Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Book Basket and GIVEAWAY!

There's a wonderful idea floating around Pinterest to wrap a whole stack of Christmas books individually and open one every night as a kind of reading themed Advent.  I think that's amazing and I might give it a go next year, but for now I thought I might share with you some of our favorite Christmas books in case you're looking for some good ones to read to your little ones in preparation for the holiday!

I keep these books in that cute basket I found at Michael's (50% off!) nestled right next to the Christmas tree so they are easy for the kids to access and flip through whenever they want.  Granted, this leads to a lot of this:

But at least I know he's interested!

Elf on the Shelf - Unless you've been living under a rock, you've heard about this one!  We got our elf last year and the kids just love running out every morning to find "Buddy."  Now, we don't really "do Santa" in our family, but our kids still like to read the story of the little elf flying back to Santa every night to report on behavior.  It just so happens that our elf is a special classification who reports directly to God.  (I know, I know.  We are that family.)

Llama Llama Holiday Drama - Shopping, sales, ribbons galore!  It's enough drama to send this little llama into a tizzy!  It's so easy for kids (and adults) to get swept away by all the "stuff" of the holidays and this cute little book is great for trying to take away all that drama and remind us to slow down and enjoy Christmas!

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad - We love love love the Little Critter books in this house and this one is no exception.  Little Critter wants so badly to do special things for his parents on Christmas, but they often end in disaster.  Nevertheless, they appreciate his effort and this funny little story always gets my kids giggling!

Bear Stays up for Christmas - This series of books is awesome.  From Bear Wants More to Bear's Loose Tooth, the simple rhyme schemes and darling stories make these instant favorites with my boys.  This story of Bear trying to stay awake to enjoy Christmas with his friends is just so endearing.  I love it!

Little Critter's The Night Before Christmas - Another Little Critter story!  This one just takes the classic poem and puts it in the setting of a Critter.  Adorable.

Olivia Helps with Christmas - My three year old picks this book pretty much every single night.  If you haven't yet experienced the Olivia books, RUN (don't walk for goodness sake!) to your nearest used book store and grab one.  They are wonderful!  In this Christmas tale, Olivia burns the cookies, chops the top off the family Christmas tree, paints a self-portrait, and belts out the chorus to "Angels We Have Heard on High."  Easily a top choice from our book basket!

You Can Do It Sam - A very sweet story about a little bear named Sam who bakes cakes to deliver to his neighbors for Christmas.  A cute reminder to spread joy this holiday!

God Gave Us Christmas - When a bear cub wants to know what Christmas is all about, his mama takes him on an adventure to discover how God gave us Christmas in the form of a little baby boy born to save the world.  I adore this book.  It's a great story about the true meaning of Christmas!

The Polar Express - No collection of Christmas books is complete without this story of the little boy who travels to the North Pole and received a silver bell from Santa's sleigh.  The illustrations are just gorgeous and my kids are enthralled by this tale.

Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect - I have to thank Erin at Sunny Side Up for introducing me to this book.  It's so neat!  It's the story of a little tree in the Queen's forest who tries so hard to grow up to be perfect so it can one day have the honor of being the royal Christmas Tree.  Instead, it gives shelter to a rabbit, a warm spot for a wren, and food for a deer and its perfect form becomes flawed.  But in the flaws, the Queen sees beauty of the love of God.  A beautiful book.

Christmas Is Here - Another great choice for emphasizing the real meaning of Christmas.  All the words in this book come right out of the King James Bible and it is the simplicity of this book that makes it so wonderful.

The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving - Please tell me I'm not the only one who has loved this bear family since childhood!  You can always count on Mama and Papa Bear to set their cubs straight when it comes to morals, behavior, and values.  Love it.

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas - A funny spin on the familiar poem, this one can be a mouthful to read out loud, but any pirate-loving kids in your family will think this one is a real hoot!

These three are all books I discovered at a used book store last Christmas that have found a home in our collection.

A Charlie Brown Christmas - I really don't think any explanation is required for this classic.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - The story of the elf-dentist, outcast reindeer, and Yukon Cornelius.  I will always love this!

Clifford's Christmas - What's not to love about a big red dog who saves Santa Claus?!


Books always make an amazing gift, so I'm going to hook up one lucky reader with a copy of The Polar Express!
This is a brand new, hardcover copy of this Christmas classic, complete with an audio CD of the one and only Liam Neeson reading it!


TO ENTER:  Just leave a comment with your name and the state (or country!) you live in along with your all time favorite holiday book! 

EXTRA ENTRIES:  (leave an additional comment for each so you can earn extra entries!)
1.  Pin this Post on Pinterest - leave another comment with your Pinterest username so I can check it out!
2.  Tweet this Giveaway!  Just copy and Tweet: Share some holiday cheer and enter to win The Polar Express from @slkooiman at Arena Five!
3.  "Like" Arena Five on Facebook! 

Entries will be accepted until Sunday, December 16th so I can send you your prize in time for you to get it wrapped and under the tree.  Good luck!

UPDATE:  The winner has been picked!
That means our winner is....

I also like you on Facebook!!
Sarah Jo

Congrats Sarah Jo!  I will send your new book to you shortly!  :)  Thanks to everyone for entering!

Disclosure Statement:  The links to the books in this post are connected to my Amazon Affiliate account so if you were to purchase any of them, I would be given like a half a penny commission or some such nonsense.  Just wanted you to know.  :)

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