BOOKS AND MUSIC FOR A FAMILY CHRISTMAS
“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year“- Charles Dickens.
Pulling out our collection of Christmas books is definitely one of our first and fun holiday traditions. I am pleased to share some of our favorite children’s Christmas books that we read before bed every night in December, music for the whole family and also some great Christmas books for adults.
Every December we light up the season with these 2 festive Christmas Cd’s for the whole family edited by Putumayo World Music: A Family Christmas and Christmas around the world. We bought these cd’s some years ago and we love the songs, most of which have been sung by families for generations. I feel that few elements of the Christmas season are more universal and evoke more holiday spirit than music.
You can celebrate the season with Putumayo’s festive holiday collections. A portion of the proceeds from these recordings will be donated to the Putumayo Cross-Cultural Initiative that uses world music and the arts to inspire children and families worldwide to explore and connect with diverse cultures.
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” by Rachel Griffin.
“Dream Snow” by Eric Carle.
Eric Carle ’s picture book Dream Snow is a cute Christmas story with a little music at the end.
The entire family will love reading this charming and gentle winter story, which I am sure will become a classic soon. You can read here the complete review.
This is one of our favorite Christmas books for the whole family, but regrettably, I think it is only available in Spanish. It includes complete information about traditions, history and different celebrations of this season all over the world. This is an ideal book for children from 6 to 14 years old.
This is just one of my favorite Christmas stories by Charles Dickens, but you can also read the complete Christmas books and stories by this author. I would also recommend the book “Dickens and Christmas”, an exploration of the 19th-century phenomenon that became the Christmas we know and love today and of the writer who changed, forever, the ways in which it is celebrated. Dickens and Christmas seem always like a great idea!
“Christmas tales” is a great gift for adults. It includes an exquisite selection of 38 tales written by authors like Paul Auster, Truman Capote, the Grimm brothers, and Joyce. 200 years of great literature for Christmas lovers! In Spanish, this book has been edited by Alba (and regrettably I could not find the English version)
This comic book makes me nostalgic. I used to read it as a child, but I imagine that “classics never get old”. It is fun to see my kids enjoying these stories…
“The night before Christmas” by Nikolái Gogol.
I read the Spanish version edited by Nordica Libros and you can find here the English version. Written in 1831 by Ukrainian author Gogol, it is not your everyday “Night Before Christmas” tale. This is the tale of the battle between the devil, and blacksmith Vakula, a beautiful story about love, jealousy and snow storms. It would be a great addition to your Christmas Library.
And at last, my favorite classic Christmas story: “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by German author E.T. A. Hoffmann.
It was first published in 1816 in a volume entitled Kinder-Mährchen (“Children’s Stories”), and we are all familiar with this magical tale thanks to the ballet adaptation with a score by Tchaikovsky. (The Nutcracker is probably everyone’s favorite Christmas ballet, and seeing it at Christmastime has become quite a tradition).
This timeless story about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages but I would suggest that perhaps it might be appropriate for older children (9+).
Do you also have some favorite Christmas books? And a particular Christmas tradition in your family? We love “The Elf on the Shelf” tradition. We have the green Spanish version of the elf. His name is “Federico” and he fills our home with fun stories for 25 days leading up to Christmas . Here are some photos and ideas if you’d like to see:
I hope that you will be soon in vacation mode, feeling thankful for your family and home!