I love sharing holiday-themed books on my blog, A Mom's Quest to Teach. Children's Christmas-themed books can provide a mixture of stories. One can find stories that focus upon the birth of Jesus to those that share about Santa, Charles Dickens' The Christmas Carol, or spending the holiday with ones' family. Personally, I love that there is such a great variety because we then make many happy memories reading Christmas-themed books in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Christmas in the Big Woods
To experience a typical Christmas in the early 1870s in Wisconsin, Christmas in the Big Woods is the perfect book to read with your children. The story is adapted from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and illustrated by Renee Graef. The simple story certainly gets one in the mood for a family-focused Christmas. There are cookies to bake, molasses candy to make, and even snow angels to make outside. And the simple gifts in the stockings provide a perfect talking point for appreciating the small gifts we are given and what we can gift to others.
An "I Can Read" book for reading alone, It's Christmas by Jack Prelutsky and pictures by Marylin Hafner, is a mixed bag in my opinion. I had great hopes for this slim book as the chapters are short and they rhyme, which makes reading it aloud easy, but as I read more and more of it, I found myself wanting to put it down. The child has a LONG list of wants for Christmas, the father refuses to pay for a tree so they go hunting for one in a forest, Santa Clauses abound as the family goes from place to place, and Auntie Flo buys her niece and nephew underwear. I wish I had read the book before reading it to our children. I learned again the importance of previewing materials we share with our children.
On Christmas Eve
Having enjoyed Goodnight Moon and Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, I was happy to check out On Christmas Eve from the library. This lovely tale about children sneaking downstairs on Christmas Eve was illustrated by Nancy Edwards Calder. I really like that the children snuck downstairs, saw the beautiful tree, and did not touch anything. While we were reading On Christmas Eve, our daughter kept saying, "No, they should not go downstairs. They are going to get in trouble." I love that she was worried about them doing right or wrong.
Christmas in Italy
One of my goals for homeschooling our children is for them to learn about different cultures and customs. Reading Christmas in Italy by Jack Manning allowed us to talk about how important the birth of Jesus is to the celebration of Christmas in Italy. There were even directions to make an ornament at the of this short non-fiction book.
The 12 Bugs of Christmas
Our children have seen a few episodes of Mac Lucado's Hermie & Friends. So, I thought maybe they would enjoy reading The 12 Bugs of Christmas (especially since they love the traditional version of the Christmas song). This is a cute little board book where each day brings more bugs joining in the story. By the end, 12 caterpillars join the story and are praying. This is a fun sing-along-song for the whole family.
From Christmases of the past to singing Christmas songs, there are many options to include Christmas-themed books into your homeschool day. I think it is a wonderful idea to read one Christmas book a day leading up to Christmas with children. What a great way to spend time together and spread some Christmas cheer! Does your family have any favorite Christmas-themed books that you read every year? Or perhaps you have another tradition involving Christmas stories? I would love to read about them!