For this week’s writing prompt, I thought I would mention two of my favorite children’s Christmas stories. Each year I purchase a special hardback book for the family and so have a small collection that I put out and lean against the entertainment center for anyone to look at.
But there are two I particularly enjoy reading more than the others. The first one is Bear Stays Up for Christmas, by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman. They write a whole series of Bear books, and in this one, Bear interrupts his hibernation and celebrates Christmas with his forest friends who keep him up. They find a tree, decorate it, enjoy mint tea and then as his friends fall asleep, Bear works on their gifts. A delightful picture book to read this time of year.
But of all the Christmas books we have and I’ve read over the years, by far the best one is Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by the same author and illustrator as Bear Stays Up. In this story, little Mortimer is tired of his dingy and cold home in the basement. He finds one perfect for him, but he has to keep moving several figures out of the way each night. But on Christmas eve, Mortimer hears the Christmas story and learns who these figures represent. Mortimer then feels sad that he has been sleeping in this barn because there was no room in the inn for this special family. Mortimer moves all the figures back in place knowing he can’t stay. On his way back to his dark, cold home, he prays for a home of his own. And soon after he finds a sweet replacement. This story chokes me up Every. Single. Time. I read it. A must read for children of all ages.
How about you? Do you have a favorite Christmas book from childhood or today?