Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday that we were headed back to school? This year has been challenging, but we look forward to the new year with hope and anticipation. But wait…the holidays are fast approaching making formal learning even more difficult to accomplish. I’m not sure if it is the anticipation of the “big day” or rather the “visions of sugar plums dancing” in their heads. Either way, it can be difficult to get regularly scheduled learning accomplished each day. A good alternative is to take it easy with your holiday schedule and gravitate more to reading and a generally more relaxed method of learning.
The Answer is Always a Good Book!
Some favorite seasonal stories are perfect for this festive time of year. Instead of fighting those “sugar plums,” try incorporating reading into your holiday schedule. Just for fun along with the books, we are including some titles found free on the internet and a few links to Christmas songs. That way, with your busy schedule you do not necessarily have to even go to the library! (but of course, a trip to the library is always a good thing)
Countdown to Christmas Reading
A fun literature activity centered around Christmas and celebrating the Advent season is to wrap up 25 books and have your child unwrap and read (or listen) to the new Christmas book. Not only is this a fun educational activity but you are creating special memories that may become a Christmas tradition for years to come! Maybe at the end of Christmas, while putting away decorations, you could wrap the books back up so they are ready to go for next year!
Young Readers or Young at Heart
The books listed below are written for younger readers but it may be just as fun for mom or dad (or an older sibling) to read them aloud to young learners. They range from old classics to newer books chock full of holiday merriment that will bring a smile to everyone’s face.
- The Christmas Angel by D. Brown
- Santa Never Forgets!
- 50 Below Zero by R. Munsch
- The Mouse and the Christmas Cake
- The Gingerbread Man
- The Twelve Days of Christmas
- The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving
- The Polar Express!
- There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!
- Merry Christmas, Stinky Face
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Read Aloud or Listen Together!
Pour some hot cocoa, grab some Christmas cookies, and have the family gather around to hear these Christmas classics! Many of the following are free for you to read aloud now. For the readers in the family, take turns reading through these delightful stories!
- The Gift of the Magi
- The Little Match Girl
- Twas The Night Before Christmas
- A Christmas Carol
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
- Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray
- World War II Night Before Christmas by Mike Guardia
- How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace
- Learning to Ski with Mr. Magee by Chris Van Dusen
- The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri L. Smith
- Winterfrost by Michelle Houts
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingles Wilder
Teen Christmas Reading
Let’s face it, you are never too old for some Christmas merrymaking! Here’s a wonderful list of Christmas books that are sure to put your teen (or you) in the Christmas spirit. These are perfect to keep on your bookshelf this time of year to be picked up and read beside a roaring fire.
- Old Christmas by Washington Irving
- The Golden Road by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- A Country Christmas by Louisa May Alcott
- The Christmas Surprise at Enderly Road by Lucy Maud Montgomery
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause
- Christmas Jars by Jason F Wright
- The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas by Joanne Huist Smith
- May There Always Be Enough: A Saint Nicholas Story by Donald Jay
- Christmas Stories: 7 Original Short Stories by Kevin Moore
- All I Want For Christmas by Jenny Hale
Music for Good Cheer
There is nothing better than a Christmas song or jingle to get your heart and mind ready for the joys of the holiday season. Which ones are your favorite?
- Frosty The Snowman
- I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
- Away in a Manger
- Mary, Did you Know?
- Jingle Bells
- Silent Night
- 12 Days of Christmas
- Santa Claus is Coming to Town