The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: A Christmas Read Aloud and Literature Extension Activities

Many years ago, when I was teaching in an elementary school classroom, my sister-in-law- also an elementary school teacher- gave me a Christmas picture book that quickly became one of my favorites.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston is a Christmas story set in the Appalachian Mountains. It's a sweet story of love and sacrifice and family. And it has a touching Christmas miracle- which means that I almost always cry when I'm reading it aloud.

This post is part of the Five Days of Classic Christmas Books and Activities for Kids series. You can find the other books in this five day series here. In this post, you can find activities- for learning and for fun- to use along with The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.

Literature extension activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree #literature #homeschooling
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Don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages here as well.

Learning Activities


Print a blank US map and label the Appalachian Mountains. You can find them by looking at this site.

Learn more about the Appalachian Mountains here.

You can find a great printable here that allows kids to write down information about the book in an organized way.

Learn the origin of the Christmas tree at this site.

Storypath has some great discussion points for connecting faith the with the story in The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.

Ruthie's father was off to the war during World War 1. Learn more about World War 1 from National Geographic Kids.

This interactive site from BBC also has some great information about the war- mostly from the perspective of Great Britain.

And History for Kids has lots of great information about different aspects of the war.

Learn more about balsam fir trees- the kind of tree Ruthie and her father chose- here.

Crafts and Fun


Make an interesting Christmas tree with this craft idea from No Time for Flashcards.

Hands On As We Grow has a cute button Christmas tree ornament craft.

Use the instructions at Babble Dabble Do to make a simple cloth doll like the one Mama makes Ruthie.

Create a pretty mountain scene with this torn paper craft.

Make some snowy mountains cookies with this recipe at She Knows.

Other Resources


This Christ in the Christmas Tree Lapbook will help you take a closer look at Christmas trees and the symbolism that points to Christ.

Knowledge Box has a nice World War 1 lapbook.

This video is a cute preview to the book.


Literature unit activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree


Don't forget to check out the other posts in this series here. And you go over to the iHomeschool Network and find other Five Days...Christmas posts here.

Literature unit activities for The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree

And don't forget to pick up your free Christmas notebooking pages by clicking below.






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