12 Christmas Books To Read To Your Children

Fab reader Desi asked:

Does any one know of some great kids Christmas books? I’m wanting to start a tradition of reading 1 book a night for the 12 nights before Christmas. One book wrapped under the tree each morning.

Well Desi, here are a few books to get you started. 🙂

Olive, the Other Reindeer  By Vivian Walsh

Olive is a dog. But when she hears this holiday tune, a bit of an identity crisis sets in. She decides she must be a reindeer and heads to the North Pole to see if she can join Santa’s reindeer team.

The Night Before Christmas By Clement C. Moore

It is the night before Christmas, in a house so cozy and colorful, so filled with expectation, so dusted with Christmas magic that only this beloved illustrator could have created it. Shhh. A mouse is asleep in its snug den and children are dreaming as sugarplum fairies flutter around their bed. Then there’s the jingle of bells. . . .

The Hat By Jan Brett

Jan Brett’s luminous paintings of a Scandinavian farm and the forest around it are bathed in northern light, as the snow begins to fall and the story begins, in this delightfully original companion book to The Mitten.

Oh, What a Christmas! By Michael Garland 

An upbeat and humorously sweet holiday story about Santa’s soon-to-be-classic wild and crazy sleigh ride one special Christmas Eve.

The Legend of the Christmas Stocking By Rick Osborne 

This wonderful Christmas tale, set in the late 1800s, shares the touching story of a young boy named Peter. He sells newspapers to help his family while his father is away at sea, and he’s been saving a bit of his earnings to buy a model schooner in the woodworker’s shop. But after Uncle Jim, the woodworker, tells him the story of St. Nicholas, Peter discovers the meaning behind the hanging and filling of Christmas stockings and learns a heartfelt lesson in kindness and generosity.

Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas By Jane O’Conner

What could be fancier than Christmas?

Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles—and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited about decorating the Christmas tree. She bought a brand-new sparkly tree topper with her own money and has been waiting for Christmas to come. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey with CD: Gift Edition By Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.

Merry Christmas, Curious George By H.A. Rey

It’s Christmastime! And irrepressible, excitable Curious George has just the spirit for it. He can’t wait to help his best friend, The Man with the Yellow Hat, pick out their holiday tree. At the tree farm, however, amid all the excitement of finding the perfect specimen, George gets carried away, as usual—atop his favorite tree! Hiding in the tree’s branches, George finds himself delivered to the local children’s hospital, where his tree trimming antics cheer the children and he gets to meet a jolly man in a bright red suit.

I’ll Be Home for Christmas (Toot & Puddle) By Holly Hobbie

Toot goes to a family reunion in Scotland, promising Puddle that he’ll be back in Woodcock Pocket in time for Christmas. But a huge snowstorm strands him far away from home on Christmas Eve! As Puddle waits anxiously for his friend, another holiday traveler helps Toot find his way to Woodcock Pocket, just in time.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree By Robert Barry

That was the trouble. The tree was so tall, it couldn’t stand up straight in his parlor. Mr. Willowby asked his butler to chop off the top of the tree. What happens to the treetop? Where will it be for Christmas? Snuggle up with this story and follow along through a forest full of friendly creatures who get to share in a bit of Christmas joy.

Snowmen at Christmas By Caralyn Buehner

This snappy and entertaining companion to the New York Times bestseller Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, replete with icy treats and a snowman Kris Kringle.Told in the same bouncy verse as the original, Snowmen at Christmas is perfect for a snowy evening read-aloud.

The Nutcracker By Susan Jeffers

Energetic and child-friendly…Jeffers’s soft watercolors…capture both the drama of the classic story and the elegance of choreography.

Do you have a favorite Christmas story?  Let FAB reader Desi know in the comment section below. 🙂


  • Helen in Meridian

    Jan Brett is going to be in my Meridian Fred Meyer Sunday morning the 20th at 10:00 AM. Come early and first so many??? get a signed poster. I love love her illustrations and wish I could find the clothes her characters wear in my plus size 20 size.

  • Mandy

    I love that idea! I think I might snag it and do it myself 🙂

  • Great list. Don’t forget the Polar Express! We have had Polar Express parties in my home for 10 years, and my eldest child is 4. 😉 There is so much to do with the story, and it is so sweet.

  • Beth on the Rock

    My family has added a Christmas book each year to our collection for over 20 years. We have many on your list. One of my favorites that is missing, is Santa’s Favorite Story, a simple, beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the Nativity Story.

  • Desi

    Here are the extra ones I found. Thanks Mavis for all your help with this. I am hoping to make the Christmas spirit last a bit longer by doing this. Plus my children love reading before bed time. This way they get the anticipation of opening the book all day and then we open and read it together before bed. Again Thanks!

    Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale
    by Martin Waddell

    A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree
    by Colleen Monroe

    Yes, Virginia: There Is a Santa Claus
    by Christopher J. Plehal

    Santa Calls
    by William Joyce

    AN Orange for Frankie
    by Patricia Polacco

    How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
    by Dr. Seuss

    Tacky’s Christmas (Tacky the Penguin)
    by Helen Lester

    Santa’s Stuck
    by Rhonda Gowler Greene

    Mr. Finnegan’s Giving Chest
    by Dick Van Dyke

    A Wish for Wings That Work: An Opus Christmas Story
    by Berkeley Breathed

    The Night Before Christmas
    by Clement Clarke Moore (another version)

  • Tami

    Claude the Dog. So simple, but teaches about the needs of others and recognizing our own blessings in such a sweet way. My mom read it to me, and now all five of my kids request it and their ages are from 3-14.

  • Nicole

    We have a tradition of giving to each family of cousins, a Christmas book each year. The intent is that eventually they will have a collection that they can read each day leading up to Christmas…a form of advent calendar/countdown to Christmas. We hope that it will create good memories and a holiday tradition of reading Christmas stories in their families. Here are some of the titles we’ve given:

    The Gingerbread Baby
    The Polar Express
    The 12 Days of Christmas in Washington (Available now at Costco – Washington)
    The Legend of the Candy Cane
    Peef the Christmas Bear
    If You Take a Mouse to the Movies
    Look-Alikes Christmas
    The Last Holiday Concert
    Olive the Other Reindeer

    I can’t recall the others…I’ll remember when I pull them out in a few weeks with the Christmas decorations. The Christmas Pea Coat is another nice one.

  • Jill

    After teaching second grade for many years, here are a couple of the children’s favorites that have not been mentioned: Merry Christmas, Amelia Bedelia, The Mouse’s Terrible Christmas, and a longer one that has to be read in chapters The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

  • Helen in Meridian

    I love the book A CUP OF CHRISTMAS TEA by Tom Hegg. Mommies will love this little book of memories.

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