I have a massive list of things I should be doing right now. But after dragging out the collection of Christmas books I’m itching to share highlights of this beloved stack. Books and their stories. They distract me every single time.
I cleaned out all my books this fall, a job smack dab in my happy place. I gathered and organized and weeded through all the shelves and piles. One group on the high shelf that will always be safe from the library books sale are our Christmas books. They are hands down the most sentimentally valuable and beautiful books in our home. Collected over the course of 21 years, each one hold memories that are priceless.
They are stories read and reread over the years, usually at the end of weary December days to warm pajama’d little bodies. Inscriptions grace several lovely gifted books from friends or family.
I miss reading books to my babes. When we read stories to our children, magic appears not only within the illustrations and words, but also in our own stories written in those moments invested. The time and energy required to pull a child on the couch beside you with a Christmas book shared on your laps, will never disappoint.
Thanks to Ann Voskamp, I am trying to resurrect this practice with the two technology distracted teenagers that are left in our home. Her new book in which both text and illustrations are breathtaking, has made us all slow down a bit this week. Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas is a daily reading for the month of December. $15 on Amazon, hardcover, read it every year until your grandkids come and then some. She even has downloadable ornaments on her website for each day.
We will miss several days, manage a few and I’ll call that a win. A new book with new memories. There has been a bit of push back, but I think deep down they miss it as much as me.
I pulled 10 out of the stack that have been our family favorites. We love these books for different reasons. Each are special and I look forward to sharing them someday with our grandchildren (did I just type that?) Mostly all classics with a few whimsical funnies thrown in.
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz – And of course then you have to Netflix immediately the show. Oh dear, I can’t get started with the Christmas movies…
2. The Nutcracker – Grandma Joan and Grandpa Thayne gave Caitlin this book in 1999 when she was a white mouse in the Abilene Nutcracker. See what I mean with the memories?
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss – We love this one.
4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg – Yes, Classic. I just discovered that my friend Jennifer gave this to me in 1992. I guess the collection is older than I thought.
5. Auntie Claus by Elise Primavera – My girls’ favorite.
6. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore – My sister gave this to us in 1993. I read her inscription every year.
7. Santa Calls by William Joyce – One of the million things I miss about Abilene is The National Center of Children’s Illustrated Literature . I am still in awe that it’s there. This is big time in the world of children’s books. William Joyce (swoon) and his work has been featured at the NCCIL several times and he wrote my all time favorite children’s book of all time. Check out the setting of Santa Calls…
8. 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda – Who doesn’t just love a good pop up book and Sabuda is one of the best. He has also been featured at the NCCIL.
9. 12 Days of Christmas by Laurel Long – I know this is a duplicate story, but the illustrations in this book are GORGEOUS! I’ve seriously thought about framing them.
10. Santa Cows by Cooper Edens – We have about 5 different spoofs/spinoffs of the Night Before Christmas poem and I love every one of them. This one is my favorite though.
Start collecting Christmas books this year…no matter how old your children are. What are your favorites? Please share!