We are still unpacking books. There are a lot of them, some we've outgrown, some that I thought I should put away or give away. But this weekend we brought down from the attic all the books that were saved for Christmas and it's like a special present. Forget the typical decorations, stories are what I need to get in the spirit. I'll never forget my mother's collection of Ideal magazines, which she had started during her teaching career. I would pour over those magazines reading poetry and stories every Christmas by the light of a lamp swathed in crepe paper ribbon. The story of the original "Over the River and through the woods..." I learned from reading that magazine!
Opening the box and remembering the stories is a trip down memory lane now for my own children! Who can forget Christmas Mouse or The Littlest Tree or The Gift of the Magi? So my gift to you, because I sometimes get the urge to write lessons for books, is a list of Christmas stories to read before Christmas. Forget the Christmas specials on TV, invite an author into your living room to tell you a story. Turn on the tree lights, make some hot chocolate, light a candle and sit cozy on the couch - believe for a moment. ( I'm giving you advance warning because I know you might have to order some from the library, or get them out of the attic... and you might skip a night or two. It's okay. It's Christmas!)
On the 1st Day of Christmas: The Elf on the Shelf, Aebersold and Bell
A classic in its own right and we had to read it...
On the 2nd Day of Christmas: Jacob's Gift, Max Lucado
A wonderful story!
On the 3rd Day of Christmas:How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss is so much more Christmas-y than Jim Carey
On the 4th Day of Christmas: Polar Bear Night, Lauren Thompson
Not a Christmas story, but a beautiful book
On the 5th Day of Christmas: Look at the words to "Little Drummer Boy," "The Friendly Beasts," and "Away in a Manger" These will put you in the true spirit...
On the 6th Day of Christmas: A Christmas Memory, Truman Capote
Merry Christmas, Maisy, by Lucy Cousins
I don't know, my kids just love it...
On the 7th Day of Christmas: A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
preferably read on the placards as you stroll through Christmas Village at Macy's in Philadelphia
On the 8th Day of Christmas: The Mitten, by Jan Brett
On the 9th Day of Christmas: Luke 2: 1-20
Because you have to know the real story.
On the 10th Day of Christmas: Is There a Santa Claus? Francis P. Church
Because you have to believe!
On the 11th Day of Christmas: The Gift of the Magi, O.Henry or
The Little Blue Dishes, Elizabeth Amy Janke
The magic of gift-giving
On the 12th Day of Christmas: A Visit from St. Nicholas, Clement C. Moore
Perfect bedtime story?!
Others we can't forget:
The Nutcracker, E.T.A. Hoffman
A Merry Christmas, from Little Women, Louisa May Alcott (or any of her other Christmas stories)
Room for a Little One, Max Lucado
My favorite source for stories this year is Caroline Kennedy's A Family Christmas.
Enjoy reading together!