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Ho Ho Ho! Can you believe the Christmas season is already here? With Thanksgiving falling so late this year, it feels like we've been rushing to get into the Christmas spirit! Christmas is a holiday that people of all backgrounds can enjoy. Many children, who culturally do not celebrate Christmas, still participate in and learn about some of the Christmas-related traditions at school like decorating and exchanging gifts. During Christmas, families also spend time with one another and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In the posts below, we are including religious Christmas books and also Christmas- themed books. These books are excellent for educating children about the Christian holiday and are for everyone to enjoy. Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates! Feel free to comment below with any of your favorite Christmas books that we missed!

❤️Kelsey & Jessie

1. Christmas in a Manger

Christmas in a Manger by Nola Buck is a sweet board book for young children about the nativity story. Each page provides a different perspective of Christmas day. We hear from the shepherds, the donkeys, the star, and baby Jesus. The pictures are beautiful, yet simple, and the rhyming within the story is engaging for kids!

2. God Gave Us Christmas

God Gave Us Christmas is by Lisa Tawn Bergren. The illustrations in this book are so sweet! The little cubs ask mom about Santa and where to find him. His mom says that God created Christmas and they can go looking for God because he is everywhere. On his journey, he realizes that Jesus is the best gift of all. This is a sweet book about the meaning of Christmas and is perfect for families who want their children to enjoy the fun of Santa but understand the importance of celebrating the birth of Jesus.

3. The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story is a Little Golden Book by Jane Werner. It is a classic book that shares the story of the birth of Christ. This book was first published in 1952, so it is a great book that adults might already be familiar with from their childhood!

4. Olive, the Other Reindeer

Olive, the Other Reindeer is a fun book by Vivian Walsh. It is about a dog, named Olive, who hears "All Of The Other Reindeer" on the radio and believe she should be a reindeer. She heads up to the North Pole to help Santa with delivering the presents. Read this book to find out how Olive ends up saving Christmas day!

5. Llama Llama Holiday Drama

Llama Llama Holiday Drama is another book in the very popular Llama Llama series by Anna Dewdney. In this book, Llama Llama has to prepare for Christmas with all the presents and decorations. The hardest part for him is waiting. His mama has to help him with patience as he counts down the days until Christmas.

6. Snowmen at Christmas

Snowmen at Christmas is a wonderful board book as part of the Snowmen At Night series by Caralyn Buehner. This book has a fun rhyme and it talks about what the snowmen do on Christmas Eve night to celebrate while all the people are sleeping. It is a great book to help get everyone in the Christmas spirit!

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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Bodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday that is typically celebrated on December 8th, or on January 2, 2020 (changes with the lunar calendar). Bodhi Day is not very well known and was even new to us! We enjoyed learning about this special day and wanted to share with you a little bit about Bodhi Day as well as some children's books that introduce these buddhist principles to children. Even children and families who do not follow Buddhism can read these books to educate themselves and their children about religious differences and principles of enlightenment.

Bodhi Day is a day to remember when Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and participated in deep meditation. Afterwards, he realized how everything in the world was connected and reached full enlightenment. Siddhartha Gautama is now known as Buddha, and his journey to enlightenment makes for the foundational principles of the Buddhist religion. On this day, people who follow Buddhism reaffirm themselves to enlightenment, compassion, and kindness and evaluate how their religion applies to the modern world. People celebrate this holiday in different ways; some have a Bodhi tree to decorate, some meditate on the life of Buddha, some will visit shrines, and some will serve special cookies shaped like Bodhi trees or their heart-shaped leaves. We hope these children's books can provide a good introduction to the holiday and the basic Buddhist principles.

❤️Much love, Kelsey & Jessie

1. Under the Bodhi Tree: A Story of Buddha

Under the Bodhi Tree: A Story of Buddha is written by Deborah Hopkinson. It is a poetic story that shares the story of Buddha. It starts with the life of Prince Siddhartha and his journey to finding peace and enlightenment. It introduces the concepts of meditation, mindfulness, compassion, and nonviolence and explains the Buddhist principles in simplistic words that make it easier for younger children to understand.

