Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday books

I mentioned recently that we started a tradition last year of reading one Christmas book each day in December, and I was asked to share my list of holiday books.

I use a Christmas gift bag or pillowcase, which allows me to not only avoid the waste of wrapping paper, but to make each day's selection that morning when I have a better idea of what our schedule entails. I also like to alternate books that are more focused on the nativity with books that tell about other aspects of Christmas. A couple of our books mention Santa, but we definitely do not emphasize him, and personally I don't want our kids thinking their gifts come from Santa.

In no particular order, here are the children's books in our Christmas collection, with my favorites in bold:

1. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Mike and Jan Berenstain (Excellent lessons!)
2. Badger's Christmas Day by Alan and Linda Perry
3. Usborne Lift-the-flap Nativity by Felicity Brooks
4. The Stable Where Jesus Was Born by Rhonda Gowler Greene (I love the unique rhythm and rhyme.)

5. The Gift of the Christmas Cookie by Dandi Daley Mackall
6. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
7. The Story of Christmas by Vivian French
8. Baby Jesus by Lori C. Froeb
9. Jingle Bells by Iza Trapani (I like that this tells about Christmas celebrations around the world.)
10. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
11. The Story of Christmas by Patricia Pingry (I appreciate that this book talks about why we give gifts.)
12. The First Christmas by Allia Zobel Nolan
13. The Little Red Sled by Tisha Hamilton (A Clifford book--really more about winter, but I include it.)
14. The First Night by B.G. Hennessy
15. Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Christmas by Joy Cowley (Our kids love these fun stories--me, too!)
16. Christmas with You by Julia Hubery
17. Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell (I love this sweet nativity story and the cozy illustrations.)
18. Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson (All the Bear books are big hits around here!)
19. Can You See What I See? by Walter Wick (Pictures where you search for things a la Where's Waldo?)

We have received many of these as gifts, and the others I have purchased the last few years at garage sales and thrift stores. To round out the list to 24, I check out materials from the library. A couple of the days, I put in a DVD instead of a book. And on one of the days, I gave them each a Christmas coloring book, just to mix things up a bit.

I really like this tradition, and it feels manageable to me. I've seen so many neat ideas for daily December activities, but most of them seem overwhelming to me. I'm glad to have found something that works for us, and it doesn't have an ongoing cost once you establish a collection. Or if you plan ahead, you could even check everything out from the library.


Tracy N said...

We have #6 and #10. I don't quite have enough for a 25 day countdown yet! We do have The 12 Days of Christmas in Michigan which is really fun :)

thehomespunheart said...

We have 5, 6 and 10 plus a bunch not listed here. I'm surprised that I've heard of so few of these ... fun idea!

Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

We have #11. One we have is called My March to the Manger. It's about kids playing with their nativity set and bringing a new animal to it each day to prepare for Jesus' arrival.

Steven is against doing Santa, but he doesn't mind teaching Alex about St. Nicholas. He bought a book written by one of his VOM coworkers about the life of St. Nick. I haven't read it yet, as he took it back to work to get it signed, but I guarantee there's a Christian emphasis, as VOM only sells Christian books.

Mom said...

Lovely idea! :)
Love, Mom

Carrie said...

I love this list Carrie! I'm such a huge fan of children's christmas books! I'm going to compare once I get home today and see what I have from your list! Have I mentioned how much I love your posts? They are so relaxing to reads and so uplifting! I love hearing from you when you post!

Carrie said...

I really love your idea of throwing in a coloring book or including the DVDs. That's an awesome idea! Hmmm, perhaps I shall have to tweak my system! :D

kelseylynae said...

I like this idea too! Thanks for your list. Hope you guys have wonderful Christmas.