Reading Through The Holidays

'Twas the week before Christmas and Hanukkah, and all through our house we have been reading books about the season, and are sharing some favorites with you, even one about a mouse.

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.” ~Emilie Buchwald 


As a parent on a budget I am never more appreciative of the local library than during the holidays.

While I love buying books, when the holiday budget just won’t budge, the library ensures that I can keep festive stories flowing into our home. 

As each celebration approaches, my boys and I make sure to visit the holiday section on our weekly library visits, and choose new (to us) stories.

We have discovered some of our very favorite stories this way.

This Christmas season we have added some new books that we will read for years to come, and be watching out for at the after-Christmas sales, and throughout the year, when our book budget is more flush.

Even the seemingly pesky policy that holiday stories are only available for a seven-day loan, and cannot be renewed, works to our advantage.

It makes it more likely that we (and others) can’t hog all the great holiday stories. Most importantly, in our case, it forces us to continue to return to the library each week, making time in our busy holiday schedule for the daily ritual of reading we love, which grounds us.

This ritual has personal benefits for me as a mom as well. Especially at Christmas time, when I pause in the hustle and bustle to sit and read with my children, my inner Grinch gets just a little less "grinchy."

Some of our favorites we have read this year include:

  • The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats. A perfect example of a classic book that we stumbled upon, and my boys have become positively obsessed with all things related to the Little Drummer Boy this year.
  • Drummer Boy by Loren Long. Appealing to my boys’ love of the little drummer boy story this year, this take has a sort of “Toy Story” twist when a toy drummer boy gets accidentally thrown away.
  • The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup. We’ve been baking around our house, and this tale of some doomed cookie pirates has appealed to my little shipmates, winning points for its adventurous spirit and sweetly magical resolution.
  • The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree by Stan Berenstain. Every parent that has gotten a bit too invested in the pomp and circumstance of the season will find some good lessons alongside their children in this story.
  • Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki. This has become my go-to story that features a balance between Santa and Jesus.
  • The Hanukkah Mice by Ronne Randall. Each night a mice family is looking for the Hanukkah lights, but instead finds other things around the house associated with the holiday. Wonderful rhymes, reminiscent of Dr. Seuss.
  • Where Did They Hide the Presents by Alan Katz. This hilarious revision of your favorite Christmas songs has caused countless nights of rolling on the floor laughing, and is a proudly permanent member of our holiday line-up. 
  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore. No Christmas is complete without it.

Happy holidays, and happy reading!

Kirsten Branch December 22, 2011 at 04:41 AM
One more to add we read tonight: "Are Your Grumpy Santa?" And you thought you had a bad day at work, in this book, let's just say Santa is having "a day." Please share your favorite books as well!


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