Each year when I begin thinking about Christmas approaching, one of my first priorities is to pull out our favorite winter and Christmas books and go on the hunt for titles I hadn’t discovered before. I scour blogs and my local used bookstore. One of our favorite traditions is for me to wrap up each book and allow the children to open one per day at Morning Time for the month of December. Even if the book is one we own and have all year on our shelves, they love unwrapping the books to discover what we will read that day.
In year’s past, we have taken 4-5 weeks off of our usual lessons and used lovely guides and ideas to spend that time focused on traditions, connection, and Jesus. This year, I have written a curriculum that we will be using and I would be honored if you would join us by using it in your homes as well. As I began to write this guide, I wanted to include some of our favorite living picture books for the Christmas and Advent season.
In this list, you will find my all-time favorite titles for winter and Christmas. You will find a mix of shorter, light-hearted stories and many deeper, meaningful stories (keep the tissues close for a few). In the pages of these living books, you will see diversity, traditions, and culture! Some of the stories will take you back in time or to other places in the world. Some are silly and will fill your hearts with joy and wonder. Many teach lessons of giving, sacrifice, and focus on keeping Jesus at the center of the season. I tried to include books that would appeal to many ages. I hope you love them as much as my family does.
If you have purchased A Connected Christmas to use with your family this season, here are a few inside tips about the booklist:
There is one title assigned to each day of the curriculum with a coordinating hands-on connection, such as a handcraft or recipe. Some of them are strongly connected to the theme in the story for that day and others are more of a general project and could be easily assigned to another read-aloud if you are unable to collect all of the titles. If you move a title to another day than is assigned, I recommend also moving the hands-on connection to the same day, as they are partnered together.
My recommendation is to try to gather the books either at your local library or to purchase 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, you could try to find the titles read aloud in a video or as an e-book online. 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. Just double-check the hands-on connection for the day to see if it still makes sense without reading that specific book.