Time for us to start to read favorite Christmas stories for kids. What are your family favorites?
Each year, we dig out the pile of these special stories and add a few more. Some of these come from the library and some from garage sales when we discover them. We may read them once or twice and then we put them away until the calendar says December. We have an assortment of new ones and very old, as well as interesting and not so much.
Christmas for Greta and Gracie, is a story for siblings. The author Yasmeen Ismail, from Dublin, must have a brother or sister, an older one. It’s not so easy being the younger one, especially when the older one always seems to know more and fills the moments with her words. In this story though, the younger one has quite a Christmas adventure and gets to tell Big Sister about it. (Being a middle child, I found my Big Sister always knew more. My Little Sister had another advantage. I remember I always had to let her go first or have something because she was younger. She, of course, remembers it quite differently.) Family dynamics are so interesting, but it isn’t necessarily the older one who has an advantage over the younger.
Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and Jarvis is another new release and likely to be included on a list of favorite Christmas stories for kids. Many holiday scenes have snow, ice, polar bears, and penguins. However, penguins do not live at the North Pole. They are South Pole creatures. Technically, they are in the wrong place. Or are they? In this story, a lost family of penguins takes a wrong turn and need to be guided home by a polar bear. On the way, they stop at a few other countries and enjoy the sites. After helping them reach home, the polar bear returns to his. There is a lovely surprise at the end.
This story of imaginary animals seems to mirror what real families do at this time of the year. Not the going on a picnic, but journeying home and welcoming visitors. The polar bear and penguin discover they have similarities despite being poles apart. Aren’t we reaching out to others too to help and understand?
Choosing a favorite story at our house would be an impossible task. We have one very unique one that must come out every year. It keeps kids in one spot while adults can rush around and get something done. A scratchy LP record of How The Grinch Stole Christmas is old enough to be vintage. So is the children’s record player. In a couple of places we have to carefully lift the needle over the groove where it gets stuck and the sound quality is terrible but the kids listen attentively and shush the grownups if we make too much noise. That alone is worth suffering through the record.
What are your family’s favorite Christmas stories for kids?