Christmas Reading/Activity Calendar


December 1990

Directions: Carefully remove these two pages, mount on lightweight cardboard, and make slits along the red dotted lines. Also remove page 32. Every two days in December until Christmas, find the appropriate dates and read the book described. (All books should be in your local library.) Then cut out the picture from page 32 with the same dates, do the activity—each is related to something in the book—and insert the picture tabs in the slits. Exchange books and activities, or make substitutions, if necessary.

[Christmas Reading]

Keeping a Christmas Secret

“Don’t tell,” Betsy and Tim remind their little brother. But when Dad asks questions, Michael accidentally gives the children’s secret away. He sets things right, though, with his very own Christmas surprise. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Max’s Christmas

Max Mouse didn’t know anything about Santa Claus, so he decided to see if what his sister told him was true. Rosemary Wells

Crystal’s Christmas Carol

Crystal really has the Christmas spirit—she even asks Santa what he wants—and everyone around her catches it too. Shirley Gordon

Arthur’s Christmas Wish

When Arthur’s fairy godfather grants Arthur’s wish to play two songs on the piano “really well,” Arthur is elated. Then he is trapped into playing for the Christmas pageant—and neither of the songs that he can play is in the pageant! Sharon L. Wooding

The Twelve Days of Christmas

The artist shows all that is going on both inside and outside the farm home of Bedeliah, to whom Benjamin Bear is bringing his twelve days’ gifts. The animals cavort with all the exuberance of the season, an art subplot shows Reginald Raccoon’s efforts to get into Bedeliah’s garbage can, and a foldout page at the end reveals a wonderful Christmas Fair in which there is always something new to find. Hilary Knight (illustrator)

Chita’s Christmas Tree

When Chita and Papa go to look for a Christmas tree, Mama packs them peanut butter sandwiches. But they get hot, sugary waffles from the waffle man and give the sandwiches to Henry, their horse (he loves them!). Chita finds the perfect tree, and Papa carves her name on the trunk. Will Santa Claus find it and bring it Christmas Eve? Chita worries about it as she helps Mama bake. Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard

The Christmas Cat

On Christmas Eve, while the homeless cat is in the forest, struggling against a bitter snowstorm, two little boys are in the farmhouse kitchen, decorating Gingerbread Animal Cookies. Later that night a tall, bearded man goes to the forest with fruit and seeds and leafy branches for the animals there. Recipes are included. Efner Tudor Holmes

The Christmas Junk Box

Every year Mr. Bones gave his family a family present at Christmas. In past years he had given them “a wooden pony and cart big enough to ride in, a swing set with rings and a slide, a canoe, and an electric organ.” This year he gave them a box of junk! Tony King

Little Tree

Deborah Kogan Ray’s muted illustrations are perfect for this classic poem about a little tree that is taken home, decorated lovingly, and put proudly in the window for all to see. As with all cumming’s poems, there are few capital letters and almost no punctuation. e.e. cummings

December 24th

Emily and Louie bring Grandpa a present, and he goes through all kinds of antics as he guesses the holiday that they are celebrating—and it isn’t Christmas! A giggly kind of book. Denys Cazet

Peter Spier’s Christmas

Shopping, baking, decorating, caroling, visiting, giving to charity, going to church—everything from the first hint of the season to the cleaning up after it are shown in this wordless book. You’ll find some new delight in it each time you look. Peter Spier

The Story of Hanukkah

On the nights of Hanukkah, Jewish children play a game with a dreidel. In this book you can see a picture of this spinning toy and read about the miracle that Jews commemorate during the eight days of celebrations. Amy Ehrlich

[Christmas Activities]

1–2 Make a list of possible family traditions; discuss and choose one in family home evening. Examples: Caroling, visiting children in the hospital, watching a special program.

3–4 Send a birthday card to somebody who has a birthday this month. Write a poem or story about something nice about that person, then illustrate it and put it inside the card.

5–6 Read Christmas stories to your younger brother(s) and/or sister(s).

7–8 Think of somebody who might be sad or lonely and spend some time with him—play a game or do something else that he might like.

9–10 Find out how Hanukkah is celebrated, and tell about it in family home evening.

11–12 Baby-sit for a busy neighbor so that he or she can do some Christmas shopping.

13–14 Sincerely compliment seven different people for things that they do well.

15–16 Send a Christmas card to your Primary teacher or home teachers. Add a note telling about something that you learned from them.

17–18 Do something nice for each member of your family without them finding out. Examples: make Mom’s bed, put a treat in a brother or sister’s coat pocket, polish Dad’s shoes.

19–20 Plan some special treats for the birds and for any pets that you have.

21–22 Help your mom by making gingerbread men or some other kind of Christmas cookies; clean up the kitchen when you are finished.

23–24 Make a special decoration—one that shows your love for Jesus—for your Christmas tree.

[illustrations] Illustrated by Julie F. Young