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Classic Family Christmas Read Aloud

Happy Holiday, hope you have been enjoying Jylene’s last two blogs on Family Christmas Read Aloud Books. Due to a death in Jylene's family, she asked if I would send out this blog with the Classic Christmas Read Aloud Books. She was thinking of all of you and wanted to make sure you received this week's recommendations that she had written in her book the 12 Days of Christmas, A Christmas Family Read Aloud.

In these two books, she gives some great background knowledge into the writing of these classic books. This is from the introduction of her 12 Days of Christmas, A Christmas Family Read Aloud.


Children learn background knowledge by visiting museums, grocery stores, camping, life experiences, and being read to from good picture books and chapter books. Reading aloud expands their knowledge of the larger world around them that they do not experience."

Hope you enjoy what Jylene has written about these classics. I know in my family, they have been read to me, my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren throughout the years

-Peggy Washburn, publicist



written by Robert L. May

I vividly remember the excitement my family and I felt during Christmas when it was time to watch the TV show Rudolph, The Red-Nosed Reindeer. The show only aired once each Christmas season, so we would hurry and eat dinner and be ready when the show started.

Everyone (or almost everyone) knows the story and song “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.” It has been translated into over 25 different languages, proving Rudolph appeals to people all around the world. But do you know the behind the scenes story about the writing of Rudolph?

Montgomery Ward & Co wanted to give away a special book to children during the Christmas season. Robert L. May a young copywriter was asked by his boss to come up with some ideas.

He began working on a story about a reindeer who was not like the others. At first, his boss rejected the idea. But May


He worked on the story for months and finally finished it in late August. Montgomery Ward printed it and handed out almost 2,500,000 that Christmas and children were immediately enchanted by Rudolph and his brilliant …..nose.

World War II came, and Rudolph went into hibernation. In 1946 the company again published the book, this time distributing 3,500,000 copies. Rudolph’s popularity was soaring. May was approached by publishers and songwriters, all wanting a chance to be a part of this phenomenon. But the copyright was owned by Montgomery Ward and May was unable to sell what he did not own.

In 1946, in an act of great generosity, Sewel Avery the chairman of Montgomery Ward gave the copyright to Bob May. The rest they say is history.

Additional notes from the back of the authentic reproduction of the original edition:

  • In 1949, May’s friend, Johnny Marks wrote a 113-word song summarizing the Rudolph story.

  • Gene Autry’s recording of the song climbed to #1 on the Hit parade and sold 2,000,000 copies during its first Christmas season. Search the web for "Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer Gene Autry" and listen to the original singer

  • Over 500 licensed Rudolph products appeared—everything from stuffed Toys to bracelet charms, cuckoo clocks, and cookie cutters.

  • A film version of the story first aired in 1964 and has been broadcast on a major TV network almost every year since.

There are many different versions of this book. I have an authentic reproduction of the original edition. The following is quoted from the back of this reproduction. “It all began one January day in 1939.”


The Night Before Christmas

written by Clement C Moore

The poem Twas The Night Before Christmas was written by Clement Clarke Moore in 1822. Legend tells us that he first entitled it “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and wrote it on Christmas Eve for his family. He never planned to have it published, but a family friend Miss Harriet Butler learned about the poem from his children and submitted it to the editor of the Troy, New York Sentinel.

The Sentinel first published it, anonymously, on Dec. 23, 1823. And was then reprinted in other newspapers, almanacs, and magazines also without an author. It was printed in a book The New Book of Poetry in 1837, and in 1844, Moore claimed authorship of the poem in a book of his own poetry entitled Poems.

There are so many copies of this Classic story/poem. I would encourage you to choose a book with top notch illustrations. Good illustrations make a big difference in the enjoyment of the read aloud.

I bought a copy of the original book A Visit From St. Nicholas written by Clement C. Moore, it is a small paperback book.

According to Wikipedia, there is controversy about the real author of “A Visit From St. Nicolas”. There is evidence in favor of Moore and evidence in favor of Major Henry Livingston Jr. distantly related to Moore's wife, using textual content analysis and external evidence. If you would like to read the article about this subject go to Wikipedia and look up A Visit from St. Nicholas It is a rather large article on the subject.

The Washington Post, on December 19, 2006, printed an article from The Associated Press entitled “Copy of Poem Sold; 'Twas Worth $280K”, also states that there are 4 handwritten original copies that are known to exist.

Notes about me:

Jylene Morgan is a retired educator. She is passionate about the importance of reading aloud to children from top quality children’s books. Writing about her life experiences she captivates her audience by telling the tales of her family’s adventures. The first several books are written about funny exchanges that occur when human and wild animal’s lives come together.

To read more about me, my passion for reading aloud to children and my books go to Make sure you join our mailing list so you receive Jylene's "Most Treasured Books List". So you can also be the first to know when Jylene's next book, BUMMER and the Nanny Goat, is available.


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