We have some fun Christmas traditions.
Some years, we head to the mountains to cut down our tree. The kids have Christmas concerts and recitals. We decorate. We try to fit in some baking (though I don’t think it’s happening this year). I’ve started making my older kids watch cheesy Hallmark Christmas movies with me, which is turning out to be a lot of fun – more fun to listen to their snarkiness than to watch the actual movies, in fact.
But I will always love curling up under a pile of blankets and reading Christmas books to whoever’s willing to listen. The younger kids still want to hear them every night. And there are so many that are funny or have beautiful pictures or are moving or all of the above. I already know I’m going to put out our crate of Christmas books next to the fireplace every year, even after everyone thinks they’re too old to read them.
So here are 14 awesome Christmas books, to help you and your kids celebrate the season.
Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett — Set in Norway, this is a beautifully illustrated book with a delightful story about naughty trolls who are bent on gobbling up a family’s Christmas dinner. Will they do it again this year?
Through the Animals’ Eyes: A Story of the First Christmas by Christopher Wormell — Again, beautifully illustrated. It’s the Christmas story, simply told through the eyes of the animals (including a few I’ve never seen featured in Christmas books before).
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman — Poor Bear! It’s Christmas. And winter. And he desperately wants to hibernate while at the same time wanting to celebrate with his friends. Kind of like me.
Who is Coming to our House? by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Ashley Wolff — My kids have loved this book since before they could talk. A simple, rhyming story about all the animals getting their barn ready for a very special guest.
Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett — I know. Jan Brett’s on here twice. But her colorful illustrations just lend themselves to the holiday season. This is a fun twist on the story of the gingerbread boy.
The Night Before Christmas (pop-up book) by Clement Clarke Moore, illustrated by Robert Sabuda — Sabuda’s pop-up books are just amazing. I’d take this down to read with the kids, but I’d put it up between times to keep it from getting ripped.
Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s For Dinner? by Tomie dePaola — After the presents are delivered, Santa heads home to a giant family dinner. And just as it happens with many of us, his dinner doesn’t go as planned, and his family might stress him out a little.
Duck and Goose: It’s Time for Christmas! by Tad Hills
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg — I think we can call this a classic now. Definitely one to read every year.
Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Jason Cockcroft
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode
The Animals’ Christmas Eve by Gale Wiersum
Olive the Other Reindeer by J.otto Seibold