12 Dec, 2023 TEEN INSIGHT: Five Christmas MUST READS for kids
By Teen Opinion Contributor Maggie Verdught
There’s something about reading a wintry Christmas story that just makes me happy inside.
Do you feel that way too? Childlike simplicity and imagination are special things, and they ought to be valued as such. Reading picture books with your family (or by yourself!) this Christmas season is one of the best ways to remind ourselves of this. And, of course, to recognize and remember the reason we celebrate Christmas– Jesus’ birth! There are a lot of book choices out there, so I’ve compiled a list of five “must-reads” which I think are worth cozying up to and reading this December.
by Barbara Joosse
This story is about a little boy growing up alongside a large evergreen tree next to his house in the countryside. The story moves in intervals quickly; as the boy grows up, so does the tree, which eventually becomes the Christmas tree of his nearby city, before it dies. I believe the nature of this story is actually quite poignant, if you look for it here, even amidst the book’s pretty pictures and imagery. The story’s Christmas tree is gloriously on display at the end of its life. Which I think is a contrast with the boy’s life – who has grown up by the end of the book and will eventually die soon as well. What a wholesome picture in this Christmas book that reminds us to make the most of our time here on earth.
The Family Christmas Tree Book
by Tomie de Paola
You might recognize this author’s name, as he has written and illustrated many other books, such as Strega Nona.
The story is simply about a family decorating for Christmas by putting up their tree with its lights and ornaments. Along the way, the children in the family ask questions about the history and origin of decorating Christmas trees.
I would recommend this book for children ages six to ten. This is mainly because, for a picture book, there are a lot of words on each page! I don’t think younger children would be as engaged or enthusiastic about reading and learning from this book. One thing to note: there was no mention of the Christmas story, or the reason for our celebration on that day. However, I still enjoyed reading this book and learning more about the history of Christmas trees. Altogether, I found this book to be intriguing and wholesome.
The First Christmas
by Will Moses
This Christmas book is really lovely and has a classic feel to it. The words in the book are simply the lyrics to the song “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” The pictures in the book are beautiful paintings of the Christmas story, and I thoroughly enjoyed that as well. It made me slow down and really think more about the lyrics as I read, and that made me appreciate and value that beauty and truth more.
Additionally, this book is very engaging for any age! A child as young as two or three years old would probably still listen well and enjoy this one. The true meaning of Christmas is showcased in the story, too, another great thing about this book to go along with its beautiful words and paintings!
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
by Clement Clarke Moore
Yes, that’s right. The words in this book are those of the classic poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The poem, as you probably know, is about Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, and his journey bringing gifts on Christmas Eve. The book is a simple one, but I like it because it instills that excitement and healthy anticipation for Christmas! It’s a fun one to read, especially as a family, perhaps on Christmas Eve this year. Its illustrations are basic, but still good-looking. This is a book where, as you may probably expect, the real meaning of Christmas is not mentioned at all. However, make the most of this opportunity to remind yourself (or your family, if you are reading with them!) of the real meaning of Christmas. It is not all about giving and receiving gifts, although they are fun. Jesus is the reason for the season.
Who Is Coming To Our House?
by Joseph Slate
Our family owns this one as a board book, and we’ve had it for quite some time. I enjoy it very much. It is a sweet story; told in rhyme, it follows the animals conversations as they watch and wonder who is coming to visit them. Of course, those people are Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus! This is a book I think young children would especially enjoy. There’s also just something about the cadence and flow of the rhyming words that make easy books like this fun to read.
I hope that you and your family experience great joy in this Christmas season, and enjoy these wonderful books as well!
The opinions in this article are specific to its author, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the entire Counter Culture Mom team.
Maggie VerDught is a high school student who enjoys learning about culture, news, and politics.
She is passionate about sharing the truth, especially with her generation. Maggie loves to run, read, and write poetry in her spare time.
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