I was thinking, when I saw this button for this year’s Virtual Advent Tour, that I’d been a part of this since the very, very beginning. So, I went back and looked, and discovered that, yes, I have been. One of the benefits of being an Old Fogey in Blog Years.
One of the downsides is that it’s difficult coming up with new ideas every year…
But, going through past posts, I’ve talked about stories, yes, and I’ve talked about books, but I think what was needed is a list of all my favorite Christmas stories. (I am also doing this in the hope that I can get some good suggestions for next year’s book.)
1. Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff: I don’t have many Nativity books, mostly because the ones I find are either too didactic or too saccharine. But this one, available only in board book, is charming and sweet and perfect.
2. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg: Do I need to write about this one? I still cry at the end, no matter how many times I read it.
3. Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus, by Frances Pharcellus Church: A lovely Victorian-inspired illustrated version of the original letter.
4. The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Jan Brett. There are many versions of this one, but even after years and years, I love Jan Brett’s version of this. (Though Holly Hobbie‘s new one is quite lovely as well.) I’m not a big fan of Brett, overall, but her style suits this story.
5. Great Joy, by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline: Simple story of a homeless man and a young girl in a church nativity play. It’s not often so few words pack so powerful a punch. Gorgeous illustrations as well (which is a must!).
6. Christmas Day in the Morning, by Pearl S. Buck, illustrated by Mark Buehner: I don’t often read this one because it’s long, but it’s worth the read. And Buehner’s dark, lush art only adds to this touching story.
7. The Twelve Days of Christmas, illustrated by Laurel Long: it’s just the Christmas song, but in this case, the art is Everything. I am also fond of Emma’s Christmas by Irene Trivas for a retelling of this. Unfortunately, I think it’s out of print.
8. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr Seuss: I keep wondering if I’ll ever get tired of this because we read it constantly during the month of December every single year. I don’t think so, though.
9. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers. Not a Christmas book, but a winter one. And gorgeously quiet.
I had a couple that could go here, but I think, in the end, I’m going to put the one that I picked up this year. It’s not the best book, per se, (it’s cheesy and I think it’s one of those mass-produced ones that change depending on where you live) but it’s fun, and the kids like it.
10. Santa is Coming to Kansas, by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Robert Dunn and Stefano Azzalin
There are mine. What are your favorite Christmas books?