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Favorite Christmas Books for a Family Tradition

Create a special holiday tradition for your family by reading one of your favorite Christmas books each night before you tuck your children into bed.

Looking for a new tradition to help you celebrate Christmas with your children? Today we’re sharing one of our special annual holiday traditions along including our favorite Christmas books.

Great idea! Read one of your favorite Christmas books to your kids each night during the holiday season as a special family tradition. This is a great list of children's books to add to your collection!

One of our family’s favorite holiday traditions is to read different Christmas books at bedtime from December 1 through 25. Each of the Christmas books is wrapped like a gift and displayed in a festive basket. The boys take turns each night with who gets the special job of choosing and unwrapping the book. I’ve previously shared tips for creating this special Christmas book tradition with your own family. I’ve also given ideas for how to get a jumpstart after the first of the year when Christmas books go on clearance. This year I thought it would be fun to actually tell you about some of our favorite Christmas books that are currently in our collection.

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Great idea! Read one of your favorite Christmas books to your kids each night during the holiday season as a special family tradition. This is a great list of children's books to add to your collection!

Our Collection of Favorite Christmas Books

We love books. When we first started this tradition, we included any books that were “winter” related to help us get up to the required number of Christmas books we needed to have one to open each night. Slowly over the years, we’ve been replacing the winter books as we get new Christmas books as gifts or find them on sale.

Now all the Christmas books in our collection are holiday themed. My favorite books are the ones that tell the birth of Jesus from a variety of perspectives like The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola or Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado. Not all of the Christmas books in our collection are religious though. We’ve also included classics like How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss, A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz and The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Surprisingly I just noticed we are notably missing ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore from our collection. We better add that to our wish list for this year!

20 fun holiday books to read as a family

After the holidays, I always wrap and put the Christmas books away so they’re ready to go for the following year. This way they always feel like “new” when December 1 rolls around again.

If you’re thinking about starting a tradition like this with your own family, I thought our list of Christmas books might spark some ideas for your own collection:

Arthur’s Christmas by Marc Brown

The Biggest Snowball Ever by John Rogan

The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

Franklin’s Christmas Gift by Paulette Bourgeois

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

Froggy’s Best Christmas by Jonathan London

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Littlest Elf by Brandi Dougherty

Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas by Russell Hoban

The Story of the Three Wise Kings by Tomie DePaola

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen

If You Take a Mouse To The Movies by Laura Numeroff

The Christmas Story by Jane Werner

The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas by Justine Korman

The Twelve Days of Christmas in Michigan by Susan Collin Thoms
(There’s a book for most of the 50 states and Canada!)

Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado

The Christmas Truck by J.B. Blankenship

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Other books we have that are no longer available include One Snowy Night by M. Christina Butler, DuckTales Christmas at the North Pole by Disney, and Roo’s Best Gift by Ronald Kidd which comes as part of this boxed set.

What are your family’s favorite Christmas books to read together during the holiday season? Please comment below and share. We’re always looking for ideas of new Christmas books we should add to our collection.

Great idea! Read one of your favorite Christmas books to your kids each night during the holiday season as a special family tradition. This is a great list of children's books to add to your collection!

Christmas Seek and Find Books:

We also have a small collection of seek and find Christmas books (or “finding things” books as my boys like to call them). We put those away with the rest of the Christmas books at the end of the season but do not wrap them. We just bring them back out the next year on December 1 with the rest of the Christmas books.

20 Chistmas books to read to your kids

While you’re here be sure to check out other Christmas ideas on Ideas for the Home by Kenarry® –

If you enjoyed this collection of Christmas books, please share it with your friends or pin it for later:

Great idea! Read one of your favorite Christmas books to your kids each night during the holiday season as a special family tradition. This is a great list of children's books to add to your collection!

Originally published November 2016. Updated November 2020.

7 Comments

  1. Such a great listing! We just read the 12 Days of Christmas in New England and I absolutely fell in love with the series. Such a fun way to mix geography in! We try to read new books each Christmas… as many as there are out there our favorites tend to change often.

  2. So many lovely books, makes me wish my kids were small again. I used to love reading them Christmassy books at this time of year.
    Our favourite was always This is the Star by Joyce Dunbar, it tells the Christmas story in rhyme that gradually builds up, and it has the most beautiful illustrations by Gary Blythe. We would always read it on Christmas eve as our bedtime story. It’s worth looking for if you love reading with kids.

    1. Thanks Julie! It looks like This is the Star is no longer being published. I’ll keep my eye out for it in the used book market – it sounds FANTASTIC!

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