2. Bindi and the Bodhi Tree

This book is written by Ramakrishna Michaels. Bindi is a busy cat who is able to manage stress and drama in her life. Bindi's duty is to provide "unselfish service to others," which she does by teaching kittens yoga. The narrative of the story outlines basic Buddhist principles. Bindi also teaches that meditation includes deep breathing and expressing gratitude to others. This book can be fun and interactive for kids to follow along with the yoga poses that Bindi teaches. Overall, this is a great book to introduce Buddhist principles and teach the ideas of meditation and yoga to children in a fun and simple way!

4. Zen and Bodhi's Snowy Day

Zen and Bodhi's Snowy Day is by Gina Bates Brown. It is the simplest introduction to mindfulness and compassion from the three books we are sharing today. The two koalas go exploring on a snowy day contemplating the connections of the world. They observe nature with all of their senses and meditate to feel the connections with the world. Zen and Bodhi teach the steps for mindful, deep breathing. This is a very peaceful book that would be great for reading before bed!

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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We can't believe it's almost the end of the year! December kicks off with National Disability Day on the 3rd, a day where people of all abilities are celebrated and empowered! On this day, it's important to take time to educate ourselves and become more aware of and understanding of those with mental and/or physical disabilities. The meaning behind this day aligns well with our mission to promote acceptance and celebrate diversity of all types! We are posting our top 5 favorite children's books that discuss disability. Comment below with your favorite books that educate children about disabilities!

❤️With love, Kelsey & Jessie

1. Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Story

Rescue & Jessica is a wonderful book by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes! It follows the adventures of Rescue, who fails to become a seeing-eye-dog, so he gets trained to become a service dog instead. Jessica, Rescue's owner, has to have one of her legs amputated and is unhappy with how difficult everyday tasks have become. When she meets her service dog, Rescue, they form an incredible bond as he helps her navigate through daily activities. This is not only a fun but educational book that introduces physical disability and encourages perseverance through challenges!

2. We're All Wonders

We're All Wonders is a picture book adaptation of the children's novel, Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This book simplifies the meaning behind the book Wonder for younger audiences. It introduces craniofacial anomalies and the challenges that come along with this type of disability. Throughout the book, the author promotes kindness and acceptance of all people and he encourages all people to find the special parts of themselves. What a beautiful message! Choose kind!

3. Don't Feed The Worry Bug

Don't Feed the Worry Bug is a book by Andi Green that introduces the concept of anxiety in children. In this book, Wince hears a buzzing noise that is the "worry bug." When he hears it, his worries begin to grow and the worry bug gets bigger and bigger until it is getting in the way of Wince's life. The book mentions that the worry bug may not be gone forever but that there are things Wince can do to help keep the worry bug from coming back. He also has ideas to help keep him from feeding the worry bug.

4. My Brother Charlie

My Brother Charlie is a book by Holly Robinson Peete & Ryan Elizabeth Peete. This book is about Charlie, a boy with Autism. Throughout the book, Charlie's sister talks about the things her brother cannot do because of his Autism, but more importantly, all the things she loves about Charlie! My Brother Charlie is a great way to introduce young children to Autism. It promotes love and acceptance, and it will definitely pull at your heart-strings!

5. Just Because

Just Because is a book by Rebecca Elliott. This book is written from the perspective of Clemmie's younger brother. Clemmie is non-verbal and non-ambulatory. He does not know why she is not able to do the same things he can, but he loves her no matter what. As he talks about all the things that make Clemmie so wonderful, he realizes that his sister has special needs. He loves everything about his sister "just because." This is a heartwarming story about love and acceptance for children with disabilities.

Disclosure: We are not sponsored by any of these book authors or publishers. We are simply sharing our favorite books and providing links to Amazon in case you are interested 😊

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