As I begin planning how my family and I will spend the holiday season, spending time in books is always a priority for me. My children and I love to sit and read new books and old favorites together with tea or a treat as I read aloud and have them narrate the story back to me. For my older children, I love to have a selection of books they can choose from to read independently.
As we look forward to the holiday season this year, part of our focus in the weeks leading up to Christmas is revisiting the nativity story alongside a worldwide view of the season. I want to show my children the similarities and differences in how we celebrate in our home in the United States versus how the holiday is carried out in the world. Picture books are a simple and amazing way to show this to our family, and act as a window into the traditions of other cultures.
To demonstrate how we can look at the holiday season through a multicultural lens, I've put together a list of books showing how Christmas is carried out all over the globe, in different cultures. This list is a selection of books that are included with A Connected Christmas: Around the World. This booklist showcases 15 books from 15 different countries — one book for each country we study in the three-week curriculum. The full curriculum includes nearly 60 book titles, but we've included a selection of them here for free.
A Connected Christmas: Around the World is a guide to introduce you and your children to cultures around the world while weaving in carols, scripture, beauty subjects, living books, and the Biblical Christmas story.
If you have already purchased A Connected Christmas: Around the World, in your curriculum you will find a more expansive booklist with multiple book titles for almost every country we study. Each daily lesson covers a different country, and I ask that you choose books for each day that coordinate with the country in the lesson.
To be clear, none of the books on this list are required to use A Connected Christmas: Around the World, as the study includes an informational summary of a different country for every lesson. Instead, the booklist included with the curriculum is intended to add depth to your cultural study while also accounting for the fact that some of these books may be hard to find or unavailable at your local library during the holiday season. Rather than require you to find every book listed in the curriculum, I included a menu of books to choose from to best suit your resources and personal interests. Regardless of what books are available to you, I believe A Connected Christmas: Around the World is a rich foundation to usher in the holiday season.
I recommend gathering the books at your local library or purchasing them on Amazon or at a used bookstore such as thriftbooks.com. If you go this route, you could wrap each book up to have your children open up at lesson time, which makes for a fun experience and tradition. As a last resort, if you are unable to locate a physical copy of the books, I have included links to YouTube read-alouds of each book in the book list download. If you have exhausted those routes and need to swap a book out for another, there are many wonderful titles out there to choose from.
What books are you grabbing for this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.