I keep meaning to update my reading list in the sidebar with holiday favorites. I will do that, too, but I thought I'd post about them first, and give a little description of each.
In addition to a winter or Christmas-themed book on one day of the advent garland, St. Nicholas also brings a Christmas book every year for each of our children, so we really have a lot more than this. But here's a selection of our favorites:
First, Winter, one of the Wynstones series of Poems, Songs, and Stories.
We have all six books in this series. I just love all of them and have used them quite a bit in our daily lives. We're really enjoying a lot of the stories and songs in Winter right now.
Tiptoes is new to us this year. Elisabeth absolutely loves these stories, although I think they're a bit simple and trite. But they are really perfect for a four-year-old, if not a mama!
Elsa Beskow is our favorite children's book illustrator. I'm always thinking that's kind of cliche, but then whenever we open one of her books, they are so beautiful. The children she draws are so soft, warm, and child-like. Truly gorgeous.
This is my favorite nativity book. Jane Ray's illustrations are breathtaking. And Mary is nursing Jesus in at least three of them!
This is, hands-down, Elisabeth's favorite wintertime book. I'm rather liking it lately, too. I've always enjoyed Jan Brett's illustrations, but lately I have really appreciated them because I'm kind of in a "Scandinavian-ophile" (?) phase -- probably because I'm knitting more now than I ever have in my life.
Another great Jan Brett favorite. The illustrations in this one are among my favorites of hers, though the "lesson" at the end is a little bit contrived and the book would still be cute if there weren't a "lesson".
This is also a favorite of Elisabeth's. I really like Karma Wilson's use of alliteration and rhyme, although I thought it was probably best in Bear Snores On, which is still a favorite of mine years after I first saw it.
I originally got this book for the transparency stars, but there are so many good and beautiful ideas in it. It's a true holiday winner. (Many of the crafts in this book are for older children and adults -- such as folding the complicated stars -- but even the littlest wee ones appreciate the finished results!)
I have all four books in this series, too, some of which I got before even having children (the first was Halloween Treats, which is still my favorite in the series). Parts of this book are just OK, but there are some sweet crafts that Elisabeth can do, and a few recipes worth trying.