We started our school year the day after Labor Day and that first week went just as planned. Half-way through week two we were hit with Hurricane Florence and nothing has really been the same since. We took several weeks off during the worst of the recovery but then we started working school in around relief efforts. For our family that meant helping prepare and serve meals to the volunteers that have been staying at our church to help the community.
We would school first thing in the morning before going to serve lunch, or bring math books and reading with us to work on during down time. Music lessons were happening before breakfast or sometimes even using the laptop at the church. This was what needed to happen and the children have learned a lot from the real life experience of helping to serve others. They have even made new friends from all over the eastern United States. However, there are some things that I’d really like to do this December to help us focus and enjoy the season.
We love books and have a collection of Christmas books that takes up several boxes. I try to add one or two books to it each year. While we will still be volunteering during the first few weeks of December, we will have several weeks off and even the days we are volunteering should be a little slower than those first couple of months. I want to fill our time with lots of Christmas focused read alouds. I purchased Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien as a new read aloud for my older children this year. If time allows I’d also like to read aloud A Christmas Carol to them. If you do not have A Christmas Carol the audio book is currently only 66¢ on audible.
For my four year old I’m purchasing the book An Otis Christmas. We love all of the other Otis books that we have purchased so far and are looking forward to adding this one to the collection. These books are adorable books about a little tractor named Otis and the lessons he learns through his many adventures on the farm. The are sweet and lovely little books that he likes me to read over and over.
In addition to those books we will read lots of holiday themed picture books. I know one of the first ones they will ask for when they realize that the Christmas books are down from storage is Cranberry Christmas. This is a delightful sequel to Cranberry Thanksgiving that we purchased last year. They also enjoy The Very First Christmas which is a recordable book that I recorded myself reading several years ago. Other favorites include The Gift of the Christmas Cookie and The Very First Christmas. There are so many more and I truly couldn’t pick just a few favorites.
Throughout the month my goal is to read whenever we can. Sometimes that might mean just grabbing a book and reading for a few minutes in the morning. Other times, we will pour hot cocoa or eggnog and snuggle up on the couch to read. I have lots of recipes for great Christmas cookies that we hope to have time to bake and enjoy while we read. However, if life gets busy and there is no time to bake or baking feels more stressful there is no shame in having a premade snack. You can enjoy popcorn or cookies from the store. While I want to spend plenty of time with me doing the reading, we may also choose to listen to some of these stories as audio books when we need to be in the car.
I plan to have some of these books displayed as decorations, as well as several baskets with the other books placed throughout the house. I want the books to be a visual reminder to me of our commitment to make this a cozy December full of reading. Having them placed in various locations at easy reach will also make it easier to read in those little pockets of time between activities and commitments. When I look back at the end of the month, I don’t want it to be with regret for what we didn’t do but with peace about the time we spent together.
I thought I was going to leave you with a list of my top ten favorite Christmas books but I was having such a hard time deciding. So, I have several lists of great Christmas books that fit various age groups and situations. I would truly love to hear your favorite books because I’m always looking to add new books to our list. I hope you will join us in making December a month full of good memories and lots of books!
Books For Young Children
The Story of Christmas (board book)
That’s Not My Snowman (board book)
Our Family Favorites
Unwrapping the Greatest Gift (Advent Devotional)
New Books We Are Adding This Year
A Christmas Carol (less than $1 at the time of posting)
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.
Deals and Freebies!
All About Learning has released the best deal of the day: A FREE Snowman Pack with reading and spelling activities for a variety of ages.
Free Makeover Your Morning 5 Day Challenge! This is a great way to help re-focus and get your day off on the right foot.
Harry The Happy Mouse (Free on Kindle)
Illustrated Would You Rather Book (Free on Kindle)
Free Help Your Child’s Memory Book from All About Learning Press!