It's almost Christmas break and kids will be spending more time with their families. This is a great time to snuggle around the fireplace and read a novel aloud together. Or maybe you are going on a road trip and want a Christmas themed book to listen to in the car. Here are some of my favorite feel good family Christmas novels.
THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET
By Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeeker family includes two parents, four kids and three pets. They have lived in the same brownstone in Harlem as long as any of the kids can remember. One day, right before Christmas, their landlord and upstairs neighbor decides he is not going to renew their lease. The kids are horrified at the thought of having to move, so they start a campaign to convince reclusive old Mr. Biederman that he really does not want to make them leave. The antics of the kids are funny and each child has an individual and endearing personality. It has great parent/child relationships, and all the protagonists are trying to do what is right
A SEASON OF GIFTS
By Richard Peck
Grandma Dowdel, the star of the Newbery winner, A Year Down Yonder, returns in this heart warming Christmas book. It is 1958 and a new preacher and his family has moved into town. When their son, Bob, is attacked by bullies and tied, naked to Grandma Dowdel’s privy, Grandma Dowdel decides to take the family into her care using her own brand of unconventional love.
A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS
By Matt Haig
Nicholas lives with his father, Joel, who is a woodcutter in Finland. They are poor, but Nicolas is relatively happy and enjoys spending time in the forest with his dad. When Joel goes away with some strange men and doesn’t return, Nicholas goes on a grand quest to find him. This is an origin story about how Nicolas becomes Father Christmas. The story is definitely told from a British point of view. Nicolas becomes Father Christmas, not the more American Santa Claus, but even American readers will enjoy the many references to Christmas traditions.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER
By Barbara Robinson
The Herdman’s are the worst family in town. They are dirty, uneducated, and wild. When they find out that the Sunday School offers snacks, they volunteer to be in the church’s Christmas pageant. As the crazy kids take over the production, the long-suffering director and her family marvel to see how they are transformed by the Christmas story. This one is an older book that is becoming a classic worthy of being re-read to each new generation.