This is a great Christmas story from Tomie dePaola, author of the Strega Nona series. The first one (Strega Nona) received the Caldecott Award. Even if you haven't read the original book, you will still enjoy this heartwarming Christmas story that focuses on the true spirit of Christmas.
Strega Nona always hosts the entire town of Calabria at her home for a Christmas celebration, and refuses to use her "magic" to get her work done during the holiday season, because she just does not think it is the right thing to do. As the season progresses through Advent, Big Anthony is supposed to be going to town to buy things to help prepare for another Christmas celebration. But, along the way he gets "sidetracked" and Strega Nona fears that Christmas will be ruined because he has failed to get the items she needs to prepare for her dinner. The surprise ending will delight everyone as it reinforces a message about the spirit of giving.
For Italian-American families (and anyone interested in other cultures), there is the added bonus of having a number of Italian words and Christmas traditions included in the story.