Last year we started a new holiday tradition. I rounded up all of the Christmas books in our house, bought a few new ones, wrapped them up and placed them under the tree. Every night, we unwrapped one book and read it together. It was a huge hit with the boys, the parents and the grandparents alike. We're doing it again this year. I've weeded out a few books, added in some new ones, wrapped them all up and we're ready to go!
If you'd like to see what we're reading, check them out. It's really a simple way to make sure you get use out of all of the Christmas books you've accumulated over the years from book orders and gifts and impulse buys. It's also a great way to gather together and keep family at heart during this busy season.
These are the new books we bought this year. Or, two are 2012 new. One was "this book was $3.97 in the bargain bin" new. I'm not above saving a buck!
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean. My boys can't get enough of Pete the Cat, so I know this one will be a huge hit this year.
- Christmas with Rita and Whatisit by Jean-Philippe Arrou-Vignod. A kid and her "non-dog-like dog." As we have a new dog, I thought this was appropriate.
- A Very Crabby Christmas by Tish Rabe. No, it's not about me on Christmas morning! It's a new adventure with the Cat in the Hat!
Looking to make their bellies jiggle with laughter à la Santa Claus? Try one of these books
- Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney. Llama Llama books are always fun, and whose family doesn't have a little holiday drama?
- It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon. Some people don't like David books because of all of the "no's" David hears throughout the story. We? Love them. "No snitching, David!
- Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini. This is seemingly out of print at Amazon, but we got it last year via the Scholastic book orders from school. Pick it up if you see it and be prepared to laugh!
Looking for some favorite characters that have a feel good story?
- Little Porcupine's Christmas by Joseph Slate. If you have a little "light of your life," this story is for you.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. Because, duh.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M Shulz. Oh, Chuck. We gotta have you.
This group is the "I told family members we were doing this and they bought us Christmas books" trio! This is a great way to continue to build your Christmas library.
- The Poky Little Puppy's First Christmas by Justine Korman. No one, not even me, knew last Christmas that we'd have a dog celebrating her first Christmas this year. How perfect!
- Ho Ho Ho Tucker by Leslie McGuirk. A dog theme, I see!
- The Little Christmas Elf by Nikki Shannon Smith. PS: The Little Golden Books are on sale for $3.99 at Amazon right now. Round out your Christmas library.
Looking to keep some Christ in your Christmas? We've got that too.
- This Is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten. An easy, repetitive book about things that took place in the stable. Great for new readers.
- God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Bergren. Probably my favorite Christ-centered Christmas book for kids. I get kind of weepy.
- The Joy of Giving by Stan and Jan Berenstain. This is proof I love my kids. They love this book. I... wonder why they're always so long.
Some more "reason for the season" books for your Christmas library.
- Mary's Baby by Jane Chapman. A simple re-telling of the nativity story.
- Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown. If you have animal lovers, they'll like this version.
- Tonight You Are My Baby by Jeannine Q. Norris. "Tomorrow you will be king, but tonight you are my baby." Lovely book.
- The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman. The message here is to share the Christmas love with those you know.
Two more favorites in our home include:
- A Small Christmas by Wong Herbert Yee. More firefighters at Christmas time... Small version!
- Froggy's Best Christmas by Jonathan London. If you haven't read the line, "Frooooooggy... WHAAAT?," then start this Christmas with this book.
Looking for a book to bring it home? Try one of these Night Before options.
- A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates. Yarrr! Pirates can be Christmasy too!
- The Night Before The Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing. If you find yourself panicking on December 23 that not everything is done yet, this book is for you. Er, your kids.
- The Firefighter's Night Before Christmas by Kimbra Cutlip. There are quite a few of these variations (nurses, teachers, librarians). We absolutely adore this book and it's our Christmas Eve pick for three years running now.
Of course, you can also read the original... just don't read the "Santa is a bad influence because he smokes" version. Because... honestly.
Some people go all out with 24 different kinds of wrapping paper and meticulous wrapping. I am a horrid wrapper, though I seem to hoard it... and my husband told me I'm not allowed to buy any more paper until I use up what we have, so we're rocking two years ago's Rudolph paper on our Advent Books this year. You don't have to be fancy. You just have to be willing to find the books, wrap them, and sit down every night -- even on busy nights -- and read a Christmas book with your child. That? Sounds perfect.
Do you have a book you think we should all add to our Christmas libraries this year? Let us know in the comments.