(The Sounding) - Here are some phenomenal resources for us to read to our children during December:
1. A Children's Paradise of Saints, by Nun Nectaria McLees
There are 15 stories in this book. One of them is the story of Saint Nicholas. We commemorate St. Nicholas on December 6 (December 19 for old calendar). He is a popular saint in the Orthodox church, and this is an opportunity to talk with our children about the history behind how Saint Nicholas morphed into Santa Claus in our American culture and also teach them that there's more to this saint than secretly giving gifts.
2. North Star: St. Herman of Alaska, by Dorrie Papademetriou
This is one of my favorite Orthodox children's authors. This book has absolutely beautiful illustrations, and the story engages children. We commemorate St. Herman on December 13th.
3. Saint Herman of Alaska, by S.A. Smith
Here's another wonderful book about Saint Herman.
4. Let Us Live Orthodoxy - Vol. 1: Nativity to Theophany, by Georget Photos
If you're looking for activites and projects to do with your kids this Christmas season, this is the book for you! There are many projects in this book I have not seen other places - such as how to make your own incense.
5. Yiayia and the Prosphoron, by Egle-Ekaterine Potamitis
This is an adorable book and a great resource when teaching your children how to make prosphora for church. We often get gifts for family and friends but neglect to offer a gift to God. What better way to teach our children how to offer a gift to God?
6, The Woman and the Wheat, by Jane G. Meyer
Here is another great story about making prosphora for Liturgy. This is a great addition to the book above when teaching your children how to make prosphora.
7. The Tale of Three Trees, by Angela Elwell Hunt
I don't believe this book is written by an Orthodox author, but it is a great story nonetheless. This is a traditional folktale about three trees who are turned into the manger who cradled Christ at his birth, a fishing boat, and a cross.
8. For to Us a Child is Born, by Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America Department of Religious Education
This is a great resource for families and church school teachers alike. It has a wealth of information about saints and feasts during this season.