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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree ...

As I was planning for my first graders' holiday read alouds, I decided to read several stories revolving around Christmas trees. My student body is primarily full of students who do celebrate Christmas in a myriad of ways, and nearly ALL of them have a Christmas tree!! I knew that I would find common ground here and that I could add to their holiday spirit ... Not that they need much more spirit. Boy, oh boy, if only I could bottle up a bit of that energy and spirit!!

I chose to start with a book that I had NEVER read before, and admittedly had never even recalled being on my shelf ... A Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell. I chose this book thinking that it would be a good intro to "Christmas Trees." And boy, was it ever PERFECT.

It does an engaging job of describing "how" a Christmas tree becomes a Christmas tree. The book offered the opportunity for me to talk about vocabulary words like pine, spruce, fir, and trimming; all words which were essential for my next two books. The kids especially seemed to enjoy learning about planting the seedlings in the spring, trimming the branches in the summer, and measuring them in the fall.

In my opinion, the following two Christmas tree books should be holiday MUST READS!! Undoubtedly, if you are as old as I am, you have read or even had read to you, Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, by Robert Barry. Yes it is a classic ... not that I am, mind you ... but certainly the book is!!

Mr. Willowby's tree is so LARGE that the tippy top of the tree must be cut off so that it will fit into the parlor. The top is passed on to Miss Adelaide to be used as her Christmas tree. However, alas, it is too tall for her room and needs to have the top trimmed off. Miss Adelaide throws the top away in the garbage, but Mr. Trimm finds it and takes it home to his wife. However, it is also too tall for their snug little house, and Mrs. Trimm cuts off the top and throws it out into the yard ... You can most certainly see where this is going!! 

We ended our Christmas tree read aloud session with the Kindle version of A Wish to be a Christmas Tree. This beautifully written story tells of a GIANT Christmas tree that wants nothing more than to be able to go home with a family and be decorated. But, he is much too large to fit into anyone's house, so his woodland animal friends decorate him to show him how much he is loved and appreciated.

Hope that these holiday selections help you during this holiday season!