How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Dr. Suess.
That awful Grinch! Who could be so bad? So naughty and mean? Part of the delight of this classic is the Grinch's outright nastiness, and the lesson about the spirit of peace and joy at Christmastime is lovely. My favorite lines: "It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes or bags!" How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a read-aloud delight!
Christmas Day in the Morning, Pearl Buck.
A lovely story of a teenaged farm boy who, realizing how much his father loves him, decides to give his father a wonderful gift. He sneaks out of the house early to do the morning chores that his father does every day without complaining. A beautiful quiet story about a meaningful gift from the heart.
The Christmas Story According to the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, Paintings by Gennady Spirin.
The Christmas Story tells the story of Christ's birth according to the gospels of Matthew and Luke from the King James Bible. Aside from a short introduction and afterword, the bible verses are the only text in the book, and Spirin's Renaissance-style paintings illustrate the story beautifully. It's a pleasure to read aloud, looking at the rich paintings and hearing the beautiful language.
Dr. Suess' How the Grinch Stole Christmas!starring Boris Karloff. The fine young gents giggle all the way through this movie, and love to speculate as to why the Grinch is so mean. A real Christmas classic, they watch The Grinch several times each holiday season.
A Classical Kids Christmas.
Everyone in the Poohsticks family has been bitten by the Christmas bug. The gents are counting down the days until Santa arrives and the Christmas station is on nearly all day long. A collection of Christmas carols, many traditional favorites along with a few songs new to us, A Classical Kids Christmas is refreshing break from traditional radio fare.
Jingle bell necklaces.
A lovely lady made me a jingle bell necklace when she was in third grade, and I wear it every year. It looks like a gift from a child, but it's festive and fun. People compliment my necklace when I go out, and the jingle...well, it makes my spirits bright. The fine young gents enjoy making gifts for friends and teachers, and we decided to make jingle bell necklaces. So far they've been a big hit with the recipients: Sweet neighbor girl put hers on right away, and middle gent's gymnastics teacher gave him a hug and wore hers during class.
I've never made a gingerbread house before. I phoned dear neighbor and suggested we decorate gingerbread houses together. I agreed to make gingerbread (how hard can it be, right?), she said she'd bring the icing and decorations.
Thank goodness for loving husband. Gingerbread for a gingerbread house isn't quite as easy as it seems, especially when you realize after suggesting a get-together that you've got errands to run and won't be able to start making the gingerbread until after the kids go to bed. We were up until midnight making gingerbread for houses, using this recipe from About.com, and it was kind of nice spending the evening in the kitchen together.
It was worth all of the fuss and bother. More than worth it. The younger boys were not interested in the least. Sweet neighbor girl, wearing her jingle bell necklace, decorated a house with the help of the eldest gent; he decorated the other with hers. Creative dear neighbor brought bags of decorations, some of which actually made it onto the houses instead of into little (and big) mouths.
There was even enough gingerbread dough left over to make cookies, and loads of icing and decorations to brighten them.