Printing would love to help you out. They’ve even put together a few packages to make it even easier.


We get to enjoy Christmas only once a year, so let’s enjoy it to the hilt! Daniel Darling will help you savor your Christmas more richly with The Characters of Christmas. What I love about this book is how Dan helps us get past the Christmas story stereotypes. Instead, he shows us “something wonderfully ordinary” about each person in the story—except for Jesus, the extraordinary Friend of ordinary sinners like us.

Ray Ortlund
President, Renewal Ministries
An elegant, rich mixture of how almighty God used common people with uncommon faith to invade humanity and display His grandeur. The Characters of Christmas provides a fresh introduction to those who helped make Christmas famous. You’ll never think of Joseph, Mary, Herod (“The Monster of Christmas”), and the surprising members of Jesus’ family in the same way. Several of Dan’s chapters would make dinner table reading in the weeks leading up to the celebration of Jesus’ arrival.
Dennis Rainey
Cofounder, FamilyLife
This book offers fresh insights on a familiar story that will bring meaning to the season.
Nancy Guthrie
Author and Bible Teacher

One of the most wonderful qualities of Scripture is how utterly human its characters are. People with complex stories of deep sorrow and unquenchable hope are pursued and found by the God who made them, and restored by the Messiah who redeems them. Dan Darling does a wonderful service here to both the biblical text and the reader by mining the details and illuminating the significance of the key figures found in the story of the Savior’s birth. Read this one every year.

Russ Ramsey
Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church
In The Characters of Christmas, Daniel Darling invites us to look fresh at the Nativity story through the stories of the ordinary characters who represent each of us so well. Pick up this book and put yourself in the shoes of Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, the shepherds, and others, and you’ll find your gaze redirected to the One who brings meaning to our Christmas: Jesus.
Asheritah Ciuciu
Founder, One Thing Alone Ministries
Often the personalities in Scripture we think we know the best are the ones we least understand, most especially the characters of the Christmas stories. Dan listens to their lives in a fresh way in the pages of this book and every Christmas from now on will be better for it.
Michael Card
Songwriter and Bible Teacher
Daniel Darling retells the familiar Christmas story with wonderful freshness and warmth, relating how the characters to whom we point are themselves pointing to Another. This is more than another sentimental reimagining of shepherds in bathrobes and angels with plastic wings; it is a celebration of the glory of God being poured out of earthen vessels that make His grace shine by the reality of how unlikely they are to be carriers of it.
Bryan Chapell
Pastor, Grace Presbyterian Church (PCA)

Media Inquiries

For press inquiries regarding The Characters of Christmas, please contact Kathryn Eastman.