Giveaway: Thanksgiving and Holiday Books to Get You Through the Season

WINNER: Congratulations to ali9!

This year, the holiday season wanted to arrive even more quickly than usual – what with the snow trying to cancel The Great Candy Grab and chain stores displaying Christmas decorations even before Hallowe’en – let alone Thanksgiving – had arrived.  Are you ready for the whirlwind of activity?

I’ve found that a great way to transition children (and the adults who love them) from one frantic time of year to another is through reading books relating to an upcoming season or holiday. To help you along, we have some suggestions (and a giveaway!) for new books available about Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas.

First, let’s give thanks.  Turkey Bowl, by Phil Bildner and illustrated by C.F. Payne, will reach out to any child who has waited to be old enough to do something BIG. Ethan, the 9-year-old boy who has waited all his life to play in his family’s traditional Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving Day, worries that a blizzard will cancel the festivities and ruin Thanksgiving.  Sound familiar?  It’s a very sweet story about family and conquering a surprise storm.  Another Thanksgiving themed book, Thank You, Sarah, by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Matt Faulkner, is a mini-history book focused on Sarah Hale and her desire to see Thanksgiving become a federal holiday.  It’s a story about perseverance, the power of the pen, and our political system.  Told in a straight-forward but humorous manner, children will learn that Thanksgiving Day as a holiday took a lot of doing – and the charge was led by a woman.

Almost a full month after Thanksgiving comes Hanukkah, and Hanukkah Hop! will help bide the time before the celebrations.  Written by Erica Silverman and illustrated by Steven D’Amico, this spirited book tells the tale of preparations for a huge family gathering for Hanukkah.  An excited little girl named Rachel leads us through the book talking about the decorations, the latkes, the story of the Maccabees, and even the klezmer band – dancing all the while.  Hannukah Hop! will entertain your whole family as they wait to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

The Magical Christmas Horse, written by Mary Higgins Clark with paintings by Wendell Minor, is a story about a Christmas wish for those who want to get away from the commercial hullaballoo surrounding the holiday.  An eight-year-old boy named Johnny visits his grandparents in Connecticut for the first time in many years.  His wish is to give his little brother a wooden horse he remembers riding when he last visited with his grandparents, but when he finds it, it is broken and dirty.  This is a story about dealing with disappointment, and wishes coming true.

Thanks to the generosity of Simon & Schuster, we have all four of these books to give away in one package.

To enter, keep reading…

Simply tell us your favorite holiday tradition in the comments. One person who replies to this post by 11:59 p.m. EST on November, 15, 2011, will be chosen at random to receive all four books! Please post only once.

No purchase necessary. Starts Monday, November 14, 2011, 10 am EST and ends Tuesday, November 15, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. Open to U.S. residents ages 16 years and older. Void where prohibited.

Good luck!

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  1. My favorite holiday tradition is when my wife, son and I go into the city each year to look at the Holiday decorations and the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.

  2. Lighting the Hanukkah candles and turning on Hanukkah music (some fun versions out there like Bare Naked Ladies) and watching my now 5-year-old son dance wildly.

  3. We like finding crafts to make and give as holiday gifts…particularly gifts that promote sustainable living.

    Thanks for the chance to win!

  4. Taking our son to see Santa Claus and then using the photo for our Christmas card is a favorite tradition of ours. It first started when he was a few months old. The line was so long that by the time we got to Santa he had fallen asleep. We gently put him in Santa’s arms and Santa pretended to be asleep as well. It was the sweetest picture so we used it as our card that year and just became an annual tradition.

  5. My husband and I received a menorah as a wedding gift, and each of our kids has received their own menorahs as gifts, too. At the beginning of Hanukkah, we take out all three, brush off the dust that’s accumulated over the year, and set them up in the kitchen. The kids get so excited to see their very own menorahs, and to light the candles in them each night. While we go through a ton of candles through the 8 days, by the end of the week the whole house is glowing.

  6. Before I had kids, all my ornaments were breakable so when they came along I decided to buy wooden ornaments and we painted them together for the tree. We make new ones each year now and date them. They are much more beautiful than those silly glass ones! 🙂

  7. ‘Ya know…that’s a kind of tough one. Hmmm… I’d have to say it’s just being with my wonderful wife, of 28 years, and our 26 Y.O. son, and giving thanks for all the wonderful things our son has achieved, and all of the honors that have been presented to him, as well that we have a decent place to live, and of course, “my car collection”. We illuminate the Manorah every evening, of the 8 days with matches made in Japan, to set fire to candles made in China. (Good Grief) !! We really do not exchange gifts, but just honor the holy-day, in our hearts, thoughts … as we light the Menorah and recite the prayer. Then Karen makes Potatoe Pancakes, the trditional fare for the 8 days, and by then…. we all are constapated !! 🙂

  8. I’m Jewish and my husband is Christian and since we’ve been married for the last 7 years we’ve invited all of our family & friends over on a Saturday afternoon between the two holidays (Chanukkah & Christmas) and hosted what I call a “_____-MAKING PARTY”. Every year I come up with something new to fill in the blank and I’m pretty sure people looked forward to what I have planned. One year it was a “SUSHI-making party”, another was a “CALZONE-making party”, another was a “CHOCOLATE DIPPED FRUITS & CAKES-making party” and last year was a “CUPCAKE-making party”. What I’m most looking forward to this year is that my 18 month old baby girl can finally participate in our family tradition (which is still a surprise, so I’m not spilling the beans)!

  9. Every year – sometime in mid-December – my husband and I pop open a bottle of wine and decorate a Christmas tree. Memorable evening every time!

  10. We just got invited to a “Chanukkah-Hop” in fancy Llewelln Park, catered and all. Should be really good. (Yes it’s from a “Car-Buddy”)He has a couple “Rolls” ~ and so do I !! His are in the garage and mine are around my tummy.

  11. With a young one now our traditions are evolving. The holiday season starts with Thanksgiving at Grandma 1, tree decorating the next weekend, then Christmas at Grandma 2’s. Maybe we’ll work in a cookie exchange this year!

  12. These books are not going to be enough to get me through the season. I’m going to need something by Neitschse or Schopenhaur or perhaps the Old Testament. Something with intellectual heft, spiritual gravitas. It’s going to be one of those coming to Jesus winters, I can see it. A lot of reassessing and reconfiguring and recapitulating and reigniting and rejiggering. It’s going to be a lot of work, which is not really what I’m looking for. What I want is to have some fun. Though tight now It’d settle for being able to lie down on my sofa with a big thick book and read about three pages before my eyes get heavy and then let my head fall back on the pillow and snooze… and by some miracle the dog doesn’t bark.

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