We love Christmas time at our house. We love the trees and the nativities and the cookies and the excitement. But I truly try to keep my children grounded during this month — it helps that we don’t have far to travel to see family — but also, what is important at Christmas? Celebrating the birth of Jesus. And spending time together as a family.
Every time a new season or holiday begins, I collect our books for that holiday and set them out within reach of the children. This creates more interest in reading and in the holiday. Our Christmas collection is probably our largest and we have some certain go-to favorites. Also, we took our trip to the local library and stocked up on our Christmas classics for the season. We are so fortunate to have such a huge variety at our library. I found many titles that I hadn’t seen before. And a couple of them have become immediate favorites. I wanted to share them here, so you can look for them at your library or perhaps want to add to your Christmas book collection at home.
Best Christmas Books for Children
Memories are what’s important. Not the shopping or even the perfect homemade ornament. Snuggling up together reading books in the wintertime. What could be better?
One little note on Christmas books — not the ones on this list — but I was amazed at how many Christmas books are not theologically accurate. Really, I know, I shouldn’t be shocked, but screen those books before you buy or bring them home!! I am adding a couple Santa Claus/Father Christmas books because that is what my son is interested in right now.
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats. I used to dislike this song. I think because I’ve only heard it properly sung a few times — it is sung by a little, poor boy. The words give praise to God the Son as they tell the story of the plight of being alive. Oh I now adore this hymn and it truly brings tears to my eyes every time I hear it. And Keats’ illustrations, as always, are spot-on. We have the board book version, but would also love the larger book. I made some lovely Little Drummer Boy free printables to go along with the song, if you are interested.
A Child is Born by Margaret Wise Brown and Floyd Cooper. This book was surprising to me, for I thought I had heard all of Brown’s poems! Brown (of Goodnight Moon fame) is, in my humble opinion, truly the children’s poetry writer of our generation. Her work is still being published long after her death. This nativity poem is paired with beautiful illustrations by Floyd Cooper.
Merry Christmas Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola. This is my son’s favorite Christmas book. About the enchantress Strega Nona who gets surprised by her hired help. A sweet book about giving back to others, while still focusing on Jesus, the true meaning of Christmas.
Babar and Father Christmas by Jean de Brunhoff. My son has become infatuated with Babar, the King of all elephants. This French book shares the story of a father, Babar, seeking out Father Christmas so he will also visit the land of the elephants on Christmas Eve. He makes a surprising revelation.
Manger by Helen Cann. A beautiful collection of poem, all told from the perspective of the animals in the stable that glorious Christmas night. The beautiful watercolor illustrations and poetry combined make a wonderful collector’s book.
The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear by Stan and Jan Berenstain. I enjoyed this one as a child, and though it about Santa, it also teaches the importance of family, and being humble and giving, during the Christmas season.
The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown. Ms. Brown, once again, is releasing stories and poems from years past and still showing that she is the master of childhood wonder. This time, she shares a story about a little abandoned, lonely tree which is chosen to join a family with a sick little boy.
A Wish to be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe. We love this story about a tree that got stuck in the tree farm a little too long. Now too big and too imperfect, the tree is filled with loneliness, but then discovers that he has a purpose after all.
Who’s Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolff is a sweet book about all the animals in the Bethlehem stable who are waiting for a very special guest to arrive. The little mouse in the book seems to know before everyone else who is coming — we made a fun Nativity Sensory Bin to go along with this wonderful board book that helps children begin thinking about the true meaning of Christmas, a precious baby, born of a virgin, God among us.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas? by Dr. Seuss. Of course, this book needs no introduction. The wonderful rhymes that turn into a changing heart. My son adores the sneaky Grinch and giggles outloud at almost every page.