In our house, our Christmas traditions begin the day after Thanksgiving. I love reserving certain things for just the Christmas season. The day after Thanksgiving we start playing Christmas music, bring our Nativity scene and Christmas books, and begin the countdown.
While we don’t wrap up the books to be unwrapped one day at a time, I do reserve them for this time of year. Here are some of my favorite Christmas books, Christmas books with people of color, Avent books, Christmas around the world, and a few others thrown in just for fun. I hope you enjoy these and please, tell me about your favorite Christmas books in the comments!
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Christmas Books That Tell the Biblical Christmas Story
Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne
Silent Night by Lara Hawthorn tells the Biblical story of Christ’s birth. What I love so much about this book and why I bought it in the first place, is Jesus, Mary, and Joseph are all people of color! Thank you so much, Lara Hawthorne and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books for this book. We definitely need more non-white representations of the Bible.
Twas the Evening of Christmas
This book tells the story of Christ’s birth with the ear-pleasing rhythm of Twas the Night Before Christmas. This is one of my absolute favorites. There is just something so soothing about cadene of Twas a Night Before Christmas.
The Most Precious Gift: A Story of the Nativity
This is another story of the birth of Jesus with characters who are people of color. Can you tell that is a priority for us? Not only do I want my children to see people of all colors represented in our books (not to mention there is nothing less accurate than Mary and Joseph being white) but I want to support the companies that publish these books.
This book tells the story of how Ameer, a kennel boy, gives all he has to baby Jesus. Ameer travels in a caravan with the kings who are seeking the newborn baby whose birth had been foretold in the stars.
Room for a Little One
In the stable next to an inn, Kind Ox is just settling in for the night when Old Dog comes into the stable. Kind Ox makes room for Old Dog, who in turn makes room for Stray Cat, who then makes room for Small Mouse–and each time, the larger animal says to the small, “There’s always room for a little one here.” Finally, Tired Donkey comes by, carrying Joseph and Mary, who asks “Where will my child be born?” Kind Ox replies, “There is always room for a little one here.” And so, Jesus is born in the stable with the animals all around Him.
Books About Christmas Traditions
Silent Night: The Wonderful Story of the Beloved Christmas Carol
This is the true story of Joseph Mohr and how he came to right the Christmas carol that is so much a part of our Christmas traditions for the past two hundred years.
St. Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend
“This picture book presents a shortened, somewhat fictionalized version of the life of Saint Nicholas, explaining that Nicholas was a servant of God and that, through him, God’s love was reflected to others.“
We had this book in a board book format when the kids were younger. Sadly, it was read to death, but I definitely recommend it if you have little ones.
A World of Cookies for Santa: Follow Santa’s Tasty Trip Around the World
A World of Cookies for Santa takes readers across the globe to see all the treats that await Santa on Christmas Eve. Head to the Philippines, where children leave out puto seko cookies and ginger tea for Santa; jet to Russia for a honey-spice cookie; then set out for Malawi for a sweet potato cookie! When you’ve returned home, the journey’s still not over—M. E. Furman provides recipes for children to bake some of Santa’s cookies for themselves.
Christmas Around the World
From Ethiopian fringed umbrellas and star-shaped Filipino parol lanterns to candlelit Swedish St. Lucia crowns, Christmas Around the World brings together Christmas traditions from twelve different lands, like decorations on a splendid tree.
A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
An award-winning author and a rising star artist have put a festive Latino twist on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” populating it with piñatas in place of partridges, plus burritos bailando (dancing donkeys), lunitas cantando (singing moons), and much more, all displayed in the most vivid colors imaginable. In this version a little girl receives gifts from a secret amiga, whose identity is a sweet surprise at the book’s conclusion. There are things to find and count in Spanish on every page, with pronunciations provided right in the pictures and a glossary and music following the story. This joyous fiesta will warm even the coldest of hearts.
The Baker’s Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale, with Bonus Cookie Recipe and Pattern for St. Nicholas Christmas Cookies
Van Amsterdam the baker was well known for his honesty as well as for his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. He always gave his customers exactly what they paid for — not more and not less. So, he was not about to give in when a mysterious old woman comes to him on Saint Nicholas Day and insists that a dozen is thirteen!
The woman’s curse puts an end to the baker’s business, and he believes it would take Saint Nicholas to help him. But if he receives that help, will it be exactly what he imagined?
Advent Books to Be Read Aloud
Ishtar’s Odessey is an Advent Story that follows the adventures of Ishtar, a wise man’s son, as they travel to see the newborn king. This book is to be read, one chapter a night, leading up to Christmas morning. It is one of four advent books by Arnold Ytreeide. Our family has also read Tabitha’s Travels, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Jotham’s Journey, but Ishtar’s Odessey is our favorite.
Anticipating His Arrival: A Family Guide through Advent
Family devotions can be hard to schedule and plan–and doing so in a meaningful way can be especially difficult during the days and weeks leading up to Christmas. As you guide your family through this season, Anticipating His Arrival helps you and your family remember his first advent on Christmas and prepare for his second coming, celebrating and anticipating both events.
The Advent Storybook: 25 Bible Stories Showing Why Jesus Came
Add The Advent Storybook to your family holiday traditions and enjoy the rich images and thoughtful retellings of ancient stories that feature God’s recurring, faithful promise to rescue us. A simple question at the end of each story helps readers engage in understanding the bigger story God wants us all to know—the good news of Jesus coming to save us. Parents and children alike will delight in the biblical messages of joy, hope, and peace every day as they look forward to celebrating Jesus’ birth.
Christmas Books Just for Fun
Samurai Santa: A Very Ninja Tale
“A young ninja wants a snowball fight for Christmas, and he just might get his holiday wish in this picture book with graphic novel–inspired illustrations that celebrate the spirit of giving, Samurai style.”
“It’s snowing on Christmas Eve! Yukio loves snowball fights, but none of the other ninjas will play with him for fear of landing on Santa’s naughty list. Can Yukio chase Santa away from Ninja Village, or will a Samurai Santa thwart Yukio’s plan? An epic snowball fight later, one thing’s for sure: this is going to be Yukio’s best Christmas ever.“
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
My kids roared with laughter the first time I read this out loud to them and it remains a favorite to this day. It is only one hundred pages long, so can easily be read over just a few nights. If you aren’t familiar with the story, it’s all about a church that learns what Christmas is really about.
Christmas is Awesome!
Christmas is Awesome is a fun board book with bright, whimsical pictures celebrating everything kids love about Christmas.
What are some of your favorite Christmas books?
One Wintery Night, by Ruth Bell Graham. The story is wonderful, the artwork is beautiful.
We love The Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman. This is like an advent calendar in a book where you open “doors” each night to read the Christmas story. This is an annual favorite!
Other favorites are: Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray, Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones, Clown of God by Tomie dePaola, and An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco.