Our Christmas Season Tradition
Every year after Thanksgiving (and never before) I open up the big chest in the parlor and pull out our collection of over 150 Christmas books. We decorate around the house with them and prop the rest in vintage suitcases set in various corners. Christmas books are a tradition in our household.
“There is something about saying, ‘We always do this,’ which helps keep the years together. Time is such an elusive thing that if we keep on meaning to do something interesting, but never do it, year would follow year with no special thoughtfulness being expressed in making gifts, surprises, charming table settings, and familiar favorite food. Tradition is a good gift intended to guard the best gifts.”– Edith Schaeffer, What is a Family?
I am not skilled in making charming table settings, but I do know how to curate a collection of great books for our family. Getting out the Christmas titles after Thanksgiving and then reading and enjoying them – that’s my kind of tradition to keep!
Get the Kelly Family Christmas Book List
Over the many years of homeschooling (28!), I have collected quite a few Christmas books. I have also let quite a few books go if I felt I would rather never read them again. What remains are the books listed in the pdf you can get below by signing up to receive my bimonthly newsletter, Nancy’s Notes.
In this 11-page list you will find some unique categories. There are Advent Books for Families, Advent Books for Parents and Teens, Books for Mother, Mini Books (5 x 7 and smaller), Picture Books, Chapter Books, Christmas Carol Books, Favorite Collections, and more. At the end, I share what I think are the four Christmas stories that every family should read. Despite the size of this list, I am sure you have other titles that I haven’t read yet! A new book for me that I am currently reading is John Masefield’s The Box of Delights.
Types of Christmas Books
Charlotte Mason gives us some common sense guidelines when choosing Christmas books.
It is a pity when the sense of the ludicrous is cultivated in children’s books at the expense of better things. This point is worth considering in connection with Christmas books for the little people. Books of ‘comicalities’ cultivate no power but the sense of the incongruous; and though life is the more amusing for the possession of such a sense, when cultivated to excess it is apt to show itself a flippant habit.-Charlotte Mason, Home Education p. 158
So don’t “cultivate to excess” with the fun books!
Another category in my list is The Christmas Story with Scripture Text. I think having a favorite in this category is important. We would read the words of Luke on Christmas morning from one of these beautiful books. Charlotte again has these inspiring words to say:
The old, old story has all its first freshness as we tell it to the eager listeners; as we listen to it ourselves with their vivid interest it becomes as real and fresh to us as it is to them. Hard thoughts drop away like scales from our eyes; we are young once more with the children’s young life, which, we are mysteriously made aware, is the life eternal.–Parents and Children, “The Eternal Child,” p. 281
Please enjoy this Christmas gift from my home to yours. And best wishes as you curate your family’s own Christmas book library!
P.S. – To hear me chat about many of the books on my list and why they are on it, plus lots of other book chatter, head on over to the podcast Stories from the Ashes – Christmas Stories with Nancy Kelly!
KELLY FAMILY CHRISTMAS BOOK LIST
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