This time of year we are reading Christmas stories at bedtime. If there is one thing I am particular about when it comes to what we read, it is that Christmas stories are read between Thanksgiving and Christmas, no earlier and no later. The Christmas books get packed away with the decorations and the tree after Epiphany and emerge along with all the Christmas cd's when Advent begins so there is no chance that Isaac will insist on reading one at bedtime in July. Christmas may come to the rest of America when the first ornaments hit store shelves in August, but in our house there is no sign of it until late November.
But once it does come to the Cravey household it hits with full force. The decorations go up, the music starts playing and bedtime stories are dominated by Santa, elves, Grinches, Whoes, mangers, angels and a host of other Christmas symbols. I try to buy Isaac a Christmas book each year so that we have a new one to look forward to, but he often returns to some old favorites.
Some of his most recent repeat choices:
Carl's Christmas -- I don't use this blog to talk about books I do not like, but I am not a fan of the Carl series. So, of course, Isaac loves this book. I just don't understand how the parents can leave their infant home to be babysat by a rottweiler?! Which is exactly the appeal of this wordless story in which Carl, said rottweiler, and the nameless baby (really -- the parents call it baby on the one page that has words) eagerly await Santa's visit while the parents are off to church and Grandma's house. Why don't they take baby with them to Grandma's house, you ask? That is a question for the Wise Men.
Snowmen at Christmas -- This is a follow up to Snowmen at Night (which is allowed to stay in the regular rotation of books seeing as it is a winter story not a holiday story -- I am okay with reading a winter story in July). In these books, a little boy builds a snowman and imagines what he does when no one is watching. There are snowmen parties and games and a snowman Santa and snow ornaments and snow presents and snowmen singing carols around a tree. Isaac is fascinated by the adventures that the snow people have and it is fun to read.
You Can Do It Sam -- This story is about a little bear who helps his mother deliver treats to their neighbors on a cold winter morning. I think the appeal in this book is that the little bear is learning how to be independent, just as Isaac is at this stage. And the bear has the same name as one of his best buddies.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas -- This is part of a series of books about Bear and his forest friends. The first one, Bear Snores On, is my favorite, but Isaac likes the Christmas one a lot, too. Bear's friends keep him awake so he can celebrate Christmas with them for the first time and Bear surprises them by making them presents.
Elf on a Shelf -- This is not just a book, it is a season long game. I finally bought it this year and we are all having fun -- Isaac by trying to find the elf each morning and Matt and I by finding new places to put him each night. We have been reading the book that comes with the elf for the past few nights. The book is so-so, but the elf is cute.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas -- Not much needs to be said about this one. Isn't it everyone's favorite?
There are hundreds of Christmas stories for children out there that hold a special place in many people's hearts. These are Isaac's favorites. What is yours?