Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Favorite Christmas Books for Children

I love Christmas books.

And I don't have to look far to find where that love came from - my mom loved Christmas stories. I can remember at least one year when she wrote the titles of all our Christmas stories on slips of paper and each evening we drew out a slip. In the midst of the busyness of the holiday season, it was a cozy kind of tradition.

We didn't have enough books for every day in December. But some days were too busy to read anyway. And besides picture books, she also included the Christmas chapters in some of our favorite books. The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder has many great Christmas stories. The contrast between the Christmas in The Long Winter and By the Shores of Silver Lake is worth reading. Or compare Almanzo's Christmas in The Farmer Boy with Laura's Christmas in The Little House in the Prairie. Other books with good Christmas chapters are Little Women and The Wind in the Willows.

If you are looking for some good Christmas books, I'll share our favorites. Some of these I have read since a child, some are new discoveries, but all have been read over and over again.

Just a note...if you borrow these books from your library (like I do) be considerate of others and only keep them for a short time. Others may be waiting to reread their favorite Christmas books this season too.

May you enjoy lots of good cuddle-on-the-couch time with your little ones.

Nativity Picture Books
Books for children that share the Christmas story

The Very First Christmas - Paul L. Maier
A mother shares the the true story of Christmas, with her son. Includes the text from Luke 2. Excellent illustrations with attention given to accuracy. One of the best.

The Crippled Lamb - Max Lucado
A crippled lamb becomes one of the first to witness the first Christmas. Sweet illustrations.

A folktale of three trees with ambitions that come true in ways they never imagined.

Room for a Little One - Martin Waddel
A Christmas story for the littlest ones with gentle script and pictures.

A candy maker comes up with a way to tell the Christmas story to the townspeople.

Christmas Picture Books
Well-loved stories from the Christmas season

Little Hedgehog shares his Christmas present that in the end, comes back to him. The fuzzy hat adds to the appeal for my little ones.

Night Tree - Eve Bunting
Every year the family decorates a tree in the woods with food for the animals. A fun idea your children may want to adopt.

How the Grinch that Stole Christmas - Dr. Suess
Christmas isn't about the presents and food. A favorite children's book that is a good reminder for parents too!

If You are Missing Baby Jesus - Jean Gietzen
A family finds blessing in giving to others at Christmas. A true story.

Tomorrow I'll share some more favorite Christmas tales.

I'd love to hear the books in your Christmas basket.

This post contains affiliate links.


  1. Thanks for sharing these! We have love to read here, and LOVE the Little House series!! I love reading the Christmas story from Luke as well :-)
    Blessings, Jamie

  2. Agh! Were you spying on me this morning? :D We were pulling out all of our Christmas books, and I was picking out my favorites for my next blog post! That is too funny. :) You have some beautiful books on your list. I see several I need to add to our collection. Christmas books are my absolute favorite! Thank you so much for sharing your family's favorites! I love the tradition you shared, too. Blessings, Janet

    1. Janet -
      Oh, I hope you do share your favorite books - and come back here and share the link! If we like the same books it only proves that they are really good! And I can probably learn some new ones too!

    2. I had "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" on my original list, but when I narrowed the list down to ten, it got bumped. :) I hope you don't mind that I included a link to your blog on my blog! This is the link to my blog post: http://i-am-within.blogspot.com/2012/12/chirstmas-book-favorites.html

  3. I think you would like this one too: http://www.amazon.com/The-Christmas-Miracle-Jonathan-Toomey/dp/0763636290

    The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is so ... well, good. For Adults and children. When I hear it the again, I almost always get tears. The narrator does such a good job on this CD.

  4. I love the Jonathan Toomey story too, such beautiful illustrations.
    I also read Dickens' A Christmas Carol every year.

  5. I just read the boys The Tale of the Three Trees last night (this is the first year they "got it")... I just can't get through that book without bawling my eyes out! EVER! sigh. It's a tear jerker.
    We also love Mortimer and the Manger. And then the Crystal Bowman board book series that talks about all the Christ-centered reasons we have trees, decorate with angels and stars, eat candy canes, etc. Great set of board books that make it easy for 3-5 year olds to understand! Some of the titles are: Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree; A Star for Jesus: and My Christmas Stocking (but there are even more). I have to go check out The Crippled Lamb, never read it!

  6. The Crippled Lamb is one of my year round favorites, just an excellent story and beautiful illustrations. Also, Usborne publishes a beautiful book simply called The Nativity Story, which is becoming a favorite here.

    Gina, is it true your husband was recently ordained, as heard through the grapevine? Then extra blessings to you and your family this Christmas!

    1. Monica
      I'm sure I could pick your brain on many great children's books! Or books in general!

      Actually my husband was ordained in July of 2011. So though it still feels new (and overwhelming) I have had time to get used to the idea!

      You can read about the ordination in my post, Surrender. http://homejoys.blogspot.com/2011/08/surrender.html

      Have a great Christmas.

  7. One of my favourite Christmas children's books is The Christmas Owls written by Judy West and illustrated by Gerda Westerlink. It's has a distinctly English feel to it and the illustrations are soft and so beautiful. Here is a link...

    1. Thanks for sharing your favorite! It sounds like a sweet story!

  8. I really enjoyed your list. I did a similar list of a few of my favorites I read to my children at Christmas time. One I would highly recommend that fits with your others here is the book, "This is the Stable" by Cynthia Cotton. It tells the story of the first Christmas in adorable rhyme, with lovely illustrations.


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