This year we’re trying a new Christmas tradition at my house. At least I hope it will become a tradition. We’ll see how it goes….
In years past I’ve tried various Christmas countdowns–Advent calendars and Jesse trees and the like–and they’ve just not clicked for our family. The daily activity always seemed like one more thing to get done instead of a meaningful way to prepare for Christmas.
But our whole family loves to read–even the baby–and a nightly story is already part of the bedtime routine. So this year, my husband and I wrapped a gigantic pile of Christmas books (most of which we already own) and we’re putting them under the tree tonight. Starting December 1, we’ll unwrap one every night, until Christmas Day. This will be our Christmas countdown.
The challenge with a literary countdown for my family is the range of ages: the baby is one, but my oldest is nearly 9, so this list includes quite a few board books, but some chapter books, too.
- The Night Before Christmas board book by Clement C. Moore
- One Winter’s Day by M. Christina Butler
- The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. (The hardcover is $10 at Amazon right now, which seems like a great price.)
- Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel (for the story “Christmas Eve”)
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schultz
- Richard Scarry’s the Night Before the Night Before Christmas! by Richard Scarry
- The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
- Fisher Price Little People Christmastime Is Here!
- The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
- The Gingerbread Manby Jim Aylesworth and Barbara McClintock
- Biscuit’s Pet & Play Christmas by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
- My First Christmas Board Book
- Who Is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate
- The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
- The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
- The Stars Came Out on Christmas by William Boniface
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
- Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
- The Legend of Old Befana by Tomie dePaola
- From the library: Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
- From the library: Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh
I’m not crazy about every one of these books; there are definitely some I’d like to replace. But we have 25 to open without shelling out tons of cash or clearing out the “holiday” section at the library, so I think we’re off to a good start.
What are your favorite Christmas books? Which ones should I add to my list?