Did you know that the English word “advent” comes from the Latin word venire, which means “to come”?
In our homeschool, we look forward to the coming of cold winter days . . . days when we can snuggle in our pajamas, read together, bake cookies or make savory soups, and enjoy time at home as a family.
As Christians, our family anticipates the Advent season as a celebration of the coming of the Prince of Peace. For other families, winter holidays (such as Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Eid, and Diwali) bring celebrations of light, faith, sacrifice, and unity.
Whatever it is that brings your family together this holiday season, I want to share a few ideas for Christmas and winter holiday favorites to enjoy with your children. I hope these books bring peace, joy, and special meaning to your homeschool.
1. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola offers gorgeous illustrations, and this Mexican legend teaches readers a profound lesson: It is not the cost or size of a gift that matters, but rather the love and care with which a gift is given.
2. Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki and Ivan Gantschev is one of my children’s favorites! The illustrations are beautiful and the story is touching: Santa, after napping under a tree in the forest (and almost sleeping through Christmas), awakens and retells the story of the first Christmas to the animals in the forest.
3. Li’l Rabbit’s Kwanzaa by Donna L. Washington is the tale of a rabbit who is looking for a special gift to give to his sick grandmother for the Kwanzaa feast.
4. Happy Hanukkah, Cordoroy by Don Freeman offers very young children an introduction to Hanukkah. The beloved, adorable stuffed bear lights the menorah, plays the dreidel game, and hunts for gelt.
5. An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco is a historical fiction picture book. The story, which takes place in the Midwest, is based on the author’s family history as told by her grandmother. I love this book because it reminds me of a Christmas tradition from my childhood (which was passed down by my father) of receiving an orange in our stocking each year. The children in this story learn a lesson about giving. (By the way, I love these directions for making a clove-decorated orange ornament and a foldable Orange for Frankie )
6. The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco is another wonderful holiday book about friendship and caring, written by one of my favorite authors! In this delightful story, the characters make preparations for the Festival of Lights and share a miracle with sick neighbors. You can watch a video of the book being read aloud here.
Wishing you joyful and peaceful reading!
Photo Credit: Graphic design by Anna Soltis.