Sunday, December 15, 2013

12 Days of Christmas - Day 8

I have 12 Christmas books for you today.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
We all know the story, so I don't need to actually give a description for this one. I love this book. My kids love this book. It's a classic, and I truly believe that everyone should read it at some point.

Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

I'm betting you all know this story, as well. 
Description from book jacket:
A white-beared gentleman who appears at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade fills in for an unfit Santa Claus - and is asked to become the store's resident Santa. This Kris Kringle believes he is Santa, as do children from all over the city, and reindeer at the zoo nearby. A few skeptical souls try to have him declared insane, but miraculously, the State of New York, with the help of the U.S. Postal Service, comes to the gent's rescue by declaring that he is indeed Santa Claus.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
This is the book the movie Christmas with the Kranks is based on.
The Kranks' daughter has joined the Peace Corps and gone to Peru for a year. She left the weekend after Thanksgiving. The Kranks decide that they should skip Christmas this year. They agree to skip all the regular trappings of the holiday, which last year cost them over $6000, and go on a cruise instead. No decorations, no tree purchased from the Boy Scouts, no Police Department calendar, no cards, no Christmas Eve party, no gifts or office parties, and no snowman on their roof . Their friends & neighbors aren't all accepting of their decision to skip Christmas. On Christmas Eve, as they pack for their cruise, their daughter calls to tell them she is coming home for Christmas, will be home for the annual Christmas Eve party, and is bringing her fiancee. They have mere hours to throw together a complete Christmas and a big party.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Description from Goodreads:
The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale -- the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating -- has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year's pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever.

The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
When a boy sees Santa Claus killed, he prays to God asking that Santa be brought back to life. Archangel Raziel is sent to answer the boy's prayer. However, Raziel isn't that bright. Instead of bringing Santa back to life, he accidentally reanimates an entire graveyard. Soon, the town Christmas party is attacked by zombies who are very hungry for brains.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Description form Goodreads:
Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer's harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring.

This is another I shouldn't have to describe. Everybody knows the story of the Grinch, the Whos, & Whoville.

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen 
From the book jacket:
It is a bitterly cold night in December. Horse-drawn carriages rumble past, carrying people home to warm fires & roast-goose suppers. But one little girl cannot go home, not until she has sold her bundle of matches. 
As she lights one after another to keep warm, her cold grey world changes magically before her eyes. Flames as bright as candles illuminate her visions, each one more beautiful than the last...... As the night goes on, each new vision seems more real than the dark streets around her.

The Berenstain Bears' Christmas Tree by Stan & Jan Berenstain

It's Christmas in Bear Country, and Papa Bear & the cubs are hunting for the perfect Christmas tree. Each tree they find, however, is home to some wildlife. hey can't cut down a tree if it will make someone else homeless. They decide to just buy a tree & head home only to find the tree lot is empty. Will they have to go without a tree this Christmas? 

'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore Illustrated by Matt Tavares
Everyone knows the story, so no description is necessary. This is one of my favorite editions of this story. The black & white illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. 

Description from Goodreads:
Scenes from Clement Moore's 'Twas the Night Before Christmas inspire twelve elegant and fascinating compositions where readers search for dozens of intriguing hidden objects.

The first photograph, "The Night Before Christmas," features a gingerbread house, Christmas cookies, candles, bulbs, and more. "Visions of Sugarplums" is an abstract composition of Christmas confections; and "Such a Clatter!" is a dynamic explosion of objects. In "It Must Be Saint Nick," Santa is shown in shadow; and in "A Bundle of Toys," the presents in Santa's sack are revealed as a magnificent jumble. The final photograph, "Happy Christmas to All" is a beautiful, pastoral landscape, lustrous under new-fallen snow.

The original poem is printed on the endpapers.


This beautiful short story is about a married couple who don't have the money to buy each other Christmas presents. They each sell the possession most important to them in order to get the money to buy the other the perfect gift. She cuts & sells her hair to buy him a fob for his watch, and he sells his watch to buy her a beautiful set of hair combs.