The 25 Books of Christmas is a great tradition to start with your children. Celebrate the reason for the season by bringing these festive books into a child’s life. Reading is one of the meaningful (and educational) traditions that I mentioned in my article about Starting Family Traditions for the Holidays. I was so passionate about it that I had to include a whole new blog post just to share these books!
Some of my most favorite memories as a child are when my dad would read to me at night. These books are guaranteed to bring the holiday spirit while teaching them about the meaning behind the holiday.
They also make wonderful Christmas gifts for any of the children in your life.
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- All the Colors of Christmas
In his trademark style, Matthew Paul Turner celebrates the Christmas season, particularly the colors that come with the holiday and all the memorable sensations connected to those bright hues.
- Hawaiian Christmas Day
Christmas Day in Hawaii is a special day the sun shines brighter, the birds sing louder, and the palm trees sway and beckon ‘ohana outside to celebrate. Author Beth Greenway describes the perfect Christmas day in sing-song rhyme. After presents are opened, a family heads to the beach to spend the day together. Auntie dances hula, keiki swim in the ocean, and Santa paddles in on a red canoe. It’s a quiet ode to a perfect island Christmas filled with family and friends simply shared until the sun goes down over the ocean.
- Sneezy the Snowman
Sneezy the Snowman is cold, cold, cold. To warm-up, he drinks cocoa, sits in a hot tub, stands near a warm fire–and melts! But the children know just what to do to build him up again–and make him feel “just right”. Hilarity chills the air with playful mixed-media illustrations by Stephen Gilpin as Sneezy attempts to warm himself with some silly results.
- The Miracle of the First Poinsettia
Originally native to Mexico, beautiful poinsettia plants decorate homes around the world every holiday season. But few people who love the plant s deep red tones know the traditional Mexican tale about how the poinsettia first came to be. In this extraordinary collaboration, Fabian Negrin brings his warm, glowing scenes to Joanne Oppenheim s thoughtful narrative, transporting readers to Old-World Mexico and into the arms of a young girl as her trust leads her straight into a miracle. A beautiful alternative to the traditional nativity story, this book is a wonderful evocation of Mexican customs and culture.
- The Polar Express
Take a ride aboard the Polar Express in this award-winning, classic holiday story, complete with an ornament gift, perfect for every child’s library. A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer’s silver bell.
- The Hawai’i Snowman
#1 bestseller list in Hawaii. When he sees a shooting star, a lonely snowman is granted his wish to go to Hawaii. There is only one problem: when the sun rises he will turn into a puddle. But this tiny snowman with a big heart finds a way to use his snow to help others and ends up right where he belongs.
- The Jolly Christmas Postman
The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s men. Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other–and reimagine best-loved tales together.
- Walk This World at Christmastime
A collection of global cultures, Walk This World at Christmastime illustrates the ways people around the world celebrate Christmas. Travel to a new set of countries with every turn of the page. Lift the numbered flaps for all the fun of an Advent calendar in a format to be read again and again.
- Construction Site on Christmas Night
This beautiful holiday picture book shows an Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck, and Cement Mixer building a new home for fire engines. As they finish their big, important job, they get their own Christmas surprises. Your kids will have fun discovering the special surprise awaiting each vehicle as much as they will love rhyming along with the story. This cute book is sure to be a classic!
- Damon and the Magic Christmas Tree
Damon is a seven-year-old from Seattle, Washington. He wants a Superman action figure for Christmas, and he wants to spend the holidays with his family at their home in Seattle. Instead, his parents tell him that they’re all flying to New York City to visit Damon’s grandmother.
- 12 days of Hula
On the first day of hula, my kumu gave to me a hula bag from a hala tree. ‘Ukulele strum and ‘uli’uli fly. Bamboo sticks and ginger lei fill the dancer’s hula bag. This local twist on the famous song will have you swaying to the island beat. Count from one to twelve and learn more about the various implements a hula dancer uses.
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
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 moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.
- The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jack is bored of “the scaring, the terror, the fright….tired of being something that goes bump in the night”. And so, in an effort to bring to joy to his town, Jack kidnaps Santa and takes his place as the jolly old elf. But instead of bringing joy to the world Jack, who is a little more than a grinning skeleton, brings fear by delivering creepy toys and riding a sleigh carried by skeletal reindeer. Only through a number of things going horribly wrong does Jack learn the true meaning of Christmas.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for readers young and old.
- Letters from Father Christmas
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.
They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more.
No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by Tolkien’s inventiveness in this classic holiday treat.
- The Christmas Wish
Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals helps Anja make her way to Santa. A generous trim-size, matte cover, extraordinary photographs, and foiled title make this a special book for the holiday season.
- Mrs. Claus Takes the Reins
It’s Christmas Eve morning, and Santa Claus is still in bed! He’s feeling stuffy and sneezy and slow as a yeti. Will Christmas have to be canceled? Not this year! Because Mrs. Claus is ready to take the reins in Santa’s place. With a plan in mind, Mrs. Claus assembles the crew, maps out the route, and preps the sleigh. Then, with a snap of the reins, she shoots off into the night. Delivering gifts all over the world without Santa’s magic won’t be easy, but Mrs. Claus proves she has some holiday sparkle of her own…
With lively rhyming text and adorable artwork, this delightful Christmas adventure will get kids into the holiday spirit.
- I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas
Christmas is coming, and one little girl wants nothing more than a hippopotamus to play with and enjoy. But will Santa Claus and her parents make her Christmas wish come true?
Based on the popular Christmas song by John Rox, this edition also includes the sheet music and lyrics to “I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas.” With catchy refrains, classic artwork, and a heartwarming story, this timeless Christmas tale has been a favorite since 1953.
- Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
Christmas is here and Mr. Willowby’s tree has arrived. There’s just one big problem: The tree is too tall for his parlor! He cuts off the top so it will fit, and soon the top of that tree is passed along, again and again, to bring holiday cheer to all the animals in the forest.
- Snowmen at Christmas
Snowmen at Night shared with us the magical, slip-sliding adventures of snowmen after dark . . . but have you ever wondered what snowmen do for Christmas? Well, now’s your chance to find out! The snowmen are back, and this time they’re celebrating Christmas—the snowman way!
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.
- Tree of Cranes
As a young Japanese boy recovers from a bad chill, his mother busily folds origami paper into delicate silver cranes in preparation for the boy’s very first Christmas.
- Amazing Peace (A Christmas Poem)
In this beautiful, deeply moving poem, Maya Angelou inspires us to embrace the peace and promise of Christmas so that hope and love can once again light up our holidays and the world. “Angels and Mortals, Believers and Nonbelievers, look heavenward,” she writes, “and speak the word aloud. Peace.”
Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.
- The Nutcracker in Harlem
This jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.
In this original retelling, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.
This quintessential holiday tale is brought to vivid life by debut picture book author T. E. McMorrow and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator James Ransome. An author’s note at the end provides additional information about the history of the Harlem Renaissance, and about the author’s inspiration for this musical retelling.
- Native American Night Before Christmas
An innovative retelling of the classic Christmas tale, Native American Night Before Christmas presents a whimsical look at a Native American Christmas Eve when Old Red Shirt (the Indian Santa Claus) comes a-calling on his wooden sleigh pulled by a team of flying white buffalo. Jesse Hummingbird’s inspired illustration transform the author’s playful adaptation into a fresh and modern work of art. A delight for people of all ages and cultures.
What Christmas books are must-haves for your family? Leave a comment below to share with others!