I love to fill our home with good Christmas books and movies as we start December. Having a great selection in the house means that the kids can read books independently, to each other, and I can read them as well. The movies are fun for down times, wrapping Christmas presents, and when I have a lot to get done. As a mom, I always have more tasks to do in December, so having extra movies around can be helpful for those moments and keep the stress levels lower in our home.
Here are some of our favorites. We own a number of them, but we also use our library to get even more. (We don’t celebrate Santa in our home so you won’t find those on this list.)
The Gift of the Magi is such a great story of being selfless and giving the best you have. This particular picture book version has excellent illustrations for this classic tale. It also gives the kids are glimpse into history with the prices and treasured possessions.
Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story is about giving to others. The main character of the story is on the receiving end of gifts as a child and grows up to give back to the community. Last year was the first year we read it, and my kids immediately remembered it when I asked what library books we should put on hold.
The Legend of the Candy Cane is a story that talks about the candy cane and how it can tell us about Jesus. I always appreciate books that point to the true reason of the season.
J Is for Jesus: The Sweetest Story Ever Told is also about the candy cane. We have a board book version of this, and it is great for reinforcing biblical truths.
Treasures of the Snow is a favorite Christmas read-aloud. It is such a sweet story to me and one I read growing up. It’s not exactly a “Christmas” book, but many major scenes in the book take places at various Christmases. I really appreciate the lessons about how bitterness and holding a grudge can continue to escalate as well as the forgiveness that only comes from Christ. We are starting this book today, and I’m excited just thinking about it.
The Crippled Lamb is a Max Lucado book about a lamb who gets to see Jesus’s birth. My children appreciated the part of the story about the good shepherd searching and finding his lost sheep as well.
One Wintry Night is in the shape of a picture book, but it is a longer text with short chapters. Over the course of 11 chapters, the story of Christ’s birth (from creation through resurrection) is shared by an old woman to a little boy. This book would really be a good one to read over the course of a week or two for teaching what Christmas is all about. It is written by Billy Graham’s wife Ruth and was written almost 20 years ago. This was a great library find this week.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition is another recent library find. The book is a good story about a man who lost his wife and baby. The book shares about how another little boy helped the man to heal. The copy we have from the library included an incredible reading of the book by James Earl Jones. I think my children have listened to the book four of five times already.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story is from the same series as Silver Packages above. Ruthie loved that this book was about a girl named Ruthie. Since it is a story back at the end of World War I (from the mention of Armistice), it is a Christmas story to share the history of what others used to do to celebrate Christmas.
Miracle in a Shoe Box: A Christmas Gift of Wonder, written by Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, is a picture book about Operation Christmas Child. This book was written back before I had ever heard of packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child and is out of print. Our library had a copy though, and we enjoyed the sweet story for a boy packing a box for another little boy in Bosnia.
The Story of St. Nicholas: More Than Reindeer and a Red Suit is about the historical Christian named Nicholas that led to all the Christmas legends we have today about Santa Clause. His story includes mentions of Diocletian and Constantine as well as the Council of Nicea. (In the text, the book talks about a meeting of all the church leaders, but the introduction lets us know it’s the Council of Nicea.) My children love the timeline references as we read about a man who stood up for his faith. This book is published by Voice of the Martyrs so it talks about people who are still persecuted today just like St. Nicholas was. We found this book in our chapel’s library (not at the public library).
ADDED: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a new favorite for Christmas. After writing this post last year, someone recommended this book to us. We had so many great discussions about how to show God’s love to others. I can’t wait to read it again this year!
A Wowiebozowee Christmas (Boz the Green Bear) is an old family favorite. When my children were preschoolers, Boz was one of their favorites to watch. This Christmas one is still a favorite for all the kids. Boz and his friends go Christmas caroling, bake cookies, have a gift exchange making gifts for each other, and tell the Christmas story. The kids learned lots of Christmas songs from this DVD and really still enjoy it every year. After the first time we watched it, the kids wanted to exchange names for presents “just like Boz.”
VeggieTales Holiday Double Feature which includes The Toy That Saved Christmas and The Star Of Christmas. Isaiah loves that the stories “show that Christmas isn’t about the presents or family gatherings, but about Jesus’s birth. We get presents, but it reminds us of the greatest present: Jesus.”
A Fruitcake Christmas is a Hermie DVD. It teaches that Christmas is still Christmas even without special food or presents because it’s about Christ’s birth.
Crippled Lamb (DVD of the same story as the book mentioned above)
St. Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving is the Veggie Tale that teaches the story of the actual St. Nicholas. While we don’t celebrate with Santa at Christmas, I do like the kids to know about the man behind the legend.
Mickey’s Christmas Carol is a fun way to introduce Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. We enjoyed this last year. Elijah also liked The Muppet Christmas Carol, but the others remember it as being “too scary.” The story does involve ghosts so it can be too intense for children.
Are we missing any of your favorites?
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