Monday, December 26, 2022

Christmas Books We Read in 2022

An Archer Family Christmas (from Under the Texas Mistletoe) (Christian)... I think this book would have meant more to me if I had read the previous Archer family books but I did enjoy it. 
Christmas at Carnton (Christian)... I read this earlier in the year so I could talk about it on the Christmas podcast episode. This short Christian fiction is set in Tennessee during the Civil War. 
Naomi's Gift, from An Amish Christmas Gift (Christian)... I read this earlier in the year so I could talk about it on the Christmas podcast episode. This short and sweet romantic story is perfect for fans of Amish fiction. 
On This Holy Night (Christian)... I read this earlier in the year so I could talk about it on the Christmas podcast episode. Some essays of course meant more to me than others but I liked this book and recommend it. 
One Perfect Day (Christian)... Gosh, what a roller coaster read! You are heartbroken for one character and elated for another, constantly thinking and reflecting... very well done but definitely very difficult at times. 
Prayers of a Stranger (Christian)... I was definitely happy I gave this book a try. It wasn't one of the ones I had set out to read this year but it had the depth and growth I am always after in a Christian fiction novel. 
Simply Christmas (Christian)... This was sweet but it wasn't as rich or deep as I had hoped for. There is nothing wrong with that, it just wasn't what I had been after. 
Tending Roses (Christian).. This contemporary Christian fiction is not billed as a Christmas story at all and it's primary focus is on a family- A grandmother, her granddaughter, and that granddaughter's relationship with her husband. There are also other family members who come into play about halfway through the book as well. I still consider this a Christmas story because the whole thing is set just before Christmas as everyone is making their preparations for a big family Christmas and that's why so much of the drama is actually able to ensue. 
A Texas Christmas Carol, from Under the Texas Mistletoe (Christian)... This was cute. It wasn't a perfect retelling but rather a story that dropped in little nuggets of Christmas Carol-y essence. Felicity Wiggins, Evan Beazer, little Timothy... It wasn't what I was expecting in a lot of ways but that worked out just fine. 
A Very Merry Holiday Movie Guide... This was fun. I loved the curated lists, learned some fun new things, and watched a lot of cute cheesy Christmas movies as a result. 

Tabitha's Travels (Christian)... This book gets intense so I won't read it to younger kids but I liked it! 
Treasures of the Snow (Christian)... This was not a true Christmas book but it opens on Christmas and we see two more Christmases take place so I'll count it. Five star read for me! Beautiful, valuable story to show kids the power of forgiveness. 
The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street (Secular)... I read this aloud to my kids and they all loved it! This was not as perfectly sweet + wholesome as I had remembered it to be but I was still happy with it for a modern, secular book. 
Winterfrost (secular)... I was so happy with this fun story, set in Denmark and centered around a 12 year old girl, her 11 month old sister, and the gnome-like mythical creature nisse. 

Arthur's Christmas Cookies... This is a cute story about a little (monkey) boy making a Christmas gift for his parents. 
The Best Christmas Stories Ever (Secular)... This is an adaptation collection by Hans Christian Andersen, Louisa May Alcott, Kate Douglas Wiggins, and O. Henry. 
The Christmas Eve Mystery and Other Holiday Stories... This was a good little collection. My oldest three enjoyed reading these stories and poems, too. 
I Love Christmas by Hans Wilhelm (Secular)... Very simple, one or two short sentences per page. Cute, lighthearted fluff. 

The 12 Days of Christmas (secular)... I don't really enjoy reading this book aloud but I did enjoy hearing my dad read it to the kids! 
All the Colors of Christmas (Christian)... Simple, sweet, and a little poetic. Love this one. 
The Broken Ornament (secular)... This was a fun and sweet story, about both sentimentality and a fantastical Christmas fairy, that my kids for some reason adored! 
Christmas in the Big Woods (secular)... We always love this Little House book. 
The Christmas Cross (Christian)... So, so good! But definitely too long for your littlest kids. 
The Gifts of Christmas (Christian)... I grew up reading Precious Moments and still have a real soft spot for their illustrations. 
Grand Jete and Me (secular)... A girl and her former ballerina grandmother attend a Nutcracker performance together. 
If You Take a Mouse to the Movies (secular)... Simple, an old favorite for one of my girls. Fun, light-hearted fluff. 
I'll be Home for Christmas (secular)... We love these sweet pig books. I'll be trying more Holly Hobbie books! 
Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury (secular)... We adore Jan Brett and her delightful illustrations! 
The Legend of the Candy Cane (Christian)... An old favorite, fun way to make candy canes feel a little bit spiritual. 
The Legend of the Poinsettia (Christian)... Set in Mexico, a young girl wishes she had a gift to give to the church nativity's baby Jesus. Sweet and interesting! 
The Legend of St. Nicholas (Christian)... This is a legend I've heard about before but I really liked the picture book version. My kids then wanted to watch the Veggietales version. 
Let it Snow by Holly Hobbie (secular)... One of my favorites this year, such a sweet look at gift-giving and friendship! 
Merry Christmas, Little Critter! (secular)... I've read so many Little Critter books over the years but this was my first time reading this one. Cute! 
The Nutcracker by Mary Engelbreit (secular)... One of our favorite versions of The Nutcracker. This is a sweeter, less-scary version and we all enjoy her illustration style. 
Paddington and the Christmas Surprise (secular)... We love Paddington around here! This is a cute, fun story. 
Room for a Little One (Christian)... Sweet and simple, fictionalized nativity story from the animal's perspective 
Santa Comes to Little House (secular)... I had never seen this version before! We already love the story, lived the illustrations too! 
The Santa Thief (secular)... A boy discovers the joy in giving vs receiving by surprising his parents. 
Sounding Joy (Christian)... Love Ellie Holcomb and loved this board book! 
The Tiny Star by Arthur Ginolfi (Christian)... This was a sweet personification of the star from the Christmas story. 
A Very Mercy Christmas (secular)... We wished this was one of the longer books but we still enjoyed the picture book version just fine. 
The Wild Christmas Reindeer (secular)... Another Jan Brett book we all enjoy! 

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