Written by Megan Dobson, VP, Publisher, Zonderkidz and Blink YA
As the holiday season approaches, we begin to plan and look forward to our favorite holiday traditions—often ones that we’ve carried with us since childhood. Maybe that means going to church on Christmas Eve, baking cookies to leave out for Santa, opening gifts with loved ones on Christmas morning…or fill in the blank with your own favorite memory.
For many, books are an important part of our holiday traditions. We have fond memories of the Christmas stories we read (or that were read to us) growing up—and reading them year after year, perhaps to the loved children in our own lives, creates a sense of comforting nostalgia. Whether you’re young in age or young at heart, there’s always a Christmas book that’s sure to entice excitement about the most wonderful time of the year.
Some stories enchant us with fantastical stories of Santa, his reindeer, the North Pole, and the magic of the season. Others teach us lessons about how we can help those in need, how giving is better than receiving, or how other cultures celebrate the holidays around the world. Perhaps most importantly, many books set our hearts and minds on the real reason for the Christmas season.
I surveyed the Zonderkidz team—a group that’s admittedly biased regarding the importance of children’s Christmas books—and the many different responses to their favorite books reminds me just how many wonderful books there are this time of year. Favorites included classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever, and The Night Before Christmas. Others were books that the team is proud to have worked on and to witness the impact in children’s lives today, such as Goodnight Manger, The Jesus Storybook Bible Christmas Collection, and Song of the Stars, among others. Several mentioned how some of our most meaningful books from Zonderkidz and Tommy Nelson tell the story of the very first Christmas in a way that shows the humanity of those surrounding the birth of Jesus.
I personally can’t wait to snuggle up with my three little ones at home and read to them from my very well-loved, 26-year-old paperback edition of Max Lucado’s The Crippled Lamb. Whatever you find yourself reading this Christmas, I hope you’ll take time to read through the eyes of a child, and that you’ll choose at least one children’s book that inspires wonder, hope, peace, and love for you and your loved ones.