True confession: When my two oldest kids were little, I read aloud to them three to five hours every day. (Well, some of it was devotions and bedtime stories with their daddy too.) My husband worked twelve to thirteen hour days, and I had several small children. So I read. And read. And read.
Through the years, our reading time went down to two to four hours a day. And we all look back fondly on those days—even my thirty-four and thirty year olds still talk about all of that read aloud time. And how wonderful it was to have that much time to read and learn together.
One of the most popular classic Christmas stories that we have read and/or listened to as a family quite often through the years is O.Henry’s Gift of the Magi. In this story, a young, poverty stricken married couple give up each one’s greatest possession in order to get the other person a Christmas gift. It is heart-warming and embraces the true meaning of sacrificial giving.
In addition to “If You’re Missing Baby Jesus,” we have also been blessed for many years with the Christmas story of the Christmas tablecloth or tapestry. This story is a story of hope, restoration, and God’s working in mysterious ways—and never ceases to give pause to all of us as we share in it.
One of our favorite Christmas traditions is reading aloud from Christmas stories.
We have done this for so many years that we have a handful of them that we try to read whenever some of the grown kids are over during December–and especially on our family Christmas decorating night and Christmas Eve. (Many of our favorites are in Joe Wheeler’s “Christmas Stories From the Heart” books.)