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TheAttachedMama

Christmas Read Aloud for ages 5-12

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Hi Everyone,

Can anyone suggest a family Christmas read aloud?   I have a young 5-year-old, a 10-year-old and a just-turned 12-year-old.  I would love to find something that everyone would appreciate.  

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Madeleine L'Engle's The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas is sweet. It's a bit short (maybe just 3 or 4 sittings if that).

The Night Santa Fell to Earth by Cornelia Funke is funny and fun and would be appreciated by all as well.

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We do the Best Christmas Pageant Ever each year.  It's interesting enough for a 5yo, and the 10 and 12 yo can relate.

There's also The Family Under The Bridge, or Jotham's Journey if you want something to follow Advent.

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We also read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" every Christmas.  Going on about 15 years now.  I only have teens and 20s now and they all still love the book.  I am always the reader and  I always cry at the end.  Funny, moving, book.  

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We also do The Best Christmas Pagent Ever every year. This year I’m reading The Vanderbeekers book. They liked The Three Wise Cats last year. 

Edited by reign
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We love the Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Family Under the Bridge, and The Gift of the Magi. 

I found some new to me Christmas books on the Read aloud Revival page. They have a RA list, a picture book list and an audiobook list. 

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The 2 family favorites here that were demanded every year, even when DSs were teens:
- Letters from Father Christmas (Tolkien) -- either this version or this version -- enjoy 2-3 letters per day for 2 weeks! (:D
Christmas Every Day (Howells) -- (link is to an online version) a longer short story, 1 sitting -- here's a lovely book version

And some picture books that are lovely for all ages:
The Christmas Knight (Curry)
A Small Miracle (Collington)
The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler's Sons (Sawyer)
When It Snowed That Night (Farber)
The Last Straw (Thury)

Or possibly this longer book (2-3 sittings?): The Thirteen Days of Christmas (Overton)

And, while not specifically a Christmas story, it is set at Christmas, and is a fun multi-day chapter book read-aloud (and nothing like the Disney movies): The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Smith)

 

Edited by Lori D.

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37 minutes ago, Lori D. said:

And, while not specifically a Christmas story, it is set at Christmas, and is a fun multi-day chapter book read-aloud (and nothing like the Disney movies): The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Smith)

 

I *love* reading this at Christmas; the pups spend the night in a church that has a nativity, and one of the puppies is fascinated by it (also by the kneelers, which the puppies thought were dog beds,). The pups come home on Christmas Eve. ❤️

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I’m currently reading Nutcracker with my 8 and 2 year old and they are both loving it. The original story that the ballet is based on is a lot longer than most of the picture book versions. There are a lot of battle scenes that would appeal to older boys. We’re reading the version illustrated by Maurice Sendak. 

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The Shoe Box

Punchinello and the Most Marvelous Gift

Legend of the Christmas Stocking

Legend of the Candy Cane

Elsie's Holiday at Roseland

The Christmas Cookie

And a Book For New Years: The Little Match Girl

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And speaking of Dickens / A Christmas Carol... What about doing an illustrated, abridged retelling of A Christmas Carol? I really like this one done by French and Benson. There is an illustration on every page (sometimes 1/2 page in size, sometimes full page), and short enough to read in 2 sittings. Dickens in original language is wonderful, but a 5yo, and even a 10yo, may not have the stamina for the full, original version of A Christmas Carol.
 

Also, I know it's a DVD and not a book, BUT... a huge family favorite and an annual tradition here is the Muppet Christmas Carol -- just under 90 minutes long, and it uses many lines from the original book (along with typical muppet humor and zaniness). And one of the muppets narrates the story as though he were the author Charles Dickens. A loving tribute to the book and author who "invented" modern Christmas by re-popularizing celebrating Christmas through this story in particular, but also through his other works set at Christmas or infused with Christmas -- short stories, Cricket on the Hearth and The Chimes, etc. (Here is another collection of some of those works: Dickens at Christmas.)

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We have done A Christmas Carol illustrated by Roberto Innocenti

The Nutcracker illustrated by Michael Hague

Our all time favorite though is always The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. My kids belly laugh through much of the book. It definitely is a favorite.

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Explicitly Christian & meant to be done each day of Advent:  Jotham's Journey. There are other ones in the series (Tabitha's Travels, Ishtar's Odyssey, Bartholomew's Passage) but some of them are scarier than others, IMO. We read them when my youngest were pretty young, but my sensitive ones were older by then. By the time you get through all four, you can start over since you pick up new details the second (and third) time through.

