Saturday, November 27, 2010

Holiday Reading: Secular Titles

Okay, friends, here is part two of the holiday posts.  As a school teacher, I've come across some great books for all kinds of holidays, so here are a couple of my favorites:

  • The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  Follow the hysterical journey as the Herdmans bully their way into a small town's Christmas pageant.  I love this book so much I still read it every year, even as an adult.
  • It's Christmas by Jack Prelutsky.  A super fun book of poetry, and I can vividly remember buying this book from the Scholastic book club in the fifth grade.  Not only that, but I got to go and read it to a kindergarten class.  You will adore the poems-they are both silly and heartwarming.  I read the poems (out of the same book) to my classroom every year.
  • Welcome Comfort by Patricia Polacco.  I could write a whole post on her, but this book is about a young child who accompanies Santa and their flight.
  • Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco.  If your kid doesn't believe in Santa anymore, this is a wonderful story that weaves both Christmas and Hannukah traditions together in one book. A great story of God's ultimate plan.
  • The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco.  Another beautifully written story for those too old for St. Nick.  This one, too, incorporates elements of Christmas and Hannukah.  A wonderful story about giving being better than receiving. 
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett.  If you have younger children, they will love this tale of a small boy who loses a mitten and all the animals who come to dwell there.  The illustrations alone tell the story!
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.  No explanation necessary.
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.  Again, do we really need to delve into an explanation about why this is on the list?
Okay, that's it for now.  Happy reading!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Holiday Reading: Sacred Titles

Hi Friends,

After a long break, I'm back. 

Big smile.

And while there may be a part two to this post, right now I want to share with you some of my favorite holiday books to read again and again during this season, since Advent is almost upon us.

Come Let Us Adore Him: Stories Behind the Most Cherished Christmas Hymns by Robert J. Morgan.  This book chronicles the stories behind some of the most popular and lesser known hymns (at least to this Methodist).  I loved reading the story behind "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come" because it informs about Martin Luther and how he not only helped a convent of nuns, but married one and she bore him a son.  Luther wrote that song for his song to help understand the importance of Christmas.  And that, dear friends, is just one incredible story!

The Glory of Christmas: Inspirational Writings from Charles Swindoll, Max Lucado, and Charles Colson.  Some insightful soul poured through the collective writings of these men and compiled them into one book.  The writings are brief, but can be thought provoking, so don't allow the brevity to fool you.  They make excellent devotionals.

Joy To The World: Inspirational Christmas Messages From America's Preachers.  Edited by Olivia Cloud.  True to its title, this book is an assortment of Christmas messages.  Some of the pastors are well known, other are obsolete to me.  However, they all offer a unique perspective on the Virgin birth.  It is amazing how 2,000 years later people are still looking at it from different angles.  There are nearly 50 messages in here, and almost all will speak to you.  Kenneth Ulmer's "A Good Place To Stop" speaks to me every time I read it.

So there you go, friends.  If you're in need of some good Christmas reads, there's three.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I!  Happy Thanksgiving!