What was your favorite Christmas gift you received when you were a kid? Mine was the entire set of the Chronicles of Narnia. For me, the highlight of the gift exchange was always books. In true bookworm fashion, I loved to go off by myself and read on Christmas night. My favorite place was to stretch out *underneath* the tree and read by the light of the Christmas lights, ha! (I was and still am a little weird.)
Reading is such a comfort for kids and adults. There’s just something magical about getting cozy and reading favorite Christmas stories. Do you have a stack at your home? If you want to enjoy a more relaxed bedtime routine during Christmas break, here are a few stories the whole family will love:
The always excellent, often creepy Sendak offers his superb spin on a Christmas classic. His Drosselmeier captivates me every year. (Seriously, what’s up with Drosselmeier? He’s ten times more interesting than that nephew of his.) Dark evil and shining magic realms will keep everyone entertained.
Though not, strictly speaking, a Christmas book, C.S. Lewis’ snowy introduction to the besieged Narnia will always sing Christmas to me. Santa even sleds in to make a symbolic appearance and save the day. There’s a lovely picture book version, too.
Everyone’s favorite tomboy author, Louisa May Alcott, penned this Christmas story for children. An imaginative retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, A Christmas Dream centers on a spoiled girl, and how she learned to care for others during the season of giving. It’s a great reminder for kids that Christmas is an opportunity to bless others.
In quintessential fairy tale style, Hans Christian Anderson tells this story of ornery elves and a hard-working, over-burdened shoemaker. Magic? Check. Mayhem? Check. Hope? Check. When you do the right thing, your problems will work out in the end.
Beautifully illustrated, this picture book will leave your family basking in all the feels. You could even tuck a candy cane under the kids’ pillows after they go to sleep. (But not before, because, you know, cavities.)
First told as a radio story, this Christmas tale is a New England hit. Animal-loving farmer, Favor Johnson, gets an unexpected Christmas that changes his life. This story will remind you how compassion and neighborliness can truly change your community.
Whether you opt for trying out one of these books or delve into your own shelves, make time during this break to create new memories with your family. Think back to your own childhood holidays. I don’t remember every gift, but I have warm memories of time spent together. Toys and electronics break and become obsolete, but the love you share and the truths you discover will stay with your children forever.
NOW YOU: What are your favorite Christmas stories to read with your family?
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