Christmas & Holiday Book Season is Here

Andre Kostelanetz ChristmasThanksgiving is behind us and the December holidays lie just ahead.

For decades now, the Christmas season is officially here the first time I hear the harps in Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! – Adeste Fidelis (link to mp3) on André Kostelanetz’ Joy to the World album. I still have the “vinyl” edition and we listened today!  What I love most about the season is the traditions.

In our house, a big part of the Christmas fun is the process: baking cookies, pulling out the family treasures, finding the perfect tree, crafting the letter to family and friends, filling the house with music, and last but not least, reading holiday picture books.
We have a collection of seasonal picture books that began with Clement Moore’s Twas the Night Before Christmas in December 2001, when my now 11-year-old was just a few weeks old. Over the years the collection has grown with donations from cousins who “outgrew” the books, as well as our annual tradition of putting a book (or two) under the tree a week before Santa’s ride. But all of that is not the purpose of this post!
Just as there is a musical fanfare, we have our favorite kickoff books for the Christmas reading season, too! I am inviting you to a holiday book celebration with this question …
what children’s or YA book says “it’s officially [insert holiday]” for you and your family?
The holidays are all about our favorite things … and since you’re here, children’s books are one of your favorite things!  Add links to your reviews of those titles below. Doesn’t matter how old the post is … the more the merrier. We’ll keep filling this virtual holiday bookshelf until Noon Eastern on Christmas Eve.