When I was growing up, we had this amazingly detailed pop up version of the story Twas the Night Before Christmas. I remember every page vividly. I remember my father reading it to me. I remember the pajamas I wore, safe in his lap.
We also had a Golden Book of the story of Rudolph. My mom read us this version – blessedly without the addition of a ridiculous reindeer eating, pork loving Abominable Snow Monster who has his teeth removed by a misfit elf.
My husband and I have started a collection of Christmas books for our little ones as well. They are one of the most anticipated holiday items to emerge from the dust covered Christmas boxes each December. They have a special spot on the built in bookshelf in our living room. For 30 nights or so, they create magical memories. I hope.
Our favorites, and what I believe will be my kids’ own Christmas classics are:
Bear Stays Up for Christmas. By Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman
From the series that started with the New York Times best selling Bear Snores On (an all time favorite of mine!), this story finds our loyal friend bear having trouble staying awake on Christmas Eve. After all, he should be hibernating. Kids and adults alike will love how his woodland buddies work to make sure, despite his drooping eyes, he doesn’t miss Christmas this year. The rhyming is irresistible; the illustrations are stunning. The holidays at our house just wouldn’t be the holidays without this work of art.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama. By Anna Dewdney
If you’ve read this author’s first Llama book called Llama Llama Red Pajama, you no doubt love it. This Christmas adventure with little Llama is just as divine. Readers follow adorable Llama through December as he has to wait and wait for “that special date.” Through snow and elves and meltdowns and gifts, poor Llama feels overwhelmed. And, of course, we can all relate. But in the end, even little Llama learns the true gift of Christmas is having one another.
Mother of 2 and freelance editor/writer Brooke Bernard is heartbreakingly aware this week of what a gift it is to have the opportunity to read Christmas stories to her children for another night. You can find Brooke on Twitter @BrookeBBlogs.