Here are some links to past posts that include favorite books, resources and traditions we’ve enjoyed these past few years. I hope to be back in the coming weeks and months with updates on our homeschool life.
For years I’ve been adding to our Christmas book library, and it all began with one book. While pregnant with our first child, I worked as the special orders clerk for a bookstore. As the only soon-to-be-mother employee, any free children’s books that arrived for the staff ended up on my desk.
Who knew that the first Christmas book, Mooseltoe, would be delighting our fourth child a decade later?
Our collection is a hodge podge of pure silliness, to beautifully illustrated, to heart inspiring.
A few years ago I began a tradition of wrapping one of our beloved books for each day of December first through the 25th.
Each day a child unwraps a book and we read it and count down one day closer to Christmas.
I’ve found it stays exciting if I’m always mixing in a few new treasures (old treasures, really, from the thrift store and used bookstore) with our old ones.
Here’s a list of our favorites (in no particular order of most loved):
- Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
- One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
- Petunia’s Christmas by Roger DuVoisin
- Silent Night: The Song and Story by Margaret Hodges
- The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
- Drummer Boy by Loren Long
- The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- Spruce the Moose cuts loose by Sarah Stapler
- The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- Night Tree by Eve Bunting
- Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones (author of the Jesus Storybook Bible)
- Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
- Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant
- Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
- The Nativity by Julie Vivas
- The Little Spider by Sigmund Brouwer
- The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury
- A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- Babar and Father Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff
- The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L’engle, Illustrated with Frescoes by Giotto
Chapter Books and Collections
- Snowbound with Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
- The Trees Kneel At Christmas by Maud Hart Lovelace (author of Betsy-Tacy Books, haven’t read this yet)
- Once in the Year: A Christmas Story by Elizabeth Yates
- A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Children of Christmas by Cynthia Rylant
- Christmas edited by Alice Dagliesh (we haven’t read this yet)
- Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights: The Story of the Chrismtas Symbols by Edna Barth
Note to Myself, Books to try next year:
- Star Mother’s Youngest Child by Louise Moeri
- The Animals Christmas by Anne Thaxter Eaton
- Christmas Long Ago from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman
- Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration by James C. Dobson, Charles R. Swindoll
The longer chapter and story collection books have not been wrapped, we’ve been reading chapter by chapter through them each day while unwrapping a picture book to read as well.
Whether you wrap them or check them out from the library, here’s wishing you many days of hot chocolate and good stories.
Do you have any favorite Christmas books that I need to add to my library?
With wonderfully good intentions, I plan to plan ahead of time for the holiday seasons, praying and choosing the activities that will draw our family closer to Christ before we get swept into the worldliness of the season. So far I’ve never gotten the planning done ahead of time and in a panic I scour the internet for ideas and add a mish mash of projects that may or may not take us anywhere.
The word that has stayed with me this year through these early months of schooling is SIMPLIFY. So far it’s been the north on our compass that has kept us from getting bogged down with too many ideas. As we approach Advent and I once again choose my ideas last minute, I atleast have that one word to help me sift through the possibilities.
I bought two Advent books this year and also found a wonderful, free Jesse Tree book and I’m glad to announce that they’re all great and I’m only doing one of them!
In case you still haven’t found a guide for your family, here are two possibilties.
The FREE Jesse Tree Devotional Book with Hand-Drawn Ornaments by Ann Voskamp
The Advent Bible Study by Quiet Times for Kids
(currently on sale for $6.00 with passcode “halfoffsale”, I’m not sure how long the sale lasts)
The Advent Bible Study is a daily advent quiet time suggested for kids 5 and older. After trying a free sample of their other studies, I’m planning to use this independently with my 8 and 10 year old and talk about it with my five year old. We’re also going to do the prophesy boxes, a project idea included in the study, as a family in the evenings when we light our advent calender.
Wishing you a simple and meaningful Christmas this year,
Most of you know that we have a tiny, barely noticeable, really-we-could-give-it-up-anytime, passion for books in our family. Last year we put together a winter basket of our favorite books, which gave us countless hours of cozy couch time. This year we’re continuing the tradition with an added tint of pleasure.
I came across the idea to choose 24 books, wrap each book, and add a number tag to each package. Suddenly our winter book basket is an advent countdown. Last night Mr. Darcy and I sat up wrapping packages, and I said “Honey, you are so crazy and sweet to be sitting here doing this with me instead of telling me I’m nuts.” I should mention it was the far side of midnight and the night before he’d been at the E.R. with our 9 year old. He replied smilingly, “Honey, we’ve been married for ten years, I know all about your ideas.”
We’ve been adding a christmas book here and there for 9 years so we happen to have more than 24 books. However, you may be be at the beginning of your collection. Try scouting out thrift stores and used bookstores, look for special seasonal sales, or get really thrifty and wrap up a new batch of christmas library books each week.
To further your christmas journey into books check out Crafty Crow’s great book/advent post. I’ll be adding several of hers to our library list.
We also enjoyed this lapbook/unit study, The Legend of the Candy Cane a few years ago, free at Homeschool Share.
For more great ideas about reading and advent, head to Real Learning. After enjoying her links, scroll down and look in the left sidebar for a list of great christmas books. This post includes a review of family favorites.
Happy Holiday Reading!