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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.”