Every holiday season, the Christmas decorations come down, and the traditions startup. One of our favorite traditions is retelling some classic holiday stories with a flair that can only be found locally. Beyond being fun for all ages, these titles are an excellent gift idea for the little ones in your life. Below, we’ve compared some classics and some newcomers (relatively) so you can save some valuable shopping time this holiday season.

Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair
Originally printed over 45 years ago, this one has become a timeless classic unbeknownst to all. In order to write this in an unbiased manner, we reread it because why not? The story definitely hasn't lost any of its charms. However, written in a full cajun dialect, this tale could be difficult to read if someone hasn't been brought up knowing the ins and outs of the cajun culture. Overall, we’d give this one an 8/10.

The Legend of Papa Noel: A Cajun Christmas Story by Terri Hoover Dunham
The favorite was originally published in 2006 by Sleeping Bear Press and can still be found on almost every shelf in local stores. This tale is able to keep older children engages which gives kids the opportunity to enjoy this classic even longer before they reach their teen years and want to spend the holidays in their room. Although it shows a couple of parallels to Rudolph’s story, it beautifully pays homage to the albino alligator that children love to see at the Audobon Zoo and introduces a nice variety of cajun words and phrases. This is definitely one of our favorites, and we’d rank this one a 10/10.

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Louisiana by Jean Cassels
Although this book is set after Christmas, it still highlights the many festivities that take place here during the holidays. Rosalie is spending time in Louisiana and telling her cousin, Paul, all about the local traditions. We love the map of the United States on the inside cover that highlight where Louisiana is, but it is more informational than festive. Overall, we’d give this story a 6/10.

The Adventures of The Swamp Kids: TuTu’s Christmas on the Bayou by Leif Nedland Pedersen
One of the newest books on our list, this fun story was released in 2014 but has already grown quite the following. TuTu the Turtle goes on a hunt to find the perfect Christmas tree for his swamp friends but learns that it’s not the decorations, but the people that make the holidays so special. A great thing about this story is that it’s a part of a series so you can keep up with The Swamp Kids year-round. Plus, we love an original story that isn’t a retelling of the classics, and the fun songs are just an added bonus. We give this one a 7/10.

Santa is Coming to Louisiana by Steve Smallman
Steve Smallman wrote many different versions of Santa is Coming to… specific to different states. The Louisiana version highlights a nice variety of big cities and small towns throughout the pelican state. This cute and funny story is sure to warm the hearts of children and adults alike. We fondly give this story an 8/10.

Of course, these are all personal opinions and all of these and more are treasured traditions throughout the state. From all of us at Atchafalaya Basin Landing Swamp Tours, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!