Before putting the Christmas books away until next year I had Katie type up a list of the books that were all wrapped up and opened one day at a time from December 1 through December 24. Some of them are very old (and harder to find or expensive) and others were found at thrift stores or are part of Chris or my childhood collection. Some are meaningful and rich and others are just silly and fun. I like having a combination of the two.
These aren’t in any particular order and I’ve included links when possible. Now is probably a really great time to collect some books for next year if you’re interested in starting this tradition. 22 of the 24 are included as two of them are currently hiding somewhere in the house.
1. Dream Snow by Erica Carle | Love anything Eric Carle.
2. A Ghost Tale for Christmas by Mary Pope Orsborne | This one was more for Simon (a new addition this year). He didn’t read it . He was into reading the new Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and that was totally fine with me. Might be of more interest to him next year.
3. Fisher Price Little People Christmastime Is Here!: Lift the Flap (Fisher Price Lift the Flap)| This one has been around awhile but both kids still love looking at it and peeking under all the flaps.
4. OLIVIA Claus | A favorite of Anna’s.
5. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkein | This is one of my personal favorites. Just magical.
11. The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffman and Maurice Sendak | I have a special story that goes along with this book that I didn’t actually realize until Anna and I were looking at it this year. When I was seven or eight (1983 or so) I went to see The Nutcracker in Seattle at The Pacific Northwest Ballet. As I looked through this book this year (which I think I bought as an adult but I’m not sure now) I realized that this was the Maurice Sendak (author/illustrator of Where The Wild Things Are) and that he had been commissioned to make the sets for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Nutcracker during the time I saw it. In looking through the book I knew those sets. I remembered the images. So many things collided together for me as I flipped through those pages. This one is not a little kid’s Nutcracker book – it’s big and heavy and in-depth and awesome. And if you like Maurice Sendak there was a really great interview with him on Fresh Air earlier this year that is totally worth your time.
12. The Nutcracker by Gaby Goldsack | This is a very simplified version of the nutcracker story. It was just right for introducing Anna to the story before we went to the ballet but I might be on the lookout for a different version that’s between this one and the one above.
13. The Night Before Christmas with Jan Brett | Amazing illustrations.
14. Elmo’s 12 Days of Christmas | This one will likely be phased out (not sure about that yet).
15. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg | Classic.
19. Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury | This book includes a few different stories. Again, Jan Brett’s illustrations are amazing.
21. The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlberg | This was a new one for our family this year and it was an instant favorite. Lots of things to pull out and read. Great story.
22. Disney’s Merry Christmas Carols | Couldn’t find a source for this one – it’s a Little Golden Book.
We also received two new books this year form a friend in New Zealand – super fun additions to our collection: A Kiwi Jingle Bells and A Kiwi before Christmas both by Yvonne Morrison and Deborah Hinde.
I’d also highly recommend checking out Amanda Soule’s post on her family’s Winter Reading Favorites. Some of my favorites in our collection came from her list – and looking at it now it’s totally possible that I ordered the Maurice Sendak Nutcracker book after reading about it on her blog back in 2007.