If you’ve been wanting to restore the traditional practice of family read-aloud time, then the Christmas season is the perfect time to start. If you have children in various age groups in your family, you can choose selections accordingly, something simple and full of beautiful illustrations for the younger kids, followed by some longer chapter books for your older children. It’s always fun to include a mix of classic literature alongside a few contemporary stories.
Christmastime evokes many emotions. Many people experience both joy and sorrow at this time of year. There are plenty of stories available that reflect these emotions, as well as tales that are funny, suspenseful or surprising. Consider the ages and personalities of your family members, then compile a stack of books that you can enjoy together throughout the holiday season. We’ve included some excellent suggestions in this blog post.
These Christmas stories are perfect for your next family read-aloud
The following list features five suggestions for a Christmas family read-aloud, including a basic overview of each:
Nancy & Plum: If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you’ll recognize the artistic flair of famed illustrator Mary GrandPré in this adventurous and warm-hearted tale of two orphaned sisters, who are determined to seek Christmas joy beyond the confines of the boarding school where they have been bullied and cruelly punished since losing their parents in a terrible accident. Betty McDonald (who wrote Mrs. Piggle Wiggle) first introduced readers to these unforgettable characters in 1952. Your family will love getting to know them, too!
The Family Under the Bridge: Natalie Savage Carlson earned a Newberry Honor Award for this wonderful Christmas story, which features an old man on the streets of Paris who develops an unexpected friendship and desire to help three hungry children who have suddenly appeared under the bridge he calls his home. Garth Williams (illustrator of Charlotte’s Web and the Little House books) provides the imagery that will capture your heart and stay in your thoughts long after you’ve read the last page.
Cole Family Christmas: Hazel Cole Kendle and Jennifer Liu Bryan tell the story of a family with nine children, who discover the true meaning of Christmas together as they strive to make the holidays special in an impoverished, coal-mining town. The story is based on Kendle’s real family and includes a 1919 photograph of the same!
The Christmas Story: Eloise Wilkin illustrated this classic Little Golden Book, first published in 1952. It’s the perfect book for bringing the true meaning of Christmas to life for young children, who will hear of Joseph and Mary on a journey to Bethlehem and the birth of a baby who came to save the world.
The Christmas Blessing: Your little ones will love this story, written by Erin Guendelsberger, which tells a fictional tale of the stable animals who join efforts to prepare the stable for the birth of Jesus. By agreeing to set their differences aside, the animals learn the true meaning of love, peace and family on the first Christmas night.
Make your Christmas family read-aloud time special by gathering around the tree at story time and preparing hot cocoa or festive snacks, which the children can enjoy while you read. Perhaps some of the kids would like to take turns reading to their siblings and parents, as well. This is a wonderful tradition to make memories with your loved ones that they will cherish for a lifetime. And, who knows? Perhaps your family read-aloud time will inspire someone in your household to write a Christmas story of their own!