“At this time of the year my family knows that I will read again my Christmas treasury of books and ponder the wondrous words of the authors. First will be the Gospel of Luke—even the Christmas story. This will be followed by A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and, finally, The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke. I always must wipe my eyes when reading these inspired writings. They touch my inner soul, as they will yours.” (President Thomas S. Monson, source).
Our family has a tradition of reading Christmas stories in the month of December. First, we like to read the stories of Jesus. We use the reading program from the December 2008 Friend Magazine (I wrote about it here last year). This year I got fancy and made a color copy of the study guide and laminated it for durability. We’re using stickers to mark off each day’s reading, then when we are finished we can peel off the stickers and use the chart again next year.Second, we like to read stories about Christmas. Some that are funny (How Santa Got His Job or Mooseltoe or Olive the Other Reindeer), some that make you believe in good things (The Polar Express or How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Bear Noel or A Christmas Dress for Ellen), and some that are just all around beautifully written and illustrated stories (Drummer Boy). You can see our complete list of favorites last year here.
Admittedly, our permanent collection currently consists of 6 Christmas picture books (we try to add one book each year). So we make good use of the library and the ability to put the good books on hold. I’ve got 11 books waiting there for me to pick up tomorrow morning! We will be trying a few new titles this year, thanks to the recommendations from No Time for Flashcards.
As an adult, for your own personal enrichment this holiday season, you might take President Monson’s suggestion and read one or all of the following:
1) The Gospel of Luke
2)A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
3)The Mansion by Henry Van Dyke
I’ve read #1 and #2 previously (multiple times) but I had to resort to inter-library loan to get a copy of The Mansion this year. I’m looking forward to it. When I was searching for The Mansion, The Other Wise Man by the same author was also given high reviews, so I’ll be giving both a try this month.