Candles. Trees. Wreaths. Cookies. Gifts. Carols. All these have something in common. Have you figured it out? They are all traditions. For our family, one of our very favorite traditions is books. Yes, we are a book loving family. Going to garage sales is fun for us but we don't stop unless they have books. We attend the Friends of the Library Book Sale every single time they have it. November is the HUGE one (something like 100,000 books) but they also have one three other times in the year. We get fantastic deals there. And, I always find at least one lovely new book to add to our Christmas tradition.
Today, I want to share a few very special books with you that are truly important to our family.
The Farolitos of Christmas by Rudolfo AnayaI grew up in New Mexico. And while that is right next door to where we currently live, it is another world. In just about every single way. So, this book allows us to share ideas and traditions that I grew up with. Luz is a young girl who loves her family very much. But they have been torn apart by war. At Christmastime. Missing her father and trying to help her mother and ill grandfather, keeping up with school and friends, and striving to not lose her hope, Luz focuses on traditions to help her through the struggle. Her friend is putting up a tree with a tin star for the top. Her school is putting on a special performance that they have studied for. And her grandfather will be doing the luminarias? Or will he? He is so sick the doctor tells him to stay inside. But the luminarias are an important tradition. Not just for Luz and her family but for the whole community. What can they do? The importance placed on family and tradition is a big part of what I love so much about this book. Before we started homeschooling, our oldest chose this book as being representative of our family traditions so we took it to her classroom and read it to her friends. We love this book and share it all we can.
The Night of Las PosadasAnother book from New Mexico is an important addition to our holiday book stack. This one is there because it shows some of the beauty of family and community seen throughout the state and that my mom and dad always showed to others. This is the story of a community's Las Posadas, the procession of Mary and Joseph to the inn to find a safe place for the birth of Baby Jesus. While our family doesn't celebrate December 25 specifically as the birth of Jesus, since the Bible doesn't tell us when that was, we do believe in the importance of Jesus and think this is a great time to share Him with those who may not know Him. So this beautiful story of the procession in northern New Mexico is lovely. This is a tradition among most of the communities in New Mexico. You can find some beautiful photos of these live processions on the internet. We always take time to look at the real Las Posadas and remember Jesus, giving thanks to God for sending Him to redeem us. This book is one way we take time for that each year. And, last but not least . . . I couldn't decide. So I'll do two more.
The Tiny Star by Arthur GinolfiThis is a sweet little book that highlights the beauty of each of us. The little star feels inadequate (don't we all at some point?) and unable to be of use. But, unexpectedly, the star falls out of the sky to one amazingly important job. We all have something to do and we need to work at it with all our heart. Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
The Donkey's Christmas Song by Nancy TafuriThis is another sweet little book that helps us focus on our strengths and seeing that we are all different. However, in spite of our differences, we are all special and important. God uses those differences to make beautiful things, including an unusual chorus that bring laughter to a special little baby. May your traditions be beautiful, special, and specially yours. May your Christmas season bring you closer to God.
I blog at At Home: where life happens. I have been married for 20 years and have three giggly girls. At home truly is where life happens so that is what I write about.
Thank you, Lori for sharing such beautiful books! We always love adding to our Christmas book basket each year.