That Christmas Feeling By Lili Wilkinson




This would be a beautiful Christmas story book for anyone who is experiencing a slightly different Christmas this year; whether it’s a Christmas away from home, or one without all the usual bells and whistles, this book is a great reminder of what we really need in order to find that Christmas feeling.


It’s Christmas Eve and Dottie, her big brother Jem and their dog, Shortbread are at their Grandparents’ house, waiting for the magical feeling of Christmas to come over them. But this year, things are different. Their Mum and Dad aren’t there, there’s no Christmas pudding, no tree and no carols. Dottie and Jem aren’t even sure if Santa will know how to find them.

Just before they go to sleep, they decide to create the magic for themselves and then, right in the middle of one of their own Christmas carols, headlights appear; maybe they’re going to have everything they need for Christmas, after all…

Why I love it:

As cliched as it sounds, the reason I love Christmas (and I really do love it) is because of that magical feeling and because of family. This book is a wonderful reminder that the magic comes from ourselves and family is all that really matters. For anyone feeling budget strain or anyone travelling away from home this year, this book will ease any worries as to whether or not Christmas can still feel the same.

Themes/ideas to discuss with your child:

  • Christmas
  • Family
  • The true meaning behind Christmas
  • The spirit of Christmas
  • Magic
  • Traditions
  • Music and carols
  • Togetherness

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • What sort of feelings do you have at Christmas?
  • What do you think would be a good name for the girl on the cover?
  • What would be a good name for the dog?
  • How many Christmas decorations has the girl drawn on her tree?
  • How many more would she need to draw to make 10?
  • This book is written by an Australian author. What clue is there on the front cover that the book is written by someone in the Southern Hemisphere?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this book? Why/why not?
  • Why do you think Dottie and Jem’s Grandparents didn’t have a Christmas tree?
  • Why didn’t they have Christmas pudding?
  • How do you think Dottie and Jem felt as they were eating their cheese sandwiches?
  • Do you get that magical, fizzy feeling on Christmas Eve?
  • How do you think the children felt when they saw their parents arrive?
  • Do you think they knew they were getting a baby sister?
  • Why do you think they named the baby, Holly? (Hint: look at Dottie’s headband)
  • What are some of the things you need to make Christmas feel exactly like Christmas?

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