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On 11/26/2018 at 9:59 PM, Lori D. said:

The 2 family favorites here that were demanded every year, even when DSs were teens:
- Letters from Father Christmas (Tolkien) -- either this version or this version -- enjoy 2-3 letters per day for 2 weeks! (:D
Christmas Every Day (Howells) -- (link is to an online version) a longer short story, 1 sitting -- here's a lovely book version

And some picture books that are lovely for all ages:
The Christmas Knight (Curry)
A Small Miracle (Collington)
The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobbler's Sons (Sawyer)
When It Snowed That Night (Farber)
The Last Straw (Thury)

Or possibly this longer book (2-3 sittings?): The Thirteen Days of Christmas (Overton)

And, while not specifically a Christmas story, it is set at Christmas, and is a fun multi-day chapter book read-aloud (and nothing like the Disney movies): The Hundred and One Dalmatians (Smith)

 

Thanks for recommending Tolkien's letters from Father Christmas! Even our tiny podunk library has it and I can't wait to read it to them during morning meeting!

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4 hours ago, Momto5inIN said:

Thanks for recommending Tolkien's letters from Father Christmas! Even our tiny podunk library has it and I can't wait to read it to them during morning meeting!


Hurray! Hope your library had one of the 2 versions I linked above, as there are also some smaller/shorter versions out there that just have a few letters in them.

The two versions I linked: the first link is to the paperback edition which has almost every letter and a nicer layout for reading and viewing Tolkien's artwork; the second link is the hardback edition with every single letter, but slightly more difficult to read on some pages due to "ghosting" an image under the type.

The "voice" of the letters, and the characters and world that Tolkien creates, are SO charming. Enjoy! Warmest regards, Lori D.

Edited by Lori D.
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On 11/26/2018 at 6:56 PM, 8FillTheHeart said:

 

On 11/28/2018 at 3:24 PM, Rasa said:

Another delightful not-a-Christmas book that happens around Christmas time -- The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street


Just finished both of these -- lovely! Thanks for recommending!

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14 hours ago, sarahjokim said:

All of these are fantastic: https://reshelvingalexandria.com/pub/list/15-books-to-read-aloud-this-christmas Absolute favorite would be A Tree for Peter which Purple House Press has reprinted. 


Sadly (like several of my own favorite books on my list), almost all of these are out-of-print -- and out-of-reach in price. 😥 Oh, how I *wish* there was a company that could afford to track down the copyright holders and reprint ALL of the wonderful out of print classics!

Edited by Lori D.
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41 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


Hurray! Hope your library had one of the 2 versions I linked above, as there are also some smaller/shorter versions out there that just have a few letters in them.

The two versions I linked: the first link is to the paperback edition which has almost every letter and a nicer layout for reading and viewing Tolkien's artwork; the second link is the hardback edition with every single layout, but slightly more difficult to read on some pages due to "ghosting" an image under the type.

The "voice" of the letters, and the characters and world that Tolkien creates, are SO charming. Enjoy! Warmest regards, Lori D.

I ordered the paperback version you linked. Dh is reading it to Dd and they are both enjoying it. I love Tolkien and I have been meaning to order this one and finally did. Thanks!

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4 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I ordered the paperback version you linked. Dh is reading it to Dd and they are both enjoying it. I love Tolkien and I have been meaning to order this one and finally did. Thanks!


So happy to share! As you get into the letters written in the 1930s, you'll see the seeds of characters and ideas that would later blossom in The Hobbit. 

[And for about 10 years while DSs were young, "Father Christmas" ; ) wrote them an annual letter with an illustration, too. It was a lovely tradition, and a privilege to add to Tolkien's world. (:D ]

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If Christmas material is OK, I love Children of the Snow.   Pretty sure my mom read it to me when I was 5, but I read it to my kids around 8 or 10.   No pictures though so it depends if the 5 year old can sit still for the story. 

It's just a beautiful adventure and it starts one Christmas and ends on another.   One of my favorite Children's Chapter books.   It has a boy and a girl main character so it's great for a family with sisters and brothers.  

The Best Christmas Pageant ever is another I love.

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A Christmas Carol.  We watched Mr Magoo’s Christmas Carol alongside it one year (only version I found on Netflix) and were amazed that the dialog was right out of the book.  It was a hit with my kids!  

 

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