Whether you are trying to fight it or are eager to embrace it, the holiday season is fast approaching. To get you in the mood for goodwill, cheer and general merriment, you can grab one of many classic holiday books covering everything from Christmas to Kwanzaa. These stories will keep you entertained, inspire you to see the good in others and help get you in the mood for your seasonal celebration.
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
If you really want to get into the spirit of Christmas, it doesn’t get more classic than Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” The story of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge changing his ways thanks to visits from the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come has endured as a holiday staple for more than a century and a half. By introducing the story to your children, you can ensure that it continues to extoll the virtues of being a kinder person for generations more.
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss
A seasonal standard, Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is a book enjoyed every year by both children and adults. The illustrated book tells the tale of the Grinch, a selfish, lonely character who is determined to ruin Christmas for the residents of Whoville. The Grinch hatches a plan to steal everything that represents the holiday — decorations, presents and even families’ feasts — so that there will be no celebrations on Christmas morning. Like “A Christmas Carol,” the story of a grouch turned good reminds us all of the true spirit behind the holiday.
“Hanukkah Haiku” by Harriet Ziefert
Each of the eight nights of Hanukkah is celebrated with a special haiku in Harriet Ziefert’s “Hanukkah Haiku.” The beautiful illustrations by Karla Gudeon complement the inspired words of Ziefert, rendered wonderfully in the traditional Japanese poetic form. Each poem highlights the traditions, symbols and joy of Hanukkah simply and elegantly, making it the perfect book for children just learning about the holiday.
“Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story” by Angela Shelf Medearis and Daniel Minter
Outlining the seven principles of Kwanzaa through captivating pictures and thoughtful words, “Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanzaa Story,” by Angela Shelf Medearis and illustrator Daniel Minter, tells the story of seven brothers attempting to fulfill their father’s last wish: to spin seven spools of thread into gold. Celebrating the importance of family and working together, this story’s message is inspiring for readers of any age.
“The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice” by Wendy Pfeffer
The shift from autumn to winter gets most people into the mindset of the holiday season, and Wendy Pfeffer’s “The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice” looks at the science behind the change in seasons. It also promotes greater understanding of different cultural celebrations, and it offers up family-friendly activities to share after you’ve completed reading.
The holidays can be a stressful time no matter what or how you celebrate. To remind yourself of the purpose of the season and to get your kids in on the spirit, consider kicking off your festivities with these books.