Forget television, or streaming devices to watch the Christmas classics, nothing beats a book and the ambiance of a roaring fire. The words from a holiday book along with eggnog can recapture the magic of Christmas and will build enjoyable memories for children. Festive favorites can be passed down through generations with books like "The Night before Christmas," "The Polar Express," "A Christmas Carol" or "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer." So, before the kiddos go to bed on Christmas Eve, start lulling them to sleep with some literature. And for the kid inside of you (we know you are getting excited), allow these books to recreate warm thoughts of your own childhood! What is even more important are the lessons, sometimes hidden or not hidden in the following stories. Here are 7 books you can share with those little ones as they wait for Santa!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
"Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" is a fictional male reindeer that was written by Robert Lewis May and was published in 1939 by the retailer Chicago-based Montgomery Ward. The company created their own coloring books to save money, so they could give them out for free. But they did a lot more, as the idea created a legend. The story chronicled the experiences of Rudolph, who is different from the other reindeer due to his red nose that shined at night. He proved himself useful and led Santa’s sleigh to rescue Christmas. The other reindeer respected him after his successful journey of delivering toys to the world’s children. Kids will always remember the cute little buck, who was bullied, and who “will go down in history.”
A Charlie Brown Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on television in 1965 on CBS and is a beloved favorite classic for kids and adults. The book soon followed after the program aired. The story is based on Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and a sad looking sapling. The story goes into the commercialization of Christmas and explored what the true meaning of the holiday is. The story continued to be a smash hit with kids around Christmastime. Two things are certain with the book and the animated show, is that we will never forget the tree, or the best rendition the gang sang of "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," ever to sung!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Cue the bitter bright green monster that lives on Mount Crumpit with his dog Max. The Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, hated to hear the happiness in town. To take care of the laughter he stole their Christmas presents and food. The Grinch, disguised as Santa, planned to drag all of his findings up the hill and throw it all into an abyss. With a heart “two sizes, too small" he made it outside the town, but heard cries. Suddenly, the Grinch’s shrunken heart grew three sizes larger and he ended up returning all which was stolen. “Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!” No wonder why "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" is such a mainstay with people worldwide.
The Elf on the Shelf.
Who is this magical elf who watches children and reports if they have been naughty or nice? It is the elf, of course. This new classic picture book (2005) will share how a scout elf visits kids and travels to the North Pole each night. The elf does this by hiding in various places in the house. However, there is a caveat to this magical encounter, according to the book. "There's only one rule that you have to follow, so I will come back and be here tomorrow: Please do not touch me. My magic might go, and Santa won't hear all I've seen or I know." This will either fascinate kids or creep them out, but mostly it will allow their imaginations to run wild.
The Night Before Christmas.
"The Night Before Christmas" is a poem first published in 1823 by Clement C. Moore. The poem was originally named "A Visit from St. Nicholas" and it was intended for the author’s family on Christmas Eve. It was never meant to be published. However, a family friend copied the poem and sent it to an editor at the Troy Sentinel in New York, and it grew in popularity. Later it was made into a book for kids by Little Golden Books in 1949, and is considered a staple in Christmas literature.
The Berenstein Bears and the Joy of Giving.
The best way to teach kids about giving is sharing stories. "The Bernstein Bears and the Joy of Giving" will share about the birth of Jesus. Brother and Sister Bear were getting ready to participate in a Christmas pageant (Wise Men’s camels,) at church, but they had something else on their minds, and that was to open gifts when they got home. However, they learned a lesson that giving to others is more important. Both bears were given $10 to spend on Christmas presents for others, but they became greedy and bought the cheapest thing they could find so they could keep most of the money. After the Wise Men gave their gifts to the baby Jesus during the play, the bears realized the importance giving. Later on, they donated the money that was left over to buy gifts.
The Polar Express.
This is magical tale is about one boy who boards the Polar Express, a train going to the North Pole.When he gets there, Santa greets him and offers him what any kid would want—gifts! He asks for a bell that is on the reindeer’s harness. However, the bell is lost, but something wonderful happens. The bell appears under the Christmas Tree, but only he and his sister hear the bell. The book ends with the following line. “At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I've grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.” Kids have amazing faith, and the book will remind you to rekindle this child-like faith and to believe in good again.
You and your children can have the opportunity to explore the magic of Christmas all over again. Start familiarizing the family with more books to build an extensive library that will last for years to come. Make sure you share your favorite Christmas books with us as well!