Make Reading Together a Part of Your Family Christmas

 When I bring out my Christmas boxes from storage each winter, I anticipate opening them and treasuring their contents.  My advent wreath, our nativity sets, and gifted ornaments bring back memories of past holidays and warm traditions.  Among my favorite items in Christmas boxes are books – stories that we share together as part of our Christmas celebration. 

Two of the books are actually volumes that were shared with me as a child and which I subsequently purchased to share with my own children.  No Christmas Eve passed during my childhood without a reading of the nativity story from our family's Children's Bible.  This has become a tradition in my own family as well.  Another tradition was the Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book that sat on my mother's coffee table.  The heavy volume contained traditional poems, carols and stories, all complimented by beautiful Rockwell illustrations.  I spent hours as a child pouring over the pages of that book.  At the end of the Christmas season, it was boxed up and put away with the other treasures.  I lamented that limited access as a child, but now I realize that had it been accessible to me all year long, it likely would not hold the same lure that it always has. 

With the hectic pace of pre-Christmas preparations, making time to sit and read together may seem an impossibility.  But I would recommend making the time to do so, as it will surely be a warm memory for both your children and for you.  Hot chocolate, a warm fire, and a good book (or even a poem or short story) can lift the mind and the soul. 


Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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  • Guest

    My boss at my first job told us that every year she and her daughter (she was a single mom) read together "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever."  We read it that year in the office (it was a Christian organization) and she gave us each a copy of the book for our own.  Mine went in our Christmas box and came out every year with our ornaments, until it disappeared a few years ago.  You have inspired me to track it down and renew this tradition!