Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas Books!

On the third day of Christmas...

I am an expert on Christmas books. AN EXPERT. I own over fifty. Yes, you read that correctly. No, it is not normal. I am a book-aholic. I purchased most of these as gifts for the boys over the years (and I'd seriously rather buy books than toys, can I get an amen?), had a few pre-children, and I think we have a handful that I've apparently swiped from my Mama's house. So today it's all about our favorite Christmas books. The must-haves. And where you can get some fun ones for cheap.

*** I hosted two book swaps last year - a kids' version and a mama version. I have had some folks ask but there hasn't been a TON of interest. If you're interested feel free to shoot me an email and I'll try to get it going. fresh{dot}lauren{at}gmail{dot}com. ***

My favorite, favorite, favorite Christmas book is How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss. It should be in everyone's home. I have it pretty much memorized. I can glance at the page and recite the rest of it. If your children don't own a copy, they must. It's the perfect story of the hubbub of Christmas and how the true meaning isn't found in all of the lights and presents and parties and decorations.

My favorite Christmas author (although I'm sure he's more than that) is James Rice. I was introduced to one of his books as a child and I haven't been able to get enough as an adult. The first of his books that I read was The Cajun Night Before Christmas. Eddie cracks up when I read it. I cannot get enough of the story we're all familiar with told in an entirely different dialect. Oh, I love it! A few years ago I purchased Gullah Night Before Christmas. It's even harder to read than Cajun Night Before Christmas! This year, George brought James The Cowboy Night Before Christmas. Definitely more familiar. You'll find that James Rice's name is more commonly on the illustrator side of things. There are a LOT of books in the 'Twas the Night Before series, but he's illustrated most of them. I can't find much about him, but it would be interesting to learn more.

Any of the Jan Brett Christmas books are enchanting. Her illustrations are beautiful!

We love Jade Fang's Twelve Days of Christmas. It features AniMotion technology (I had to look that up) so the pictures move. It's really beautiful and neat.

Another moving-picture book is Sophy Williams' The First Christmas.

The boys really love The Polar Express. It's a sweet, sweet story about a boy who is on the cusp of a very big right of passage. His friends have told him that Santa isn't real and he's trying very hard to cling to what he knows is truth. He boards a train to the North Pole and all kinds of excitement happens. Of course, we love the movie as well.

For grown-ups I recommend Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift. It's a beautiful daily devotional.

If you're looking to bulk-up your collection without spending a ton of money, look into Scholastic's Book Club. (This is not a paid advertisement...we order from them monthly.) You'll likely remember book fairs and the book fliers that went home. That's them. You can find books for $2 and $3. :)

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