You can make happy, life-long memories without much expense or preparation. Our favorite Christmas memories focus on a fire in the wood-burning stove, mugs of steaming hot chocolate, and a Christmas-time story book. We would snuggle up together on the sofa as I read aloud the beloved narratives. We collected more and more favorites as the years progressed, some old and out of print, others new and hot off the press. I guess they are all old now, though I occasionally discover a new one to add to the shelf for next Christmas and the next generation of children. You can find a list of a few of our favorite books at the end of this email.
As you collect your favorites, think of ways you can build anticipation in your children about reading the stories together. One friend wrapped their Christmas books each year with leftover Christmas paper and put them away with the Christmas decorations. When the boxes were brought out for the following Christmas season, the books were placed under the tree and one was unwrapped and read each day leading up to Christmas. Traditions such as this one foster memories of happy times together.
A Special Christmas List
Another tradition we celebrated every year was to encourage each of our children to make a Christmas List. Not to be mistaken for the usual Christmas wish list, these lists inspired a selfless spirit of giving. Discover more in this post, The Christmas List.
As promised, here are a few of our favorite books.
(This list contains affiliate links.)
- The Year of The Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston, pictures by Barbara Cooney
- Baboushka: A Traditional Russian Folk Tale Retold by Arthur Scholey, Illustrated by Ray and Corinne Burrows
- Santa Are You for Real? written by Harold Myra, Illustrated by Dwight Walles (We prefer the original edition, Copyright 1977)
- My Christmas Angel: A Hide-and-Seek Story by Sarah Reid Chisholm, Illustrated by Michelle Neavill
- Peter’s Spier’s Christmas!
- The City That Forgot About Christmas by Mary Warren, Illustrated by Rudolph Wendelin
- The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, Illustrated by Cheryl Harness
- The Nutcracker Story Retold by Ronald Kidd, Illustrated by Rick Reinert
- Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard H. Schneider, Illustrated by Elizabeth J. Miles
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
- Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado, Illustrated by Robert Hunt
- Hannah at the Manger by Regine Schindler, Illustrated by Hilde Heyduck-Huth
- Good King Wenceslas Illustrated by John Wallner
- The Twelve Days of Christmas Illustrated by Anne Duax
- Littlejim’s Gift: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Gloria Houston, Illustrated by Thomas B. Allen
- A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Illustrated by Garth Williams
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Illustrated by Walk Sturrock
- The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury, Illustrated by Vlasta van Kampen
- Find the Nutcracker in His Christmas Ballet Illustrated by Jerry Tiritilli
- The Nutcracker: A Young Reader’s Edition of the Holiday Classic Adapted by Daniel Walden from the story by E.T.A. Hoffman, Illustrated by Don Daily
- Disney’s Winnie the Pooh’s Christmas by Bruce Talkington, Illustrated by Alvin White Studio
- Annika’s Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis, Illustrated by Pamela Querin