Family Fridays – Pre-Christmas Two

I’m continuing with part two of our Pre Christmas series (you can see my twisted logic as to why this is ok here).

Merry Christmas, Ernest and Celestine by Gabrielle Vincent (1983)

It is perhaps unfair of me to recommend this book – it is out of print. But I have to. It is such a sweet, sweet book about love and family and friendship and poverty and joy anyways. I think the message in this book is so important: just because you don’t have money does not mean you cannot bring happiness to those around you. That’s a message for Christmas and the rest of the year. I bought my copy through Barnes and Noble’s marketplace. It is not in great condition, but it is certainly good enough to enjoy. I strongly encourage you to see if your library has a copy, or you could look for it used at your favorite used bookstore, half.com (eBay for books), or Amazon’s marketplace. Caution: Happy tears may abound.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992): Amazon, Barnes and Noble

On the lighter side, I present to you: The Muppet Christmas Carol. This surprisingly good adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas tale is both faithful to the original and a fun movie on its own merits. The Muppets add enough comic relief to keep kids interested during the more somber moments. Plus, watching Michael Caine singing to puppets is a bit surreal. But anyhow, everyone does a great job, both puppets and humans alike. The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come part is a bit scary (as are the ghosts of the Marleys earlier on, but to a much lesser degree), so I’d recommend previewing it before deciding if your children are ready for it (it is rated G). This is a Must Watch Every Year in our household, and has been for decades.

*If you use these links to make a purchase, Lector’s Books may receive a small commission. This will not affect your price or purchasing experience in any way.

 

Family Fridays – Pre-Christmas One

Welcome to Christmas Season! No, don’t run away – at least let me explain. While I try very hard to stifle the Christmas spirit until it’s legally allowed (post-Thanksgiving meal in our house), one thing that I am allowed to discuss during the year is Christmas presents. I hate waiting until the last minute, and the sooner I have my presents picked out the happier I am. Therefore, I’m going to use the Family Fridays in November to talk about some great Christmas books and movies, in case you want to give any as presents, or if you want to have them on hand for when you are ready to start celebrating.

I love the idea of giving Christmas-themed books or movies as presents, but if they don’t get opened until December 25, you have an extremely small window to enjoy them. I’ve decided to start a tradition of giving a little something on December 6, Saint Nicolas’ Day (and Christmas pajamas, for the same reason), for us to enjoy throughout the month (I’ve been debating back and forth on whether my husband’s pajamas from St. Nick will be something he would like, such as basic plaid, or something truly epic, like penguins wearing Santa hats while sledding down a pine tree covered hill). As a side note, we also observe (in a small way) Epiphany, or King’s Day (the traditional twelve days of Christmas is essentially Christmas Day to Epiphany), which is January 6, so that is literally a month of Christmas. I couldn’t be happier about it.

Anyways, back to the main point. If you want to try some of these things out before springing them on your family (or if you want to get started earlier!) you can find many of these things at a library, and the movies can be rented online, or through a service like RedBox. Amazon Prime Instant Video and Netflix also have a selection of Christmas movies.

To kick things off, I present:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (1972): Amazon, Barnes & Noble

This is a wonderful, wonderful book and one of my absolute favorite Christmas books. A hilarious tale of what happens when six of the worst kids you’ll ever meet take over the local church’s Christmas Pageant. I cannot recommend this highly enough. The chapters are the perfect length for reading out loud together in the evenings. Even if you’re an adult with no kids, this is worth a read and sure to bring at least a smile or two.

The Snowman (1982 – movie version): Amazon

Though originally a book first published in 1978 by Raymond Briggs, it is as a movie that I know and love this story. The book is completely without words, as is the movie, apart from a few introductory lines. I’m finding it difficult to put into words why I love this movie so much – it’s some combination of the music and the visuals and having watched it nearly every year for a couple of decades now. It’s a charming tale, though with a bittersweet ending, about a young boy and (obviously) the snowman he builds in his yard. Cuddle up with some hot chocolate and some loved ones and start a new family tradition.

*If you use these links to make a purchase, Lector’s Books may receive a small commission. This will not affect your price or purchasing experience in any way.