Celebrating the Books of the Holiday Seasons

December 15, 2023

The month of December and the ensuing holiday season can pose unique challenges for children of military service members, particularly those experiencing the absence of a parent due to deployment. The separation during a festive time of year can amplify feelings of loneliness and create a void in the familial bond.

Shared storytime through United Through Reading’s storytime app is a valuable tool for helping to alleviate discomfort and foster stronger relational bonds. The interactive nature of the app not only provides a sense of connectivity but enables the absent parent to play an active role in the child’s daily routine despite the physical distance.

As the parent reads a story, the child can feel a comforting presence, bridging the emotional gap caused by time apart. This shared experience creates a special bonding opportunity, cultivating a connection that transcends geographical distance.

The storytime ritual can become a cherished tradition, adding a touch of normalcy and predictability to the child’s life. Through the power of technology and storytelling, our storytime app enables military families to share moments of joy and togetherness during the holiday season, no matter how you celebrate.

Winter Solstice

Winter solstice, observed around December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere, marks the shortest day and longest night of the year, symbolizing the tilt of Earth’s axis and the gradual return of longer days as winter unfolds.

The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming (ages 3-5)
The Mitten by Jan Brett (ages 1-4)


Hanukkah, observed typically in December, begins on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev and lasts for eight nights, commemorating the miracle of the menorah’s oil in the Second Temple in Jerusalem.

Elmo’s Little Dreidel by Naomi Kleinberg and Christopher Moroney (ages 0m-3)
Happy Hanukkah, Pout-Pout Fish by Dan Hanna (ages 0m-4)
Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat, A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland (ages 4-7)
Maccabee!: The Story of Hanukkah by Tilda Balsley (ages 2-6)
My First Menorah by Salina Yoon (0m-4)
The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco (ages 5-8)


Christmas, celebrated on December 25th annually, is a Christian holiday commemorating the birth of Christ, marked by festive traditions, gift-giving, and gatherings of family and friends.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (ages 8-14+)
Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman (ages 4-9)
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (ages 5-8)
I Love You Through & Through at Christmas, Too! / ¡En Navidad también te quiero! By Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak (ages 0m-4)
Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney (ages 0m-4)
Magic Tree House #44: A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time by Mary Pope Osborne (ages 7-12)
Merry Christmas, Curious George by H.A. Rey (ages 0m-6)
Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold (ages 4-8)
Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by James Dean (ages 3-6)
Santa Kid by James Patterson (ages 3-6)
The 12 Days of Christmas by Jane Cabrera (ages 0m-3)
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson (ages 8-11)
The Gingerbread Man by Catherine McCafferty (ages 3-6)
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore (ages 0m-7)
The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers (ages 4-8)
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms: The Dance of the Realms by Calliope Glass (ages 3-6)
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (ages 5-8)


Kwanzaa, observed from December 26th to January 1st, is a week-long African American and Pan-African cultural celebration emphasizing seven core principles, or Nguzo Saba, promoting unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.

My First Kwanzaa by Karen Katz (ages 2-5)
Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford (ages 4-6)

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