Wednesday, July 3, 2013

'Tis the Season... buy Christmas books.  (Or to win one...see the giveaway at the bottom of this post.)

I're not really thinking about Christmas right now...but maybe you should be.  A year or so ago, I fell in love with the idea of having a "Book Advent Calendar."  I've seen them all over the blogging world...where you basically wrap up a Christmas book for each day of December leading up to Christmas and your kids get to unwrap one each day.

We did it last year and it's a lot of fun...except we didn't have quite enough Christmas books, and when I got online to order some, they just cost more than I was willing to spend.  We buy most of our books used, either from some local shops or online.  But it's no surprise that used Christmas books (especially hard cover) cost more around Christmas when they're in higher demand...and some titles we weren't able to find used at all then.

So I was happy to recently find some favorite Christmas titles I've been wanting for $2.50 a piece...for hard-cover books.

You'll typically get the best prices at thrift stores or garage sales, but that's not such a reliable way to find specific titles.  My favorite place to buy books online is Better World Books.  They manage to be socially conscious and at the same time consistently the cheapest place online to buy used books and have a huge selection.  A lot of books are only $4 a piece, and often have sales where you can get 4 books for $3 or 40% off if you buy 3 or 4 used books, etc.  I keep a list of books I want and then watch for one of their sales.  (Disclaimer:  I do work with their affiliate program, but I was in no way compensated or even asked to write this post.  This is completely my own opinions and the giveaway at the end is provided by me...not Better World Books.)

This is certainly not an exhaustive list of great Christmas books, but here are some of our favorites.  I've put my personal VERY favorites in bold.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor
Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
The Tale of Three Trees by Angela Elwell Hunt
The Gingerbears Help Santa
The Christmas Memory Quilt by Kimberly Webb
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett
I Spy Little Christmas by Jean Marzollo
Merry Christmas from Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas by Mercer Mayer

The Nutcracker Ballet by Vladimir Vagin
Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins
Clifford's Christmas by Norman Bridwell
The Night Before Christmas by Jan Brett
The Hawaiian Christmas Tree by Dawn Adrienne
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
The Very First Christmas Recordable Book (recorded by the kids' grandparents)

And some books that we don't have yet, but I would love to get:
It's Christmas, David! by David Shannon

Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans

I mentioned it above in the list, but A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck is another lesser known favorite worth making special note of.  It's illustrated by Sarah Jane Wright (as in one of my favorite artists/fabric designers) and is more focused on the religious part of the holiday than a lot of our other Christmas books.

I was recently able to find several copies of one of our favorite lesser-known Christmas books, The Christmas Memory Quilt by Kimberly Webb, so I thought it would make a fun little giveaway...
...and it's really an ideal Christmas-in-summer book anyway.  Brynne is given a box of Christmas fabric for her birthday in the summer.  Then she gets to spend special time with her grandma the rest of the year working on her quilt and hearing about Christmas memories from her Grandma.  Then they mail it off to "a lonely orphan in another country."  On Christmas Brynne receives a picture of the orphan wrapped in her quilt...who later becomes her baby brother through adoption.  So it's easy to see why this is a favorite Christmas book for me...Christmas, quilting, service for others, and adoption all rolled into one book.

Please use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway below.  I also have a Giveaway for a Custom Summer Skirt from Mimi and the Boy here.

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  1. My absolute favorite... I had to find it on Amazon after my childhood copy was destroyed in my parents' attic (ironically, chewed up by mice!).

    "The Manger Mouse: What She Saw and Did and Got on the Very First Christmas"

  2. My favorite Christmas book is "A Wish for Wings that Work" Berkeley Breathed. I love the message of the story, plus I am obsessed with penguins. :)

  3. One of my favorites for reading aloud is "Star Mother's Youngest Child" by Louise Moeri. The first time I read this Christmas story to my children I got tears in my eyes. Every year I checked it out from the library to read...the librarian often set it aside just because she knew I was coming for it soon. Eventually, Becky bought me my own copy which I read to her children for the first time this year. :)

  4. I see you've got The Snowman by Raymond Briggs on your list and that's a book I'd like to own. Have you seen Briggs' other Christmas book, "Father Christmas"? We love it!

  5. I can never wait to read from "the Family Read Aloud Christmas Treasury" illustrated by Marc Brown. It's one from my childhood that I found 2nd hand for my family a few years ago. It has many wonderful stories and poems. I'm a sucker for holiday books- love collecting them!

  6. 'twas the night before christmas

  7. I have to say one of my favorite Christmas books is Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia. I bought it for Matthew and he loves it, too. So much fun to share my love of reading with the boys.

  8. The Gift of the Magi by O'Henry is one of my favorites!

  9. I love Christmas story books especially Children's because I love the illustrations. I enjoy reading out loud the Llama Llama Red Pajama series. There is one for Christmas as well.

  10. We got the Yes Virginia book last year. The pictures were amazing. I have slowly collected Christmas books over the last couple of years, and my kids have loved it!

  11. My sister and I used to have a pop up copy of the littlest angel. It was one that was read to bits and pieces.

  12. Our favorites here are always "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "The Christmas Star."

  13. I have a few Christmas books, but never thought of using them as an advent calendar until I read your post. What a great idea!

  14. I really love The Little Match Girl. I don't know if it's technically Christmas, I believe it takes place on New Year's Eve, and yes it's sad, but even as a kid I liked it a lot. The pictures are beautiful and the story is full of hope and faith. Very, very good!

  15. What a great idea!:) We love The Polar Express!

  16. The Gift of the Magi by o henry, but I can't read it out loud - it makes me cry every time!!

  17. My daughter has a lovely version (in Welsh) of the first Christmas

  18. The 12days of Christmas little golden book

  19. Texas Night Before Christmas

  20. The 12days of Christmas little golden book

  21. I like "The Fourth Wiseman."

  22. Peter Spier's "Christmas"; beautiful watercolor drawings of a family's day-by-day preparations for Christmas, starting with Thanksgiving, and ending with cleaning up all the mess. (may be out of print, but I found used copies on line). Christmas pop-up books: A Christmas alphabet, Jinglebugs.
    Christmas I Spy. The Legend of St. Nicholas (text plus black and white drawings).


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