Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love giving gifts, making goodies, and reading all those beautiful Christmas books with my kids (and to myself, if we’re being honest). Christmas always gets me in the mood for books. Maybe it’s the colder weather coming, the coziness of the fireplace, or the lazy days of Christmas break when my kids are home from school, but I can never get enough to read during this time of year.
While we’re on the topic of Christmas books, I thought I’d share some of my favorites. Some of these are new to my shelves and others have been well loved over the years.
Merry Christmas and happy reading!
Christmas Books for Ages 3-7
Everyone is getting ready for the arrival of a special new baby, but the little fox avoids the preparations. Little fox feels like he doesn’t have anything to offer until he learns that the simple act of coming to see the baby is enough.
This book is so sweet and beautiful. I love nativity stories and this one has some of the prettiest illustrations I’ve seen. It’s a simple story about feeling inadequate and learning that the gift of Jesus is for everyone, including those who think they have nothing to offer.
I love the deeper message behind the story. It’s told with just a few words on each page, but it delivers its meaning effectively. A perfect Christmas time read.
If you want to catch Santa this Christmas, this is the book for you. It walks you through the process, from setting the trap to what questions to ask once you’ve got him. It also tells you what not to do, like setting up nets between palm trees. It’s funny, cute, and already has my kids planning out their Santa traps.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with kids that want to see the big guy himself on Christmas Eve. It goes best with a wild imagination. Just sayin’.
There are lots of picture books about the Twelve Days of Christmas out there, but this is my favorite one. It stays true to the original song, so there’s no weird syllables or stumbling over words. The true beauty of this book lies in the illustrations. Each page is die-cut to reveal more and more gifts and the song progresses. At first, you only see the partridge in the pear tree, but when you turn the page, the turtle doves appear. The next page reveals french hens, and so on until the final page looks like swiss cheese and all the gifts are visible.
My toddler is hooked on books you can sing to. I’ve sung this song so many times I actually had to hide the book from her. Now that Christmas is getting closer, we’ll pull the book out again and sing it until our throats are sore. My kids love the cut-out pages, the cute illustrations, and of course, the classic Christmas song.
Santa accidentally loses a gift over the edge of his sleigh one Christmas Eve. A group of kind-hearted animals decides to take the gift to its recipient. They struggle through the cold, snowy night in order to get the gift to a baby girl.
This sweet picture book has many positive messages to it. First, we learn that some people (and squirrels) will be grumpy no matter what, but it’s important to love them anyway. We also learn about selfless sacrifice as the animals build a sleigh and struggle through the deep snow to take the gift to the baby girl. My favorite lesson in this book comes near the end when the animals see what the gift is, and are horrified that they went through all the trouble of bringing it to the child. But when they see how happy it makes her, they realize that gift giving is about making the recipient happy, even if we don’t understand it.
This is another book my kids and I love to read. The illustrations are adorable and the story is as sweet as can be. It’s perfect for bedtime around the Christmas season.
Christmas Books for Ages 8-12
I read this book with my kids a few weeks ago and WOW, it was something else. It was a lot of fun and had themes of magic, bravery, doing what’s right, and friendship. It was also sad, scary, and intense. My kids listened with rapt attention every night as we gobbled down chapter after chapter. They would groan and complain if we missed a night of reading.
This is a new release, and it’s definitely worth reading this Christmas season. If you are looking for a good book to read with your kids (or for them to read to themselves) over the holiday break, give this a go. I think you’ll like it.
This book was published last year and I haven’t had the chance to read it yet. It’s about a young boy named Goose who lives with his grandmother and steals what he needs to make ends meet. When his dog goes missing, Goose goes in search of him and finds a man with a strange talent for helping people find things.
This is such a sweet book! I read this to my kids at Christmas time a couple of years ago. It was a lovely reminder of the true meaning of Christmas and makes you think of it differently. My kids and I all loved the story and the underlying message it contains.
If you haven’t read this book yet, you should do so. As one of my favorite Christmas books on this list, our family will definitely read it again in the near future.
I haven’t read this book yet and I can’t decide if I will or not. I love A Christmas Story, but I’m still hesitant to read anything from R.L. Stine (his books terrified me as a child and I haven’t gotten over it). I wanted to share it on this list because I know a lot of middle-grade readers (my daughter included) really like scary stories. The school librarian at my kids’ school told me they can never get enough scary books to meet the demand. So, here it is, on the list.
But you have to admit, it does sound pretty interesting. And it’s not like R.L. Stine is a schlub by any stretch of the imagination, so I think it’s worth the read.
Christmas Books for Ages 12-18
I read an excerpt/sample of this book a couple of months ago and it was pretty good. Since I only read a short excerpt, I didn’t truly get a good feel for the book. However, Jay Asher’s a popularity and proven track record make me want to pick it up again.
What Light is about a girl who’s family owns a Christmas tree farm. She spends one month out of the year in California when her family sets up their tree lot. This year, she meets a boy with a past that she can’t help but want to help.
I haven’t read this book, but it’s on my TBR so I wanted to share it. Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:
If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers (Holly Black, Ally Carter, Matt de La Peña, Gayle Forman, Jenny Han, David Levithan, Kelly Link, Myra McEntire, Rainbow Rowell, Stephanie Perkins, Laini Tayler and Kiersten White), edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins. Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or Kwanzaa, there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.
This is another one of the Christmas books from my TBR that I would love to read this year. Here’s the synopsis:
The star that led the three wise men could be the same star wished upon this Christmas-time by three young women.
In the opening story, “Christmas Child,” 15-year-old Melanie feels cheated when her baby sister, born during the holidays, lives only a few hours. But the baby’s brief life shows Melanie the lasting value of love.
Brenda struggles between noble intentions and earthier desires when she becomes a dying boy’s final chance for happiness in “Last Dance.”
The closing story, “Kathy’s Life,” presents a 16-year-old who appears to have it all. Kathy is beautiful, intelligent, and has the perfect job as a live-in caretaker for a couple’s baby boy. But not everything is as perfect as it seems. Must Kathy give up the one person she loves most in the world?
Readers will be inspired, enlightened, and comforted by these moving stories that depict the many kinds of love in the world.
And one more from my “Christmas books” TBR that I haven’t had the chance to read yet. Here’s the synopsis:
Katie, a foster child, wants only one thing for Christmas: a family. However, there are no wise men coming from the East or shepherds watching in the fields. There’s also a teenager named Matt, who believes in doing a good deed. And another teenager, Liz, whose family decorates and celebrates but leaves her wondering where the true meaning of the holiday has gone. And Mr. Knight and his son, Tack, who run an inn and put up a tree each season, on which children’s wishes will hang as they hope and wait for them to be granted.
It’s the season of joy, hope, and miracles, but will the Christmas spirit be strong enough to grant those wishes that seem impossible?
What are your favorite Christmas books?
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