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Christmas Stories and Wonder

Luke 2:19 – But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.

What sets apart an average story from a great story? Whenever we watch a great movie or read a great book, we talk about why it was so good. In classical, Christian education, we believe that our children need to be nurtured with the best books and best stories of all times. We believe in the important of telling excellent stories because we believe that wisdom and virtue is more caught than taught. Children become like the characters they read about. So, it is all important what kind of stories we consider to be the best.

Sarah Mackenzie, the author of Read-Aloud Family, believes that good books fill the reader with hope, because it is hope that helps us to see the mundane world around us with new eyes. I agree with her. But I would like to add the element of wonder as another important mark of a best story. Hope and wonder. Best stories of all times have these two traits. Hope is given during a dire, hopeless situation. Wonder is taking the next step. Why and how am I given hope? Who loves me and why? It shifts the focus from me to God, the source of my hope.

And what better time to read stories about hope and wonder than Christmas time. Little more than 2000 years ago, Christ was born into a world filled with evil and chaos. Even now, Christ in his Spirit comes to us during spiritual, moral, and political chaos. What better time than now to direct the hearts and minds of our children to the one who not only can deliver us from evil, but one who wants to be discovered and fall in love with.

Let us take time to behold the beauty of God in our Lord Jesus Christ, for God’s beauty reflects his truth, and his truth reflects his goodness toward us. Recently I heard a beautiful song in Latin that captures this and fills our hearts with the wonder of God’s love toward us.

Veritas vertuatem redit, pulchritudo veritatem redit. Truth reflects goodness, beauty reflects truth.

Here are a few recommendations of Christmas stories for you to read with your children to fill their hearts with hope and wonder of the beauty, truth, and goodness of God’s gift of his Son to us.

The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald by George MacDonald. 4-6th Grade Level. Written by MacDonald himself, these stories tell of a generous bachelor who adopts a street urchin, a farm girl who searches for her wandering brother, and a cold-hearted London family who learn to be more sensitive.

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien. Every December, an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

Christmas Stories: Classic Christmas Stories by various authors, including Louisa May Alcott, Hans Christian Anderson, Charles Dickens and many more.

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