We've tried to start several traditions during our 7 years of Christmas with children, but not all of them have stood the test of time (though all began with the best of intentions). Some of them were too time consuming (for mom) during an already busy time of year and others just didn't seem to stick. But one that we have really loved is reading a Christmas book each night of December. Anyone who knows us well is not surprised by this tradition. One year we wrapped them up and the kids opened one each night, but that proved to be too much, so we just put 24 in a decorative box under the tree and choose a different one each night. Simple.
Since Zak's brother Tyler is currently staying with us, he's joined in on the fun.
A few of my very favorites from our extensive (over 50 book) collection:
Santa answers the wish of a little girl by sending her on an adventure to the North Pole with her big brother.
The Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed
One of my favorite "doubting Santa" books. I used to read this to my 6th graders every year-that age that they are on the doubting end of things and I loved to see their faces when I got to the last page. A great story.
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner
Like her other "Snowmen" books, this one is a imaginative story about the crazy things snowmen do after we go to bed at night (we have the regular picture book and the pop-up. Love both).
The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza by David Shannon
A man decides to outdo all of the neighbors Christmas decorations and goes overboard, forgetting his family and everything else that really matters. Fun book (as are all David Shannon's books) and good moral.
Who Was Born This Special Day? by Eve Bunting
A great picture book about Christ's birth for the younger set. This is one of the first books that we added to our collection. Few words, fabulous illustrations.
The Christmas Story by Carol Heyer
The story of Christ's birth accompanied by beautiful illustrations.
The First Christmas illustrated by Sophy Williams
Since the Christmas story is basically the same from book to book, I like to find books with amazing illustrations, etc that will distinguish it from the other retellings. That way we can read the REAL Christmas story several times throughout December without complaint from the kids. This one is a changing picture book. So when you flip open a portion of the page, the picture changes. My kids love it.