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Merry Christmas 2015!

merry_christmasMerry Christmas 2015!

This year, I have been thinking a lot about reading. ‘But Beth’, you’re thinking, ‘don’t you always think about reading?’ And to answer your question, yes, I am always thinking about reading in some form or another, but to be more specific, I was thinking about the stories that were read to me out loud as a child. I remember curling up in a parent or grandparent’s lap (or next to them, as I grew older) with a favorite book and listening to the story. There’s a certain magic to the words that doesn’t always come across when you are reading something to yourself. Plus, there’s a plethora of other really good reasons reading aloud can be awesome – especially for young children.

So here’s a list of some holiday favorites to read aloud with the family. Most of them are marketed as children’s books, but I find that these can be enjoyed at most any age. And wherever you are or whatever you do to celebrate the season, have fun, be safe, and have a wonderful holiday!

Eight Tales for Eight Nights: Stories for Chanukah by Peninnah Schram & Steven M. Rosman; 978-0876682340

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke; 978-0745917436

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft; 978-1416925187

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry; 0836247396

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki, illustrated by Ivan Gantschev; 978-1416950295

The Night Before Christmas: The Classic Edition by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Charles Santore; 978-1604332377

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus: The Classic Edition by Frances P. Church, illustrated by Joel Spector; 978-0762411207

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg; 978-0395389492

Corduroy by Don Freeman; 978-0140501735

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss; 978-0394800790

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert, photographs by Per Breiehagen; 978-0449816813

The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett; 978-0698116528

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P.J. Lynch; 978-0763678227

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, illustrated by Barbara Cooney; 978-0803702998

Click, Clack, Ho! Ho! Ho! by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Betsy Lewin; 978-1442496736

Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh, illustrated by J. Otto Seibold; 978-0811818070

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Mark Teague; 978-0545416788

The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter H. Reynolds; 978-0763679811

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Merry Christmas 2013!

b-468565-Merry_Christmas_Merry Christmas 2013!

This year, I have compiled a list of books that celebrate the ‘symbols’ of the holiday season, namely the tree, Santa, and the nativity. All three have been around as holiday decoration staples for, well, years, but personally, I’ve never given much thought to the tradition of putting up a tree with decorations or the myth of a fat man breaking into houses to leave gifts. As a Christian, the symbolism of the nativity is near and dear to me and I’ve grown up knowing the who, what, where, and why of the child in the manger. I’ve also included a few of my own favorite Christmas/holiday stories to the list.

Whatever you celebrate and however you celebrate, have fun, be safe,  and have a wonderful holiday!

The Tree

The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Pat Matuszak, Rick Osborne, & Bill Dodge; 978-0310700432

The First Christmas Tree: A Legend from Long Ago by Helen Haidle, illustrated by David Haidle and Elizabeth Haidle; 978-0801043932

O Christmas Tree: Its History and Holiday Traditions by Jacqueline Farmer, illustrated by Joan Friar; 978-1580892391

The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Robert Mangus; 978-1606048948

Cobweb Christmas: The Tradition of Tinsel by Shirley Climo, illustrated by Jane Manning; 978-0060290337

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect by Richard Schneider; 978-1426754869

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree by David Rubell, illustrated by Jim LaMarche; 978-0375869228

Santa/Saint Nicholas

The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Dandi Daley Mackall & Guy Porfirio; 978-0310713272

Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend by Julie Stiegemeyer, illustrated by Chris Ellison; 978-0758613417

The Miracle of St. Nicholas by Gloria Whelan, illustrated by Judith Brown; 978-1883937188

The Nativity

The Christmas Story: The Brick Bible for Kids by Brendan Powell Smith; 978-1620871737

Mary’s Son: A Tale of Christmas by Darryl Nyznyk; 0965651355

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft; 978-1416925187

The Very First Christmas by Paul L. Maier, illustrated by Francisco Ordaz; 978-0758606167

Other Holiday Symbols

The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Wendy Edelson; 978-0938497486

The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus’ Birth by Dandi Daley Mackall, illustrated by Deborah Chabrian; 978-0310713289

The Legend of the Poinsettia retold and illustrated by Tomie dePaola; 978-0698115675

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne and James Griffin, illustrated by Jim Griffin; 978-0310708988

Waiting for Christmas: A Story about the Advent Calendar by Kathleen Long Bostrom, illustrated by Alexi Natchev; 978-0310710158

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg, illustrated by Richard Cordroy; 978-0310730125

The Christmas Candle by Richard Paul Evans, illustrated by Jacob Collins; 978-1416950479

Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett; 978-0399234446

Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner; 978-0803729957

Personal Favorites

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry; 0836247396

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt, illustrated by Tim Jonke; 978-0745917436

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg; 978-0395389492

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss; 978-0394800790

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Boris Karloff (rereleased in 2009)

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas starring Jim Carrey, Jeffrey Tambor, Christine Baranski, and Taylor Momsen (2000)

The Mitten by Jan Brett; 978-0399231094

The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann, adapted by Janet Schulmann, illustrated by Reneé Grad; 978-0060278144

The Muppet Christmas Carol starring Michael Caine, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmore, and Frank Oz (1992)

A Charlie Brown Christmas starring Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer, and Bill Melendez (2008)

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