Christmas stories for young and old

Author: angiem, 12 09th, 2008

Since we gave up our television set a little more than a year ago, we have been doing a lot of reading.  In the beginning it was a bit hard to get used to the seemingly empty evening hours and I confess I was anxious to fill the time with anything that would make the hours pass.  After a few nights of going online to get the news and chat with friends, we realized that our decision to kick the TV out had been in fact a desire to create a bond between us, and not just to prove our superiority to our family and friends.  

So we brought out the cookbooks and cooked up elaborate meals with the kids participating, stocked up on board games and delegated Sunday night ‘family game night,’ and went to the public library and made library cards for each one of us.  (As I am writing this, I am looking out the window at an elderly woman walking along and reading a paperback.  I see her everyday at about this time and sometimes she stops and reads, flipping the page, as though wondering what she missed.  I want to ask her what she’s reading so intently that she can’t wait until she gets home or to the bus stop.  It must be good if she’s willing to risk falling or tripping and breaking an ankle!  I have done that a few times, dragging myself off the couch and walking around the house in an attempt to get some exercise in besides my reading.  I have ended up either stubbing my toes or bumping my head on a wall that suddenly came up. Consequently, I have determined that I much rather work out my brain.)

I am thrilled to say that reading became our favorite pastime. Every evening (unless I go to one of my two book clubs, on a date with my husband, or to the bookstore or library with the family), following a yummy dinner where we sit and chat about our day, school, work, current events, books we’ve read, etc., we all retreat to our cozy family room lined with brimming bookshelves and depending how cold it is outside, a blazing fire, and read until time for bed.

It doesn’t take much to get us into the holiday spirit, even without a TV, or without trips to congested malls.  The kids open the respected day’s flap on the advent calendar, select a book from the overflowing holiday bookshelf, my husband and I find our places in our books, and we’re on our way.  Silent reading is the best!  Nonetheless, memories are made while reading to one another, so we try to remember to include that in our nightly ritual.  Following is our recommended holiday list.  Pick one, pick all, just sit back, sip something comforting (a little spiced apple cider?, a hot cocoa perhaps?), and enjoy making memories!

The Gift of the Magi     O. Henry

The Fir Tree     Hans Christian Andersen

A Miserable, Merry Christmas     Lincoln Steffens

The Legend of the Christmas Rose     Selma Lagerlof

The Birth Of Christ     St. Luke 2:1-16

The Three Wise Men     St. Matthew 2:1-14

A Pint of Judgment     Elizabeth Morrow

The Miraculous Staircase     Arthur Gordon 

The Story of Holly and Ivy     Rumer Godden

The Little Match Girl     Hans Christian Andersen

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe     C.S. Lewis

Toot and Puddle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas     Holly Hobbie

Christmas in the Big Woods     Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree     Robert Barry

Eloise at Christmastime     Kay Thompson




8 Responses to “Christmas stories for young and old”

  1. Lea Achim Says:


    I think what you’re doing with reading is awesome…I wish it was like that for me when i was a kid : )
    And a great list too…i love picture books and i used to read to little kids so i know the titles : )


  2. Ruth Says:

    Hi! This sounds great. Do you discuss what you read together ? Just wondering. It sounds like a great idea. Although, I would miss the TV, mostly for it’s movies. We are building our movie collection. But I also am a bookworm, and so I have told my husband we will need more shelfspace in the near future :) Another children’s book selection… “The Mitten”.

  3. angiem Says:

    Yes, occasionally, we discuss them as we read along. Honestly, sometimes, I don’t care too much about discussing a book I haven’t read yet, as I prefer making my own opinion.
    Thanks about “The Mitten” recommendation. I thought we had it somewhere, but my son says that we had just borrowed it from the library and had returned it a while back. He’s the smartest person in our house, so I guess I’ll just take his word for it and go to Powell’s and buy our own.

  4. Priscilla Says:

    Oh I love reading books… Especially childrens books. I really like The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen and The Mitten is a great one too. :)

  5. Melania Says:

    I must say, I am amazed at your writing skills. i must say; your pretty deep. Im very proud of your decision to take the TV out. I dont think I can pull that one off quite yet, buut I imagine it must be alot easier when you have someone supporting you.
    I feel like its been a lifetime since we used to hang out. I think we both must have changed alot since those care free, sugar free, Zone diet days. They were fun….
    I’ll keep logging on to read more, so keep up the good work “my dear”.

  6. angiem Says:

    Awww… thanks Melania! Yes, those care free, sugar free days were fun, but, come to think of it, I was often starving for all the yummies I couldn’t have.
    I do miss hanging out with you. Things will settle down soon and we’ll get to do it again.

  7. Irina Says:

    I agree with Ruth, “The Mitten” is a great story to add to your book collection. I prefer the one that is retold by Jan Brett. I would also add “The Gingerbread Baby” retold by Jan Brett and “The Polar Express” written by Chris Van Allsburg, who is known for his illustrations.

  8. angiem Says:

    Thanks for “The Gingerbread Baby” and “The Polar Express”, two great books I’m sorry to have overlooked.

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