opened book beside tealight

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays! I love celebrating the birth and life of Jesus Christ. Christmas books are some of my favorite books of all time. Whether uplifting and spiritual or funny and silly, each Christmas book brings back cherished memories of time spent with family. As I was coming up with this list, it was like taking a journey back through my childhood. Some of our traditions are based on a few of the books below. 

A Little About Me

book lot on table

Can I let you in on a little secret? I love books! Some of you say of course, or I hope you like books since you read non-stop, studied them in college, and now write about books for your job. This is all true, but I love helping a teen find the next book to read, a school librarian figure out whether a book is a good fit for their school, or help someone fall in love with reading.

I love getting all of your emails, interacting with you personally, and answering questions from all over the world! My goal is to make you a better-informed reader and change what types of books are taught in the public school system so more kids graduate loving reading. Please let me know if I can help you find your next book!

Christmas Time is here

brown star string lights on book

Now back to Christmas! Does anyone else feel like this year has gone by super fast? I can’t believe that it is already December and Christmastime. This time of year is my favorite with the lights, the music, and overall goodwill towards all. I know we are supposed to keep the spirit of Christmas in our hearts all year long, but there is something special that comes to our home in December. Plus, I feel like everyone always has such unique and special traditions.

Christmas Traditions with Books!

red ribbon on white greeting card

Did you know that there are all kinds of Christmas traditions involving books? Some families read specific classic Christmas books during December. Others do a book advent where they wrap up Christmas books and put them under the tree. Some do 25 Christmas books, one for each day of December, and other families choose 12 books for the 12 days leading up to Christmas. Then each night, the kids pick one book to unwrap and read as a family. 

In Iceland, everyone gives books to their loved ones on Christmas Eve, and then they stay up all night reading their new book. I personally really like the idea of that tradition, but I don’t know if Santa likes that one. 😉 

Books + Christmas at our House

opened book beside tealight

Every year we give our daughter a book for Christmas that she can read all year long. I love sharing the gift of reading with her, and each book allows us to make more memories in the coming year. We also always have an orange in the bottom of our stocking, thanks to the story Christmas Oranges.

There are so many different book-related Christmas traditions out there! Are books part of any of your Christmas traditions? Let me know in the comments or send me a message. Your unique way of celebrating might end up on our social media page, or it might become our newest family tradition.

Classic Christmas Books for Kids

boy reading book on bed

Here are some of my favorite classic Christmas books for kids. Each of these is short enough for a bedtime story with beautiful illustrations. All the books below are perfect for young readers between 3 and 8, but older kids might enjoy the nostalgia too. These aren’t in any particular order, so make your own ranking! Quite a few of these books are available as hardbacks for your youngest little readers.

1. The Polar Express

This cute book is about a boy who doesn’t believe in Santa but travels to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. It has sold more than 7 million copies and has become a classic Christmas movie! Get your copy here.

2. The Night Before Christmas

This Classic Christmas book has been a hit since 1823 – when it was published anonymously in a newspaper. This visit from St. Nicholas brings the magic and mystery of Christmas into every heart. Get your copy here.

3. A Charlie Brown Christmas

All of Charlie Brown’s friends are getting into the spirit of Christmas without him. This classic Christmas book helps everyone remember the true meaning of Christmas and how to help our friends feel merry. Get your copy here.

4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This Christmas classic has inspired many movies. The Grinch is a grump during the holidays and decides to steal Christmas. He discovers what the true meaning of Christmas is. Get your copy here.

5. The Nutcracker

This is a simple retelling of The Nutcracker ballet. This beloved holiday fairy tale is about Marie and her nutcracker and the adventure they go on through a winter wonderland. Get your copy here.

6. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

There are many different versions of this classic Christmas story. Rudolph is a reindeer with a red nose. It might make him stand out from the others, but his unique nose ends up being the very thing to save Christmas. Get your copy here.

7. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

“The worst kids in the history of the world” have taken over the annual Christmas pageant. They decide to tell their own version of the Christmas story with the Three Wise Men, a ham, and some scared shepherds. Get your copy here.

8. The Gift of the Magi

Della has one dollar and eighty-seven cents to buy her a Christmas present for her husband. The only thing she has to sell is her long hair. This is a classic Christmas story about a couple sacrificing to buy each other a gift and their unselfish love. Get your copy here.

9. The Snowman

This is a story without words but full of beautiful illustrations. A little boy rushes out on a wintry day to build a snowman. That night in the boy’s dreams, the snowman comes alive. Get your copy here.

10. Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale

The traditional nativity story told from a unique perspective brings a new perspective to an old classic. Room for a Little One is about the animals who welcomed Jesus into the world and shared their home. Get your copy here.

11. Christmas Oranges

Little Rose has been in the orphanage her whole life. Shortly before Christmas, her home is turned upside down. A neighbor donated a box of oranges for the girls, but they are saved until Christmas. This is a story of kindness and thoughtfulness. Get your copy here.

12. Olive, the Other Reindeer

Olive is a dog until she hears a part of a song and realizes she must be a reindeer. She goes to the North Pole to help Santa. Her special reindeer skills are just what they need to save Christmas. Get your copy here.

13. Frosty the Snowman

A favorite snowman with a magic hat and button nose comes to life on Christmas every year. This book is based on the 1969 TV special. It is full of magic and the love of friendship. Get your copy here.

14. Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bear settles down for his long winter sleep the day before Christmas, but all of his friends are determined to keep him awake. As they find creative ways to keep him awake, Bear discovers that gift of giving. Plus, there is a surprise visit from Santa! Get your copy here.

15. Christmas Tapestry

A horrid leak ruin’s a wall in their church, and the family finds a beautiful tapestry to cover the damaged wall. The tapestry leads to a real Christmas miracle. This is a story of love and generosity between people of different religious faiths. Get your copy here.

BONUS 4 More Bestselling Christmas Books

These ones aren’t considered classics but if they are bestsellers then I hope they are fantastic Christmas books!

16. How to Catch an Elf

This is a super cute book about a group of kids who try and trap an elf on Christmas Eve. This is a zany and light-hearted book with very creative ways to catch an elf. Adult either like or hate this book, but young kids think it’s funny. Get your copy here.

17. Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

Little Blue Truck is spreading Christmas cheer by delivering Christmas trees to all his animal friends. This is full of holiday warmth and a bite-sized message full of counting for young readers. Get your copy here.

18. The Not Very Merry Pout-Pout Fish

Mr. Fish is trying to find the perfect gifts for all his friends. Will he finish his shopping in time? Join his holiday quest as he learns that the best gifts come from the heart. Get your copy here.

19. If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

The little mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is back and spreading holiday fun. Going to the movies leads to decorating the Christmas tree and many more silly antics. Get your copy here.

20. The Christmas Pig

Jack loves his childhood toy DP who has always been with him until he is lost on Christmas Eve. But a new Christmas Pig comes to life, and they go on an adventure to save Jack’s best friend. This book is a chapter book instead of a picture book. It’s for 8 to 12-year-old readers. Get your copy here.

Looking for more Christmas books??

person holding white gift card

There are many Christmas books to choose from, and I included only a few. If you are looking for a Christmas gift for your favorite reader here are a few suggestions. I tried to make it mostly not about books because each person has specific tastes.

What are some of your favorite Christmas books? Do you incorporate books into any of your Christmas traditions? Let me know in the comments or by messaging me!

Happy Reading!
Emily