Everyone loves a good story, especially the heart-warming tales you can share over and over again with the special people in your life. Why not take some time during your holiday celebration to step away from the latest family drama or the tray of assorted cheese and crackers to share a story with the children (or anyone, really) in your life.
This time of year is all about traditions, so why not start a new one? Here are a few seasonal stories that I loved reading as a kid, and love re-reading even more as an adult.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
Despite not having any words, The Snowman is possibly one of my favorite stories to read this time of year. The book was also transformed into an animated film in 1982, which was nominated for an Academy Award.
The book: This picture book follows a young boy who builds a snowman one wintery day. To his surprise, the snowman comes to life and whisks him away on a snowy adventure.
The reason to read it:
This story is perfect to share with anyone, no matter his or her age. The beautiful illustrations give off a warm and familiar feeling while somehow also allowing readers to imagine how the crisp winter air would feel on their cheeks as they float through the sky with their own snowman guide.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Like so many of Theodor Seuss Geisel's books, this one is a classic. Today, lots of kids have undoubtedly seen the film adaptations of the story, but have they sat in the lap of a family member and physically turned the pages of this feel good story with someone they love?
The book: As many people know, this book is the story about the Grinch, a grouchy recluse who lives in a cave near a town called Whoville. When the Grinch decides he has had enough of the townspeople's Christmas joy he comes up with a "wonderful awful idea" to steal Christmas.
The reason to read it: Dr. Seuss’ critique of the commercialization of Christmas is just as relevant now as it was when the book was originally published in 1957. Perhaps more important, the Grinch’s personal transformation reminds readers young and old that Christmas is about much more than gifts.
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
From the man who brought you celebrated children's books like Strega Nona, Little Grunt and the Big Egg and Nanna Upstairs & Nana Downstairs comes this great retelling of a celebrated cultural legend.
The book: This book introduces readers to a young girl in Mexico named Lucinda, whose mother is asked to make a blanket for her church's statue of baby Jesus. When her mother gets sick, Lucinda is determined to finish the blanket herself, accidentally ruining it in the process. Embarrassed and ashamed, Lucinda is afraid to bring the blanket to church on Christmas Eve until she meets an old woman who changes her mind.
The reason to read it: This profound tale reminds readers that the size or cost of a gift is not as important as the love with which it is given – a reminder everyone could use now and again.
The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Jan Brett's stories have captured readers for decade, and big reason for this success can be attributed to her unique illustrative style.
The book: Meet Teeka, a little girl who works on Santa Claus’ farm and is tasked with gathering wild reindeer to prepare them to guide Santa's sleigh on Christmas eve. She eventually learns that being bossy doesn't get her very far with the large animals, so she must discover a different approach to win over the reindeer.
The reason to read it: This behind-the-scenes look at Santa’s North Pole operation is unique, creative and – most importantly – wildly entertaining. PS: Be sure to pay close attention to the margins!
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
How could I not include this wonderful poem turned children's book? I know a special little girl on my Nice List is getting a copy this year!
The book: With the rest of the family fast asleep, a father suddenly hears a strange noise outside. When he goes downstairs to investigate, he finds old Chris Kringle himself.
The reason to read it: No Christmas book list would be complete without this classic poem, and the story makes great for perfect bedtime story on Christmas Eve.