It’s Christmas! I love this time of year–the preparations for Christmas day, the lights, the music, and yes, the books. I tried to come up with one favorite Christmas book to share with you this month, but I just couldn’t narrow it down, so here–in no particular order–are five of my most favorite Christmas books to share with my kids.
When my son was young we read this story so many times we both had it memorized! Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Christmas follows Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s mischievous cow, pig, and duck as they sneak inside for a warm bath while she’s out doing her Christmas shopping. Mrs. Wishy-Washy comes home to find a huge mess but forgives the animals and passes out their presents. The rhymes in the book make it flow easily and as I said earlier, make it easy to remember. The pictures are simple and sweet and cozy and will make you want to visit Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s farm again and again. (And if you love this story, don’t forget to check out the free Mrs. Wishy-Washy lapbook at Homeschool Share!)
What Star Is This? is a beautiful book that imagines the star over the manger as a comet traveling through space to alert the Wise Men to the location of the newborn King. The pictures in this book are absolutely gorgeous and have a crackled finish that make them look like something from a museum. The rhyming text makes it easy for young readers, but older readers will also enjoy this one because it is such a unique take on the traditional nativity story.
Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Baby is another book that has been a favorite in our home for years. Brett’s intricate pictures keep even older children’s attention as they follow the gingerbread baby on his adventures and the fast-paced story is entertaining, too. Gingerbread Baby (and the follow-up, Gingerbread Friends) are fun books to read each Christmas as you bake cookies or make gingerbread houses. You can even use Homeschool Share’s gingerbread lapbook for some fun Christmas school. Jan Brett’s website is another great resource with many printables and videos, like this one of her reading and drawing the Gingerbread Baby!
The Trees of the Dancing Goats is actually more of a Hanukkah story, but it beautifully illustrates the spirit of Christmas. Young Trisha and her family are preparing to celebrate Hanukkah when their Christian neighbors fall ill with scarlet fever. Trisha and her family work to give their neighbors a Christmas to remember and in turn experience their own Hanukkah miracle. This is a wonderful story that shares many different Hanukkah traditions that may be unfamiliar to young children. Homeschool Share also has a free lapbook to go along with The Trees of the Dancing Goats.
I heard The Best Christmas Pageant Ever as a read aloud several times as a child, but when I read it as an adult for the first time, I was stunned at how differently I felt about it. The Herdmans are that family. The children steal, swear, and smoke cigars and pretty much rule any situation they’re in. When they hear about free snacks at church they show up to check things out and end up starring in the Christmas pageant. Year after year the pageant has been the same, but after the Herdmans become involved, it’s clear that this year’s show will be something entirely different. What no one realizes, though, is that this is the year that the Christmas story will become real for so many of them. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will make you laugh until you cry and then make you shed a tear as you watch the Herdmans react to the miracle of Christmas.
I hope you enjoy these books this Christmas season and that you and your family have a very merry Christmas!