5 classic Christmas stories to read aloud and linger over

THE GIFT OF THE MAGI  - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.


THE GIFT OF THE MAGI - This is the classic O Henry story of the poor young couple who each sell the thing most dear to them to buy the other a Christmas present – this version is illustrated by Lisbeth Zwerger making it especially beautiful.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL  - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake


A CHRISTMAS CAROL - Perhaps the most famous of all Christmas stories aside from the nativity - this one is illustrated by Sir Quentin Blake

 
CHRISTMAS STORIES  - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.


CHRISTMAS STORIES - my all time favourite author to read aloud, Michael Morpurgo's words are always perfect. Here, they're combined with amazingly beautiful artwork from some of Britain’s best illustrators. There are four stories and they’ll take up to an hour each to read aloud, so perfect for a car trip or plane ride.

 
AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS  - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS - This is the picture book version of the children’s opera. It’s long and detailed but wonderful to read aloud either before or after watching the opera itself. We saw it live many years ago and have had a jar of licorice out every year at Christmas time since – you’ll see why if you read the book

AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD  - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.


AMAHL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS DVD - Watching the DVD has become a favourite Christmas Monday night tradition.

 
THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE  - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.


THE FAMILY UNDER THE BRIDGE - This one isn't a Christmas story as such, but it is set around Christmas time, it’s heartwarming and it’s set in Paris - the story of children who become family to a man who didn’t know he wanted a family.

 

Christmas for me is all about long days, warm nights, outside play in the dark, a bath or a swim and then a chapter or two of a story read aloud to the whole family. Then there's the summer camping trip where a read-aloud book after dinner is essential!

Or, rainy days when it’s thundering and pouring for a whole day which require a play in the rain and an ice-block and still leave time for a few more pages.

All of which means that Christmas stories full of snow and fur lined coats feel almost surreal. But we love them anyway and today's selection are good for both hemispheres.

Names in this post: Amahl

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

a peaceful Nullabor Christmas - full of delight and excitement

ages 2 to 12 years
A perfect Australian Christmas picture book, it’s the story of Kathleen – a little girl who lives along Australia’s Nullarbor Plain – and of the Tea and Sugar Train which used to travel across the Plain each week. A charming balance to the OTT commercialism that sometimes surrounds Christmas.

Read More

our really great (new-ish) Christmas Eve tradition—choosing, giving and opening books!

our really great (new-ish) Christmas Eve tradition—choosing, giving and opening books!

Our family is still young and we don’t have a lot of traditions yet, but one that we borrowed from Kim when Alec and I were newly married is giving and opening books on Christmas Eve.

Kim and I get the job (joy really) of choosing the books for our families, and we hide them away till the night. But those choices are sometimes pretty difficult! Here's what I've bought for this year—I think I did well:

Read More

'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

'cause Christmas is different (and the same) everywhere

ages 3 to grownup
I’ve been a John Williamson fan since childhood and a few months ago we were lucky enough to go to one of his concerts as a family. Amazing. There's really nothing quite like a live performance.

During intermission, I came across Christmas in Australia. I had no idea John Williamson had written a children’s book and just had to buy it—my only regret was that the kids were so exhausted by the end of the show we couldn't wait in the line to get it

Read More

Michael Morpurgo's robin finds his way home for Christmas

Michael Morpurgo's robin finds his way home for Christmas

Michael Morpurgo's latest Christmas offering Coming Home is about a delightful robin whose fortitude and determination carry him home to his love - it's a charming reminder of the universal pull of home, whether metaphorical or physical.

Read More

a lovely look into a child’s fondest Christmas dreams

a lovely look into a child’s fondest Christmas dreams

This is a book overflowing with Christmas goodness. Everything that makes up a perfect, simple and nostalgic Christmas is there – a community party, a children’s Christmas play, wishes and hopes and fond memories, family and food, long summer nights.
ages 2 to 8 years

Read More