20 favorite Christmas stories and books

30 November 2012

favorite christmas books for all ages
You know that one of our favorite Christmas traditions is our countdown to Christmas with books. One of the most frequently asked questions is how many books do you have?? and, which are your favorites? I’ve made a list of 20 of my favorites for you today and I’ll include the links to them on Amazon, but some other great resources are the library (so you can see if you love them before you buy!), thrift stores, ebay, half.com, used books on Amazon, etc.

20. Santa Mouse by Michael Brown: this is harder to find these days because it’s an older book. My kids love it~a short, sweet story about a mouse helps Santa out. And now we leave out cheese with our cookies for Santa.

19. The Christmas Alphabet by Robert Sabuda : this is a gorgeous pop-up book, but the paper tears easily, so it’s a read-with-a-grown-up-book that doesn’t go in the book basket with the others.
christmas alphabet by robert sabuda

18. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski : This is one I can’t make it through without crying. It’s about a change that occurs in a grumpy old man resulting from a request of a widow and her little boy.

17. The Snow Bear by Miriam Moss : my friend Robyn introduced us to this book. If you have a child that is very tactile (loves to touch everything!!), this is a book for you. It has different textures for all of the beautifully illustrated pages.

  snow bear

16. A Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder. All of the Christmas stories from the Little House books in one collection. These were a part of my childhood, and curling up with this just takes me back.

15. Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell. This one was from my mom years ago, when I was expecting my 4th little one :) A sweet story about making room for each creature that comes to the barn on a cold night, with beautiful illustrations.room for a little one

14. Peter Spier's Christmas!: this is another older book that is hard to come by. I adore Peter Spier’s illustrations and have loved all of his books. There are no words in this one, just charming pictures of a family getting ready for Christmas.

peter spier christmas

13. Corduroy's Christmas by Don Freeman: no complexity or heartwarming story here, my kids just adore the lift-the-flaps.

12. The Legend of the Candy Cane : a reminder of what Jesus has done for each of us. This one is best if you have candy canes to eat while you are reading! :)

11. The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury: this is about the Wise Men's visit to the Christ child through the eyes of their camel. You can decide together how to say the camel’s name :)

10. If You Love a Christmas Tale by Susanna Lockheart: this is another one my mom gave us. Two classic tales, the Night Before Christmas and the Nutcracker are told, but the book has the pages that change scenes when you turn the page. My kids love it.christmas tale

9. The Small One by Alex Walsh: such a sweet, sweet story about a donkey that is willing to give his life for his friend.

7. Hurry Hurry Have You Heard by Laura Krauss Melmed: another sweet, beautifully illustrated set of poems about animals rushing to meet the newborn child

6. The Sweet Smell of Christmas: my favorite Christmas book when I was little. It’s a scratch and sniff storybook about a bear getting ready for Christmas. We scratched the cocoa sticker off until there was nothing left, but I swear it smelled better when I was a kid…

5. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: of course. The illustrations alone are worth buying it. My little Landon asks us every night if the Christmas train is coming tonight…

4. Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. Such a fun, clever book about a tree that is too tall!

3 . The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore: it’s the illustrations by Douglas Gorsline that I love. This is the one we had growing up.

2. Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck: the classic tale of the boy that rushes out to do the chores on the farm before his Dad wakes up on Christmas morning. A sweet tale of the best kind of gifts to give.

1. Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard Schneider: my all-time favorite. “Living for the sake of others makes us most beautiful in the eyes of God.”

Whatever you do, don’t forget to have your kids sign their names on the inside cover when you add a new book to your collection. It’s my favorite part of opening Christmas books. What about you? Have you read and loved any of these? Many of them have come as recommendations from you~do you have any other favorites that you would add to the list? I love finding great books! Perhaps next year, we’ll have to make a longer list…



  1. Melody Warnick1/8/14, 8:24 AM

    Oh, Christmas Day in the Morning = uncontrollable bawling. And I love love love Peter Spier's Christmas. The illustrations are just delightful. My new favorite is Thomas S. Monson's A Christmas Dress for Ellen, also a terrible tear-jerker. We do the Christmas countdown with books, too --  we wrap them, put them under the tree, and open one a day. It's one of my favorite traditions!

  2. melissa*320 sycamore1/16/14, 10:28 PM

    We'll have to check that one out~thank you, Katya!

  3. Thanks for the list!  One of our favorites is Bear Stays Up

  4. And I forgot one of our other favorites is I Believe in Santa Claus  by Diane G. Adamson

  5. One of my favourites is "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" by Barbara Robinson. It's a small chapter book that is both entertaining and touching. I am always crying by the end of it. 

  6. My kids think The Christmas Aliens is hilarious! (by Silbert & Manders)  Also, How to Talk to Santa, by Alec Greven; What Santa Can't Do by Douglas Wood; How Santa Got His Elves by E.J. Sullivan

  7. The Littlest Angel a classic.  I'm a children's librarian-one of my favorite things is reading Christmas stories to my students!


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