Children’s Christmas books are one of the best parts of Christmas! We love reading everything Christmas from beautiful nativity stories to charming tales of friendship and unlikely heroes.
Finding the Best Children’s Christmas Books
Children’s Christmas books are in abundance, and let me tell you, they are not all worthy or your time or money! As heartbreaking as this is to me, I read recently that there is a huge rise in ChatGPT and other AI being used to write and publish children’s books.
The internet is bursting with stupid books they want to sell you. My advice in these artificial times, is don’t waste your money on a book without viewing it yourself (at a library, a friend’s house, etc.) or getting a recommendation from someone you trust. Christmas time is the easiest time of all to slip into purchasing something because it’s Christmas-y. Don’t fall into the trap!
I spend hours and hours scouring trusted blogs, libraries, and bookstores to choose which books will be in our home and I aim to collect a great variety of classics, modern treasures, and everything in between!
Christmas Book Traditions for Kids
Do you have a family tradition around Christmas books? We used to keep all of our Christmas books in a bin with the holiday decorations and then unpack them every year the day after Thanksgiving. It was fun and magical in it’s own way to have the Christmas books suddenly appear all at once!
But last year, we mixed things up a little. I wrapped up 24 of our Christmas books and put the wrapped books on our living room bookshelf (this style that has the book covers facing forward).
It felt so festive having a bunch of wrapped presents on our bookshelf, and it was such a special way to start every morning! The kids took turns opening a book every day, and then we would all get cozy on the couch and enjoy the story.
Wrapping paper transformed our beloved Christmas books into a treasured tradition! This is an insanely simple way to make an advent calendar (or Christmas countdown) out of things we already had. Books are very loved in this family, and having this special Christmas countdown really solidified those feelings that books (and the stories within them) are a gift!
If we happened to be wrapping up random twaddle holiday board books from the Dollar Tree, I don’t think it would be as special. We have curated a collection of outstanding, lovely, and meaningful stories over the years; many of them we purchased used on eBay or ThriftBooks! Below, I’ve shared a list of our beloved Christmas book collection for you to use as a guide to find your next family favorite!
My list is always growing & I add new books to our collection every year!
I’m obsessed with the mail, and thanks to this book my kids are too! This beats any lift-the-flap book because it has actual letters to take out and open up – and even some gifts! All of the mail is from from one famous storybook character to another, and I can’t get enough.
I cry pretty much every time I read this, and I love the way it gets all of thinking about others. Even better, a reminder that the best gifts don’t cost any money.
If you’re familiar with this series, you’ll be excited there is a Christmas one. If you’re not familiar with the series, this sweet and charming Christmas story is are to become a favorite! I love the ways the friends tidy up before they leave at the end – such a thoughtful ending!
By the author of the Jesus Storybook Bible, this story tells a rather poetic perspective of the earth as a whole (animals, trees, etc.) anticipating the birth of Jesus.
Christmas is magical. So magical in fact, it can inspire a temporary truce in the midst of a fierce world war. This is another one that makes me a bit teary. I believe it is out of print, but worth trying to get a copy.
It’s a holiday classic with a touching moral. Enough said!
What’s Mr. Willowby to do when his Christmas tree is a tad too big? Some of the rhymes feel a bit forced to me, BUT we come back to this story again and again because it’s so charming and has a clever ending!
Folk tale filled with anticipation, a simple Christmas wish, and a touch of Christmas wonder.
I think Strega Nona is especially magical at Christmas time and I love the references to traditional Italian celebrations. This is a great book for beginning to explore how other cultures celebrate Christmas!
Touching tear-jerker. Almost like a grinch story but with real people instead of whos and a hairy green guy!
I’m rather fond of Tomie dePaola’s illustrations and I wasn’t familiar with this Christmas Carol until the book was recommended to me! This is a great way to introduce kids to the carol, and the animals make it friendly to kids of all ages.
A little bit overly focused on gifts, BUT we really like this scratch n sniff book! The bear family keeps Christmas in a sweet, simple way with homemade treats, cocoa, and a cozy Christmas morning by the fire.
Children’s Christmas Chapter Books
Not only do we enjoy picture books, but we normally read at least a chapter a day of the stories below! We celebrate Christmas all the way through the Epiphany on January 6, so we have plenty of time!
We read Nutcracker every year without fail! We found this version at the library when my oldest was just a toddler, and we finally bought it last year because it has become such a beloved tradition. Maurice Sendak’s illustrations complement the quirky story rather nicely!
Cute and sweet story about some rough kids who are touched by the Christmas story and the humorous way they respond.
Most years we read “A Christmas Carol,” but this year I’m really enjoying ‘The Story of the Goblins who Stole a Sexton’ out of this collection too! It was the inspiration for the famous “A Christmas Carol!” If you’re looking for just “A Christmas Carol” and don’t want the other writing, opt for this beautiful deluxe edition instead.
While not exclusively a Christmas book, there are some holiday moments. A sweet story about an unlikely hero – and it makes you think twice about the folks you see outside on the side of the road while driving around. This has inspired a whole family service project for the homeless in our community.
Even More Christmas Books for Kids!
The books in this part of the list are ones that I am adding to our collection this year. Most of them were recommended to be, some were closely researched. I can’t say yet that they are beloved treasures, because I haven’t read them with my kids yet! They have to open them first 😉
A Very Mercy Christmas by Kate DiCamillo
We are all big fans of the porcine wonder, Mercy! Fans of the Mercy Watson series will be thrilled to learn that there is now a Christmas book!
I want my kids to be exposed to a wide variety of illustrating styles, and these folky illustrations look beautiful. Excited to get my hands on this one!
I admit, I was on the fence about adding this one to my cart. We’ll see if it’s as cute and funny as I’m hoping it will be!
That’s a wrap (pun intended 🎁) on this year’s list! Cozy up with your kids and enjoy some of these stories together. You’re going to love all the sweet memories.
Reading Christmas books is a great way to slow down and stop feeling busy during the holidays. Give it a try!
Does your family have a favorite children’s Christmas book? I would love to hear about it!
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