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A Homemade Together Christmas Review by Bethany Hankinson

Maryann Cocca-Leffler
Albert Whitman & Company
250 South Northwest Highway, Suite 320
Park Ridge, Illinois 60068

Every year for Christmas we make homemade gifts for one another to put in stockings. It is fun, inexpensive, and a wonderful way to share something special with each other. It has become a holiday tradition that our family looks forward to every new Christmas season.

A Homemade Together Christmas is a children’s literature book ($16.99) about a pig family that decides that each one will make their own gift for the family. Although Momma, Dad, and Rosie come up with their ideas easily, Luca isn’t having much luck. He sets out making a list of the different things he can try to create and ends up with sticky notes stuck everywhere. Each new attempt to make things, ends in disaster: mounds of paper, a giant belly ache, and a melted snowman. On Christmas Eve, he discovers the perfect gift . . . a jar of 365 Days of Together To-Dos. The very first one is “watch the sunrise from the porch.” It is the perfect first to-do, as Dad’s gift is a family quilt, Momma’s gift is a Christmas-tree pancake, and Rosie’s gift is a homemade Christmas song; all of which, can be enjoyed from the front porch.

We usually put our family tree and stockings up the weekend after Thanksgiving and that gets us thinking about what we will be making for one another. Since we were reviewing A Homemade Together Christmas, the kids have started thinking about what they will make and gathering the materials they will need much earlier. If we didn’t already make gifts for one another, we definitely would have after reading this story.

Like Luca, sometimes it is hard for kids to figure out what to make. At our house, the kids have made homemade goodies in the kitchen, felt toys, art projects, and crocheted scarves or simple hand sewn gifts.

Our kindergartener has requested this book over and over for his bedtime story and he just can’t seem to hear it enough. Whenever it is missing, I have tracked it down in his room. He gives it two thumbs up. I agree it is a very nice story and the pictures are adorable. I appreciate that the emphasis is being together for Christmas and not on what is being received. The handmade gifts are enjoyed and it is nice to see the little family’s thoughtfulness for one another.

This makes for a lovely Christmas season read aloud. We have a stash that we pull out every year and this story will be a favorite. Whether you make gifts at Christmas, would like to start a new family tradition, or just like a good story, A Homemade Together Christmas is a good fit for children ages 1-9 and their parents, too.

—Product Review by Bethany Hankinson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, February, 2016