It’s December and I’m having a battle with myself; I don’t know how to swing this season. I could be strictly focused on commercialism and have a ball buying presents. I could default to the religious traditions of my youth and go through the motions without a lot of thought. I could skip it all and just focus on hanging with my family. I truly support all of these options. But this is the first year my kids get what Santa is, and they are super into the man with the bag. I’m just not okay with the creepy guy who watches you sleep and sneaks into your house at night to lay down naughty/nice judgements being the only holiday tradition my kids know. So it’s time to do some research. It’s time to find some books.
When searching out these titles, I tried to find evidence in blurbs and reviews that these books are accurate representation for the different holidays they introduce. I think it was the board book about Jesus’s birth that portrayed Mary as white and blonde with a terrier puppy on the scene (for cuteness?) that really pushed me over the edge. It took me 25 years to unlearn the whitewashing of my conservative Christian upbringing, and if I’m going to tell my kids anything, it’s going to be as factual as I can manage.
The Star of Melvin by Nathan Zimelman and Olivier Dunrea
There Was No Snow On Christmas Eve by Pam Munoz Ryan and Dennis Nolan
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats
Ramadan– This holiday is based on the Islamic calendar and can fall in December.
Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman and Sue Williams
Lailah’s Lunchbox by Reem Faruqi and Lea Lyon
The Shortest Day by Wendy Pfeffer and Jesse Reisch
The Return of the Light by Carolyn McVickar Edwards
The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren
Light the Menorah by Jannie Ho
Latke, the Lucky Dog by Ellen Fischer and Tiphanie Beeke
Herschel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel and Trisha Schart Hyman
Diwali– This holiday happens on varying dates in October or November.
Amma, Tell Me About Diwali! By Bhkati Mathur
The Diwali Gift by Shweta Chopra and Shuchi Mehta
Let’s Celebrate Diwali by Anjali Joshi and Tim Palin
How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
12 Days of Christmas by Rachel Isadora
The Christmas Boot by Lisa Wheeler and Jerry Pinkney
The Nutcracker by Niroot Puttapipat
This only scratches the surface of the great stories available, I’m sure, so please let me know what you read this time of year. I’m all ears for recommendations to grow my family’s library. However you celebrate, I hope your end your year well.