Every other Christmas, I celebrate with my mom. Every other Christmas, I celebrate with my dad. Sometimes I wish we could still be together. But my favorite holiday is special, no matter who I celebrate with. After his parents’ divorce, a young biracial child spends every other Christmas celebrating the differing traditions between the African American and Colombian sides of his family. The years the child spends Christmas in Illinois with his mother’s family, he crafts with his cousins and grandmother and decorates the front yard with Grandpa. They put an angel on the top of the tree, which is decorated with all of the handmade ornaments Grandma has saved throughout the years. They shop at the mall, sit on Santa’s lap, and sing “Silent Night” at Christmas Eve mass with the whole family.
During the holiday seasons he spends with Dad’s family in Colombia, the family decorates Abuela’s tree with crystal and glass ornaments, Papa Noel visits all of the cousins at Abuela’s house, and they eat arroz con pollo, arepas, bunelos, and tamales for dinner (and you can’t forget Abuela’s silky-smooth cinnamon hot chocolate!). They enjoy a fireworks display the week before Christmas and sing “Noche de Paz” at Christmas mass. No matter where he is for Christmas, he is surrounded by family, fun, and most importantly, love. Every Other Christmas is a picture book that explores the heart, soul, and fun of Christmas. The narrative’s parallel structure highlights how each family’s celebrations are similar while showcasing their exciting differences. This book invites any child who reads this story to reflect on what makes Christmas with their family special.
AGE RANGE: 3-6 years