Each year, Christmas books arrive even earlier than holiday displays in stores. At the top of this year’s stack:

A Stubborn Sweetness and Other Stories for the Christmas Season by Katherine Paterson (Westminster John Knox, Aug.).This gift book collects stories written by Paterson, the acclaimed author of Bridge to Terabithia and more than 30 other works, for the Christmas season. Most of them were originally read aloud during Christmas services conducted by her husband, John Paterson, a Presbyterian pastor. Katherine Paterson was named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress in 2000.

The Women of Christmas: Experience the Season Afresh with Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna by Liz Curtis Higgs (WaterBrook, Sept.). Bestselling author Higgs, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, offers a fresh holiday focus, looking at the women who play key roles in the story of the birth of Jesus taken from the Gospel of Luke. Higgs’s book also contains study guide questions.

The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (Tyndale, Sept.). Voskamp brings her trademark lyricism to the holiday in a book that lends itself to reading during the season of Advent in preparation for Christmas. Voskamp suggests making a Jesse tree, a symbol of the family lineage of Jesus.

In what fans may well perceive as a holiday gift, Higgs and Voskamp team up in a one-hour webcast, “Christmas at the Farm,” to be broadcast on their Web sites, www.annvoskamp.com and www.lizcurtishiggs.com, on Thursday, Nov. 21, at noon EST.