Wouldn't it be nice to feel seen?
I'm sure it wasn't just me who got the Christmas books out on December 1st. I love the sense of occasion that December brings. The decorations go up, the lights come out, the advent calendars get given, and we enjoy Christmas stories together.
But what if you can't see yourself or your family in those stories?
Of course, you can take the leap and put yourself in someone else's shoes (after all, that's what marginalised people have been doing when reading for years), but wouldn't it be nice to feel seen? To feel that your celebrations of Christmas and your family are important too?
Fabia Turner's blog post featuring '20 Black Children's Books for Christmas' has been hugely popular, although she was only able to find a couple of Christmas stories to include in that list.
For me, I look for Christmas books that will represent our family (a solo parent and one child) so Doing Christmas by Sarah Garland and All I Want For Christmas by Rachel Bright are top of our lists.
Pick a Pine Tree I also just love (as getting the tree is one of my favourite things). The family is nuclear, but there's an ethnically diverse cast of characters and a sense of community as friends all join in the fun.
But lots of Christmas books are pretty traditional in who they represent and how. We all know how the Christmas story has been whitewashed. And that's one of the reasons I love Leah's Star by Margaret Bateson-Hill and Karin Littlewood which uses authentic skins tones and also brings women to the centre of the story. (I'm not a Christian, but as my son will be learning this story at school it's important to me that he sees alternative versions of it.)
I'd love to increase my collection of inclusive Christmas books, so over to you... let me know your favourites.