Reading to my children has always been one of the things I have loved doing. I began to read to them when they were babies. Now, I love reading to my grandchildren. Because I love to read, I want them to feel that same love and enjoyment. Reading expands their horizons and develops their imaginations. In my opinion, books are one of the best gifts a person can give or receive. We always made sure that as part of our children's Christmas, they received books. Over the years we have acquired quite a collection of children's books, and as a sub-category of that collection, there are the Christmas books!
In yesterday's post, one of the ideas I shared was about wrapping up 24 books and opening one each night to read as a countdown to Christmas Eve. Finding 24 Christmas books was no problem for me. So many of them are dear to me and my children. When I mentioned writing this post about good Christmas books for kids, mine all had suggestions of their favorites, and a couple make everyone's list.
Instead of opening a book a night, you could always read a chapter a night. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson is our top pick for a family read together during the holidays. When I was in college and my roommate, Debbie, took a Children's Lit class, she introduced me to this wonderful story. It is hilarious and poignant all at the same time. It teaches us that the story of Christ's birth can touch everyone who hears it. The problem is , you may not be able to stop at one chapter per night!
Lindsey reminded me to include I Believe In Santa Claus. A lot of people have trouble reconciling believing in Santa and focusing on Jesus. I never had any problem with it. I believed in Santa as a child and I have a deep love for Jesus Christ. I never felt like my parents had lied to me, but that they were using Santa to give to me anonymously out of love. When we found out about Santa, it didn't ruin anything for me, (or for my kids) because then we got to share the magic with our younger family members. This book covers the symbols of Christmas and how they point towards Christ. It is beautifully done and will perhaps help some of you who question the practice. It doesn't destroy the tradition for little ones either, but it reminds them that Santa Claus can help them to remember Jesus Christ. It is written by Diane G. Adamson.
The Berenstain Bears have numerous Christmas stories in their line-up. They all teach great values that kids should learn. Kids love the stories! They are very good to read aloud and discuss.
This book, Room for a Little One, tells the Christmas story from the animals point of view. It is written by Martin Waddell and has beautiful illustrations by Jason Crockcroft.
Bear Stays Up For Christmas is a cute story about forest animals keeping their bear friend awake for Christmas since he has always missed it because of hibernation. Karma Williams and illustrator Jane Chapman did an adorable job on this one.
A great book to get the imagination working. The Polar Express adds to the magic of Christmas. You may have seen the movie, but read the book.
I had to include Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas.. This is a great story to memorize, and I am a strong believer in the benefits of memorization. By the time my oldest son was 3 years old, he could recite this story by heart. This is all about the magic of Christmas!
Jan Brett is one of my favorite author/illustrators. Above are some of our favorites from her myriad of Christmas themed books. They are so beautiful and make beautiful gifts. Another perk is that Jan Brett has a website with lots of activities and teaching ideas to use with your children! Look at these cute printable cards. And, here is an advent calendar to print and make. You should really check it out!
My dear friend Ruth, who used to be a school librarian, introduced me to this beautiful story, The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey. It is a touching story of a wood carver who is taught to have hope again by a little boy and his mother. Madalynn says it always makes her cry in the beginning because it seems so sad, and the end also brings tears of happiness. The best way I can describe it is that Jonathan is redeemed from his sadness. I can barely type the author's name, Susan Wojciechowski, has written a beautiful story and the illustrations are gorgeous, by P. J. Lynch.
This is a beautiful story told by Thomas S. Monson. A Christmas Dress For Ellen tells the story of a family living on the prairie of Alberta, Canada who has fallen on hard times. Ellen, the oldest of their 5 children has given up hope of there being any Christmas miracles. But, the love of family and friends provides the miracle that they need. It is a sweet story and the beautiful illustrations are by Ben Sowards.
For those who love Laura Ingalls Wilder, here is a great collection of Christmas stories from that saga. There are other choices from her writings as well, they are all equally heart warming.
I am going to force myself to stop here. There is only one more story that I would add, and that is the true story of Christmas found in Luke chapter 2 of the New Testament. When I asked my son Tyler what his favorite Christmas story is, he said, "The one in Luke." I had to concur. It is a story to read more than just once a year, but all year through.
I hope these suggestions give you a start on adding to your Christmas book collection. Remember to take the time away from the hustle and bustle of the season to read and snuggle with your children and focus on what is important.
The picture above was taken by Aww Snaps! She will be at The Ugly Sweater Express on Dec. 3 with great prices on family photos!
This gallery of Alicia reading with her little 21 month old was photographed by her husband. This little guy is loving his Daniel Tiger Christmas book He is definitely a prodigy.
I hope that you will give some of these books a try. Let us know some of your favorites! We would love to try them. You can never have enough books.
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!