12 Christmas Books To Read To Your Children

Does any one have the tradition of reading a Christmas book each night before Christmas. Or one book wrapped under the tree each morning? There are so many traditions involving Christmas books! It is a great way to get children and parents excited about Christmas. Plus it is sooooo good for kids to read or be read to. I decided to pick some of my all time favorite Christmas books and share them with you so that you can share them with your kids.

Whether you want to gift them to your own kids, your nieces and nephews, or maybe even your child’s classroom, these books are PERFECT for holiday gifts. But what really matters is the time you take to sit down and read them with the kiddos.


12 of the Best Christmas Books

Christmas Oranges By Linda Bethers 

When Rose is eight years old, an epidemic forces the closing of her beloved Greenwoods Orphanage, and she is shipped to Irongates, an austere, loveless institution run with Dickensian cruelty. Headmaster Crampton punishes Rose severely for a tiny infraction, decreeing that she miss the special treat of an orange on Christmas morning. How the other children circumvent his instructions to safeguard a glorious Christmas for Rose is the sweet message of this story.


The Mansion: 100th Anniversary Edition, Henry Van Dyke

John Weightman wanted the best of everything. He surrounded himself with beauty and riches, and was very careful with how he spent his money. No pennies in beggars hats, he liked to say. Until one night he dreamed that he died . . . Finding himself with a group of travelers dressed in white, John joins them on their journey to the Celestial City where each individual will be rewarded with a mansion based on treasures set aside. Thinking that his mansion will be the most grand, John Weightman learns what it truly means to lay up treasures in heaven. The Mansion is a classic tale told at Christmastime that illustrates the importance of giving unselfishly.

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. . . .

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.


The Christmas Sweater By Glenn Beck

The story of a young boy who finds the true meaning of Christmas in the most unlikely of places. Eddie wants a bicycle for Christmas, but his mother knits him a homemade sweater instead. His disappointment is obvious, but a magical journey makes Eddie realize that the sweater is far more than it seems. Ultimately it teaches him that the true meaning of a gift is that it is given with love.


The Polar Express By Chris Van Allsburg

The tale of a young boy lying awake on Christmas Eve only to have Santa Claus sweep by and take him on a trip with other children to the North Pole. A perfect keepsake for any family, this beautiful edition can be handed down to each new generation of readers.

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.


The Christmas Story By Jane Werner Watson

This childrens books tells the story of the Saviors birth. It is a great way to teach young children the Christmas Story. 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas By Dr. Seuss

The Grinch hates Christmas, and wants to stop it from coming. So he forms a devious plan: to impersonate Santy Claus and to steal the Whos’ Christmas presents. But come Christmas morning, the Grinch is in for a shocking surprise. He did not stop Christmas from coming! And the Grinch realizes something new. That maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. That maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more!

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.

Find More Childrens Christmas Books!

Do you have a favorite Christmas book?

These are just 12 of my favorite. I have read them to my kids year after year and I never get bored with them. Some of them, my mother even read to me as a child. Reading Christmas books together is a wonderful way to prep for the holidays and get in the spirit.

If you have a favorite Christmas book that wasn’t mentioned, be sure to comment below and let me know which one it is! I am always looking for more recommendations!


  • Mandy

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

  • Jennifer @ Natural Parents Network

    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. http://amzn.to/2yT4EVR

  • 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.

  • Holly

    One of my FAVORITES has been The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell

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