A friend asked me the other day, “What special things do you do for your kids during Christmas time? Any traditions or activities you only do at this time of year?” I thought immediately of my Christmas book box. This is a box of books that I pull out every December 1st. They are all Chrirstmas-themed and they are read at night, cuddled in bed with dear son. Granted, a lot of these are now waaaaay too young for him, but as long as he enjoys them I will keep reading them! And I’ll admit, some of them I read just because I love them and remember them from when I was younger (Mr. Willowby I’m talking about YOU!)
So here they are, it is by no means a complete list of all the fantastic books there are out in bookstores, but they are just the ones we’ve enjoyed.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
Really no explanation needed is there? And I am talking about the original, first published in 1957.
Best if read in the Boris Karloff voice when you impersonate the Grinch!
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
In the days of horse and buggy in a remote town out west, a man came riding into the small community and began to open a store. Everyone was wondering what was he going to sell? To the delight of the children in town it was a candy store! At Christmas time the man had a mission and a message with the candy canes he sold. (Christian theme)
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Totally charming book about a very wealthy man who orders a giant tree for his mansion. But it doesn’t fit in his elegant home! No matter, the butler lops off the top and tosses it out. But the upstairs maid thinks it is perfect for her attic room, but alas! It doesn’t quite fit. No matter, she trims off the top….and another character finds it and so on. Try it with different voices for a cute and fun read. (get the 2000 hardcover version with the this cute cover)
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
Why does your snowman look so bedraggled the next morning? Maybe he’s had a wild night of whooping it up on the slopes with the other snowmen in town? They’ve been playing baseball, sledding, ice skating and up to all kinds of activities all night long! It might take you a loooong time to get through all the pages because the author’s have hidden pictures in each page. They are very cleverly hidden and this mama spent a ridiculous amount of time hunting for them all! Totally addicting.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
A woodworker sticks to himself in a frontier town. He’s grumpy and everyone steers clear of him. But a certain widow needs a nativity scene carved for herself and her son by Christmas. She and her chatty little boy aren’t intimidated by him. We learn why he’s so grumpy—it was heartache in his life. But the miracle happens while he carves the nativity set. I always cry reading this. (But then, I cry at Hallmark movies so that’s not saying much!) Totally heart warming. Christian theme.
When Mother Was Eleven-Foot-Four by Jerry Camery-Hoggatt
Boys with a single mom remember how she always struggled to make things special for them. Then one Christmas, they start to see life from her perspective and they try to make Christmas special for her. Part memoir, part lesson, it’s fully perfect. Unfortunately, it’s only available as a Kindle book now (but you might find it on eBay or Paperbackswap.com).
Erik’s Christmas Gift Exchange by Jeanne St. John Taylor
All the kids in class are going to the mall to buy secret gifts for each other. But ewwwww! Erik has drawn Todd’s name—the kid nobody likes. He doesn’t want to get Todd a good gift, so he picks out a boring bouncy ball. With his leftover money he buys himself a cool car. But….then he hears Todd asking the teacher about Christmas and how to have Jesus in his heart and Erik has second thoughts.
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
This one we enjoy as an audio book. (Okay, I’ll admit it- it’s a cassette- but perfect for long car trips!) It tells about a boy who is out in the mountains and gets injured when a big snow storm blows up. Fortunately he finds a snug, cozy cabin where an old woman lives. For three days while the storm rages she tells him about God’s plan for all creation, particularly Christmas. Great summary and overview that explains the why of it all.
This list isn’t even close to all the books we read, but they are some of my favorites. Probably because they are either incredibly charming and/or teach a lesson and encourage kids to think of others and remind them what Christmas is really about.