+[questions you've asked: intentional holidays part 2 (books)]+

Before December hits I wanted to answer the many questions I have been getting regarding Christmas traditions in our home.  And I wanted to share a few resources we are planning to use this year, or have used in years past.  This post Ill focus on books alone.  Ill also do posts on music playlists for gatherings,  movies, crafts, recipes, traditions and activities we enjoy each Christmas. 

Advent Family Read Aloud:

In past 5 years Doug has read the Jothams Journey series to us each night of Advent.  The girls are frustrated that we are letting that tradition go this year because they loved the stories so much.  But its time.  Since we watch The Nativity Story each and every Christmas Eve as a family, this year Doug will actually be reading the book to us over the Advent season as well.  Its 32 chapters long,  so with doubling up a couple of days on chapters it will be easy to make it fit over the Advent season.  If you havent seen the movie, consider ordering it today.  Truly we have watched it every Christmas Eve after our candlelight services at church since it came out in 2006.  Its fantastic!

School Day Devotions in December:

This year we will only be completing traditional schoolwork for 7 days in December.  After that I have a ton of Christmas studies and plans and fun scheduled for the girls.  But, for the entire month I will be reading to them from The Journey - Walking the Road to Bethlehem.  This books sets the reader on a journey to the times and characters of Christmas so that you can experience the birth of Christ in a new way.    I like the 28 day devotional that goes along with it and will use that with the girls but it is not a necessary piece.

School Day and beyond Daily Read Aloud:

Every day, even after we have completed our studies for the month, I plan to read Dickens A Christmas Carol to the girls.   Unabridged, of course!   Savannah has read it but Peyton has not, and I have never read it to them.  Its time!

Christmas books Ive collected to sit around the house for fireside reading:

Each year I set books out fireside to encourage holiday readings.  When they were smaller, it was always picture books.  I still keep some of those picture books out because we love them so and when we have small visitors we love to share them.  Though there have been so many through the years, a few of those that come to mind are:  The Tale of Three Trees, The Little Drummer Boy, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Mitten Tree and The Trees Kneel at Christmas (now out of print but fabulous!!!).

This year Im also setting out a few bigger girl books:  Christmas with Tucker, A Christmas Snow, Finding Father Christmas, Hannahs HopeThe Unfinished Gift and Sarahs Christmas Miracle.   Ive previewed these but since they havent read them yet, I dont have any reviews or recommendations to share.  Yet. 

My recommendation is that you go to your local library this week and search for books early.  Take them home and preview them, then decide what you would like to have around, or intentionally read, for the holidays.

What Im reading personally:

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
Watch for the Light (readings begin Nov 24)

Hope there is something here to spark an idea for you and yours.