One of our favorite family traditions every December is reading a Christmas story by the Christmas tree. And every December it's one of the traditions that quite often gets skipped due to parties, school events, getting home late, etc.
This year, however, I have vowed to have a slower, quieter, more meaningful Christmas season. I hope. I saw the idea on a couple different blogs of wrapping the Christmas books and then letting kids unwrap one each night to read. The only problem with that was that about half of my stories are just typed ones that I have in a big binder. My girls prefer stories with pictures anyway, so I figured this was a good year to stock up on Christmas books.
Amazon - which just barely gets edged out by Target as my #1 place to shop - has been a great place to find very cheap, used Christmas books. Most of the ones I bought this year were hardcover books in "like new" or "very good" condition and cost $0.01 plus $3.99 shipping. I think the most expensive one I bought was $2.00 plus shipping. Over the past couple of months I've bought 2 or 3 each payday. There are still a few I'd like to get but now that I have enough to get us through Christmas Day I'm not in such a hurry.
I tried to keep the books a secret but my kids quickly figured out what I was doing and quite often I catch them trying to cheat and read them ahead of time. Then I threaten to call Santa Claus, they cry and scream, and order is restored.
Here's the list of what we'll be reading this December:
- Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer retold by Dennis R. Shealy
- Frosty the Snowman retold by Annie North Bedford
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- Santa Claus by Rod Green
- Magical Hands by Marjorie Barker Yoshi (technically not a Christmas book but it's got an inspiring message and we always read it at Christmas)
- Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard H. Schneider
- The Bears' Christmas by Stan & Jan Berenstain
- How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley-Holland
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski (How'd you like that last name?) ***There is also a DVD of this story that Renae found at her local library. Check yours, they may have it also.
- This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten
- Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift by Max Lucado
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
- Who'll Pull Santa's Sleigh Tonight? by Laura Rader
- Mooseltoe by Margie Palatin
- Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
- The Christmas Humbugs by Colleen Monroe
- Christmas Oranges retold by Linda Bethers
- The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne
- The Little Shepherd Girl by Juliann Henry
- The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
- Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera
- Auntie Claus and the Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera
- Humphrey's First Christmas by Carol Heyer
- Russell's Christmas Magic by Rob Scotton
- Jingle Bells Illustrated by Kathleen O'Malley
- Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson will be my 8 O'Clock Club selection (the book I read at bedtime with my kids) this year. A few other classics are missing from this list mostly because we watch them rather than read them in December. Having my husband, Ron, make us hot chocolate, then watching him sing and dance to the hot chocolate song in The Polar Express has become a tradition we would never, ever give up.
____________________Thanks, Annette! If you want to leave us a comment telling us about a book or books your family loves to read for the season, we'd love to hear your recommendations, too.