Christmas Trees, Personalized & Classic Stories & More!

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Now that Thanksgiving is over we are focusing on Christmas. I love the time of Advent. It is the time I take to enjoy the season and remember the amazing gift that Jesus truly is. The first thing we always do is put up our tree. Hazel wanted to do it on Thanksgiving this year since her grandmother was here. (My mother-in-law hardly ever comes to our house, so Hazel was really excited.) The tree went up.

It seems the perfect time to share some books about Christmas trees and a few other great ones for this time of year and more!! We will start with The Great Spruce by John Duvall and illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon.

In this sweet story tells how Alec loves to climb trees and his favorite tree to climb is the great spruce that his grandfather transplanted and they decorated each year. One year men stopped at his house and asked Alec's parents for the tree for the Christmas celebration in the city. Alec was saddened to hear his tree would be gone forever, but when the men showed up with the giant chain saw, Alec stopped them and suggested they dig the tree up and borrow it for the city celebration and then he could have it back after Christmas. The men agreed and his grandfather and he went with the tree to the city. This is a wonderful tale of how saving a tree and at the end of the story there is a bit of history of Christmas trees and how to transplant a tree.  This is a eco-Christmas tale.

Our next book is The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy and illustrated by Emily Sutton. In this story a small tree got stuck to one of its larger neighbors and is noticed in the Christmas tree yard on Christmas Eve. A boy sees it being thrown away and asks if he could have it. The boy takes the tree to the location of the box he sleeps in and uses the little bit of money to buy candles for the tree instead of dinner for himself. The lit tree draws crowds including street performers and singing starts and traffic stops. The little tree brings the Christmas spirit to a city thanks to a homeless boy. And yet the story of the tree keeps going, but you will have to read it to know. This is such a touching story about the importance of having a bit of Christmas spirit as well as love and compassion for our fellow people. The magic of Christmas is everywhere!!

 Our next book or package is perfect to light up your little ones eyes on Christmas morning or really any time. It is a personalized book and matching items from I See Me! Inc. Hazel LOVES these books and loves seeing her name, information and picture in the book. There is always a dedication page where a picture of the child is included. This year we went with a classic Christmas story--The Night Before Christmas changed to be Hazel's Night Before Christmas. The story itself is very similar to the classic with a few details put in for Hazel.
 The gift set comes with a matching personalized placemat and ornament as well as the book. The book has details from our town name, our last name, our cats' names (and yes there is a dog option as well) and four names of family members for the other gifts and stockings from Santa. They also ask for personal details like skin tone and hair color to make the child in the book match your child.
 Since we got this book, Hazel has been reading it and showing it to everyone she can. Of course my family loves that they are included in the book too (except my mother since I could only give four other names). Yes, my sisters', nephew's and dad's names are on the gifts in this story.

 If you like The Night Before Christmas this book is for you. Your child will love it. If you want something for other times of the year, there are plenty of other options!! (We have reviewed several here, here, and here.) This is one of those gifts the child does not know he/she wants but he/she WANTS it. It is definitely a top gift!!

 Another classic Christmas story is The Nutcracker. In this new version of the classic story from E.T. A. Hoffman and illustrated by Valeria Docampo. This book tells a shortened version of the original tale with sweet illustrations. They illustrations are colorful and fun and full of magic. It is a very fun version of the story!

 Our next classic story is not really a Christmas one but it is a winter one. It is The Snow Queen based on the original by Hans Christian Andersen and illustrated by Charlotte Cooke. Now when Disney's Frozen came out I took a version of Hans Christian Andersen's Snow Queen from the library and the story scared Hazel and we never read it. This version however is not scary. The story is similar but the illustrations are friendlier and not nearly as frightening.
I really love this version of the story!!

Have you seen Disney's Moana yet? We have not but the reviews are very good. Along with the previous two books we also got three activity books/sets themed around this new movie.
 We received Choose Your Destiny which is a 24-page activity book with stickers. It is packed full with puzzles, mazes and more. It introduces the various characters from the movie so it is perfect for a movie preview!!
 We also got Adventurer Activities which is a 48-page activity book with 10 tattoos. The activities in this are a bit more difficult and include some Sudoku, mazes, word games and more.
 We also received the Disney Moana Collector's Tin. It has three books, a double-sided color-in poster, stickers and four markers in it.

 The books include a coloring book, a small activity book and a colorful activity book. The activities have mazes, find the differences and more.

 All three of these books/set are perfect for anyone who loves the movie or is about to go see it!! For even more Moana items check out Target including Moana-themed party supplies, clothes, toys and more! And all of the books shared will help you enjoy your holiday season or be perfect holiday gifts. I hope you will check them all out!!