How will families spend the holidays this year? What about Santa? Does he leave presents out on the sidewalk, or does he wear a mask? Inspired by the ways her own family and friends are coming together – while staying apart – during the pandemic, author Sara Sargent has penned a timely picture book bringing comfort and joy to children everywhere.

Always Together at Christmas (Random House Books for Young Readers) is a paperback picture book for ages 4 to 8 that affirms the special magic of the holidays despite physical distance from loved ones and helps children discover the joy of Christmas in different and unique ways.

The book highlights different family traditions and the ways they’re changing in the pandemic: from Santa’s elves practicing social distancing to opening presents via Zoom on Christmas morning. Children everywhere will see themselves reflected in the pages of this book as it features families of all types in locations that range from sandy beaches to snowy zones. 

With the sweet and cozy illustrations from Mark Chambers adding classic touches, and the uplifting message of togetherness, love and joy, this book is the perfect gift to share with family and friends from across the miles. 

What’s more, the book’s back matter includes a list of ideas for new quarantine-appropriate Christmas traditions to help children and families adjust to this special holiday season. The result is a charming story about a Christmas that might be a bit different from what we’re used to, but can be just as memorable (and magical) as those in years past.

Buy this book!

Sara Sargent is an editor at Random House Children’s Books. She collects Christmas ornaments from all over the world, from every city she visits — her favorite one is a hand-painted pink bauble from the Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, California. Sara lives in Brooklyn, and this is her first picture book.

Mark Chambers is an author and illustrator of children’s picture books and young fiction. Mark has been shortlisted for the AOI World Illustration Awards and the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, and he’s been awarded the Sheffield Children’s Picture Book Award. Mark will be celebrating the holidays in France.