Children easily and readily relate to characters in books. During this Christmas season, help your children experience the wonder of Christmas and learn valuable life lessons through the eyes of characters in these classic Christmas books.
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
This cute story teaches children about the habits of animals and also helps them comprehend that the best part of Christmas is giving. In the story, Bear’s friends convince him to not go into hibernation yet so he can experience the magic of Christmas. They help him find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, and sing Christmas songs. In the end, Bear’s friends help him learn that staying up was worth it and that giving is the best Christmas present of all.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney
This fun contemporary holiday story is perfect for those little ones who just can’t wait for Christmas. In the story, llama llama goes Christmas shopping with mama llama, bakes cookies, decorates the tree, but it feels like Christmas will never come. Llama llama does not like to wait and wants to open presents right away. Mama llama cuddles llama llama and reminds him that the best Christmas present of all is to be with the ones we love.
Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
A Christmas tree can go a long way, bringing joy to many. When the top of Mr. Willoby’s Christmas tree seems too large for his house, cutting off the top becomes a tree for someone else. This goes on and on until the top of the tree is the perfect size for a mouse. It just goes to show that what is considered trash for one person may be a treasure for someone else.
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
The Poinsettia, known as the flor de la Nochebuena in Spanish, is Mexico’s flower of the Holy Night. The poinsettia’s unique flower has red or white petals in the shape of a star and is said to have helped light up the night when Christ was born. This darling book depicts how the poinsettia came to be. It is truly a beautiful legend that bloomed from a little girl’s selfless gift to the Christ child. This is a great cultural read with your little ones to help them understand how Christmas is celebrated differently around the world.
Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans
Little Madeline was the smallest of all the girls at a boarding school in Paris. During the holiday season, all the girls were excitedly preparing to go home and visit their families, baking cookies and making presents. However, right before they were supposed to head home, a large snow storm hit and everyone in the boarding house, but Madeline, got sick. Madeline did the best she could to care for everyone, yet it was overwhelming for her to do alone, and everyone was sad to miss their families. On Christmas Eve, the was a knock at the door. It was Madeline’s friend Madam Marie who helped Madeline clean the kitchen, cook a special porridge that made everyone feel better and helped lift everyone’s spirits with Christmas wishes. The girls’ main Christmas wish came true when all their families showed up at the door in time for Christmas dinner. It was a magical Christmas despite the unfortunate events because everyone in the boarding house loved and cared for one another.
The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow
The timeless story of The Nutcracker is adapted to the jazz era of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. In this up-up town rendition, a little girl takes an enchanting journey with her magical toy, which leads her to find her voice as a musician. This is an inspiring read that depicts how courage can take shape in different forms. It also helps children understand that other children from different backgrounds may experience the world and experience Christmas in different ways.
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
This heartwarming story of how a young family brought comfort and love to a widow. She, in turn, taught the family, especially the dad, about parental love, healing, and Christmas. Her life experiences and sorrows can touch all those who are willing to listen and open up their hearts to the important things in life, namely love and forgiveness.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
This touching story about a poor couple in New York City with only two valuable possessions to their name. As Christmas approaches, the husband and wife each secretly sacrifice their beloved possessions to buy Christmas gifts for one another. However, the irony behind the gifts shows that love between husband and wife is the most important gift of all. Love is a rare and beautiful, something that no amount of money can buy.
Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien, famous for his Lord of the Rings stories, does not disappoint with this adventures compilation of letters he wrote to his children under the guise of Santa Claus. These letters tell of imaginative travel stories from the North Pole told by either Father Christmas himself or his elvish secretary. They often depicted how a natural phenomenon like the Northern Lights came to be in unnatural ways. The moral of these stories come from understanding the context of the letters. They were written by a loving father who believed in the power of a child’s imagination.