Christmas is a special time made memorable by family traditions. One of the wonderful things that we can do during this season, apart from partaking in family feasts, is to read special stories. Reading books as we cuddle our children will open their minds to ponder on the deeper meaning of Christmas.
Some families, like ours, collect Christmas books for kids, wrap each one like a gift, and unwrap one book a day from December 1 until Christmas day. To help you get into the spirit of Christmas and start this tradition in your own homes, we’ve listed ten magical books that are available in local bookstores.
Lucy befriends the new candy storeowner in town who shares with her the legend of the candy cane. She discovers that when the candy is upside down, it looks like a “j”, which stands for Jesus. When it’s right side up, it resembles a shepherd’s staff. The red stripes are for the blood of Jesus, while the white stripes are for His purity.
This is truly a heartwarming story that reminds us of what Christmas is about.
A classic Dr. Seuss story, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” is about the grumpy Grinch who seeks to sabotage Whoville’s holiday merriment by acting like Santa Claus… in reverse. He climbs chimneys and steals the Whos gifts and food. To his utter surprise, though, Christmas still comes, with the Whos singing and continuing with their merrymaking instead of crying as he expected.
Available at Fully Booked, P599
3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
If you’re grappling with how to tell your kids that there’s no Santa Claus, especially after years of giving them “gifts from Santa,” The Polar Express may just be the book to introduce to them the idea that Santa may not be real after all. In the story, a boy is woken up by the tinkling of bells and finds himself in a train full of kids heading to the North Pole. Once there, he asks for one of the bells in Santa’s sleigh as his gift, as proof that Santa exists. This is an enchanting book that will bring magic to the holiday.
Available at National Bookstore, P460.99
4. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
The Little Match Girl may be the saddest Christmas story ever written. A little girl is sent out by her father to sell matches out in the cold streets. One night, freezing cold and hungry, she lights up some matches and is rewarded by visions of a Christmas tree, a dinner feast, and her dead grandmother who beckons to her. The following morning, the girl is found dead in the streets.
This is a classic Christmas story found in various booklists. Its message of compassion is important for children to hear.
A little lamb named Josh is sad; he is crippled and can’t jump and run. One day, the shepherd and the other animals go to a greener pasture, leaving Josh behind. He stays with his friend, Abigail, an old cow, and they pretend to go on adventures together. One night, they notice strange noises and see a baby in the feedbox. Josh ends up being one of the first to welcome Jesus into the world.
Children are fascinated by the idea of guardian angels watching over them. In this book by singer and author Gloria Gaither, a child says of angels, “They’re all above me.” This heartwarming story has an accompanying CD of the author; the music Ordinary Baby speaks about Jesus’ birth and life.
First published in 1963, “Mr. Willoby’s Christmas Tree” is an exuberant story about how Mr. Willoby instructs his butler to trim the top of his very large tree and how the trimmed off portion gets shorter and shorter still, and passed on to the maid, gardener, and a whole lot of small animals. The rhyming text makes this a hit with young ones, as they learn about sharing and recycling.
A young girl helps her mother weave a blanket that will be used by the child Jesus during a Christmas procession. When her mother falls ill, Lucida tries to do it herself but ends up with a tangled mess. Distressed that she doesn’t have a gift for Baby Jesus on Christmas Eve, she gathers some weeds and goes to church. As she prays, the weeds become beautiful red flowers. This Mexican legend teaches children that “any gift is beautiful because it is given.”
A perfect first Christmas book, “The Birds of Bethlehem” is about the birds that gather excitedly to talk about the wondrous news about the birth of a child. This charming book tells the story of the nativity in simple language and beautiful illustrations.