Sunday, November 25, 2012

December ADVENTures -- in Books

Yep, I'm here with my second installment on how to get your December off to a grand start of memories and fun!  Today we're talking about books.  And, not just any books but Christmas books!  

In this post, you were told to:

  1. Grab a December calendar online or make one or find one at home
  2. Plug in the dates you already have plans for (school plays, sports, special gatherings)
  3. Jot down the events that happen in your area that you hold an interest in participating in (Santa visits, tree lightings, parades, etc.)

Now that you have the base laid out for you, you know where you can plan for more time-intensive activities and/or ones that require quite a bit less effort.

Each day you will PLAN  to view a movie, complete an activity together, read a book, focus on a letter of the alphabet (for those with little ones like me), and address part of the 12 days of Christmas as it parallels to the Bible.  The important thing here is to PLAN.  You can always deviate from the plan but at least HAVE a plan. 

And, as a reminder, I'm here to help!  We've already addressed movies yesterday and today is another fun one --- books!

Like movies, I have a slew of Christmas books!  (If you don't know what a "slew" is, it's more than a lot and probably more along the lines of a Christmas book hoarder!) Again, if you don't own any, have no fear -- the library is your friend!  And, so are your friends!  In a bind?  Do a weekly Christmas book swap with your friends!  What a great way to experience new books for no cost!

So, what books should we read?  When should we schedule them?  That's entirely up to you.  I have a tradition in my home, however, that we read certain books on certain days.  Like movies -- I'm ridiculously anal like that.  For instance, Christmas Eve -- every year we read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.   And here are the books that make the cut at our house:

The Christmas StorySlide 5Slide 8

Santa CallsBear Stays Up for ChristmasHow Santa Got His JobShhh!B Is for Bethlehem (Picture Puffins)I Smell Christmas: Scratch-and-sniff Book (Little Critter Board Books)Slide 0

I will have to add that there are three books that every parent AND grandparent needs.  Period.  I don't care what your children's ages are:
 This book is such a treasured heirloom for me and my kids.  This has seven of Jan Brett's works in it:  The Mitten, The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Trouble with Trolls, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Hat, Christmas Trolls, The Night Before Christmas.  The words are timeless.... the illustrations are so detailed, intricate and amazing.  This one book will take up a week's time on your list alone...and it is worth the time!  What's even BETTER is that you can really bring her characters to life because she has printable activities on her website

  The Crippled Lamb is a timeless story by Max Lucado that is read by someone in our family either ON Christmas or on Christmas eve at our family gathering.  It's the story about a little lamb who wants more than nothing to go with his friends to the pasture but being crippled, he can't keep up.  As such, he has to stay behind.  But then, in the night, visitors come to the stable...and he discovers his purpose was one of great importance.  If you can make it through this one with a dry eye -- you've got me beat.  It's a definite for every family in my book!

The Night Before Christmas Board BookAnd, although Jan Brett has The Night Before Christmas in her treasury collection... and it is awesome... I simply LOVE the illustrations in this version as well.  So, sometimes we read this book more than once with different authors illustrators because the pictures are just THAT GOOD!

To me, one of the fun aspects of this tradition is that every year you'll discover something new... or think of another way to bring them to life.  

Another way to make the presentation of this tradition more fun is to actually WRAP each book so that it's a present to open each day leading up to Christmas.  Let's face it -- kids love to open stuff!  Treat them to a gift of books every single day!  How fun is that?

Tomorrow, we will address the 12 Days of Christmas Bible Study.  It's awesome to see the parallels brought to life this way.  I hope you enjoy it.

Continually getting in the spirit!  Yes, I am!


chksngr said...

LOVE THIS!!! I plan all of it...the elf, the days we do things, every little bit. That way I can look at a calendar and know what is on the agenda...or NOT do something that IS planned, but spend time instead. Its so freeing to not have to worry about orchestrating the "fun" moments IN the moment...and then I'm not cramming everything into the last week of the year.

Alexis AKA MOM said...

I love all those books I so need to get some more for the kids to work. Cole's class is having to read 30 minutes a day and I'm running out of new books.