A friend of mine told me about a holiday tradition she started when her children were very small. Each year, she would purchase one new picture book about Christmas to add to their collection, and each year they had one more to read. Now that her oldest is a teenager, they have a lot of special books to share, and a lot of special memories.
Another tradition I heard of involving picture books takes a bit of preparation, but it sounded like a lot of fun. Before December, the family purchased 24 picture books with a Christmas theme, wrapped each one in pretty paper, and put them under the tree. Then, each night beginning on December 1, one of the children chose a package and unwrapped it. The family then read the story together. Not only did this tradition provide a countdown to Christmas, but it also gave the parents and kids time to slow down each evening, regroup as a family, and celebrate the season together.
If you are planning an evening of festivities with your little ones, consider adding a favorite story to the list of activities. Here are some to choose from:
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
- Little Tree by E. E. Cummings
- The Barnyard Night Before Christmas by Beth Terrill
- A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- The Homeless Christmas Tree by Leslie Gordon
- A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- The Light of Christmas by Richard Paul Evans
- Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert E. Barry
- The True Gift- A Christmas Story by Patricia MacLachlan
If picture books haven’t been a part of your Christmas traditions, don’t worry! Amid the business of the holiday season, you can still take a few moments to gather your children, cuddle up on the sofa, and enjoy a good book together!
Article by Samantha Bell
Photo by stuartpilbrow