This Christmas, replace the toys and sweets with books! We have 25 classic Christmas books to wrap up and read each night leading up to Christmas day.
Classic Christmas Books: A 25-Day Christmas Advent Calendar
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Advent calendars are the perfect way to get that holiday spirit in your home. This Christmas, rather than giving your children a piece of candy or a new toy each day, give them a book. Books are gifts that will last a lifetime!
Wrap these books ahead of time so that each evening of December leading up to Christmas, your kids can open one up. Read the book together as a family before going to bed. What a wonderful new tradition to bring your family closer together! Bonus: teach important principles such as giving, love, friendship, and kindness.
Here are a list of 25 classic Christmas books that your children, old and young, will love reading this holiday season.
Written by Dr. Suess
This book is such a classic Christmas story to read to your children. I have such fond memories of it growing up. The message is very applicable to this day and age because we are often too overwhelmed with presents and decorations to really enjoy the real meaning of Christmas.
Written by Francis P Church
The illustrations in this book are beautiful enough to buy this book on the spot. I feel like it is relatable to both believers and nonbelievers alike. The tale is heartwarming and helps to keep alive the magic of Christmas.
Written by Eric Carle
Eric Carle has such a wonderful way with pictures that makes me enjoy all of his books. This one especially is a favorite of mine because of the story it tells. There is a farmer who dreams of the snow Christmas brings and how he puts on a jolly red suit to take care of his animals and give them presents.
Written by Angela Elwell Hunt
This book really talks about Jesus being the reason for the Christmas season but not in a way that is too overbearing. It is geared more for preschoolers but can be enjoyed by all ages. It tells the classic folktale of each of us being here for a special reason even though we might not always know it.
Written by Chris Van Allsburg
Another classic story that I grew up listening to and watching the movie version, this story tells one of a child and their dream of meeting Santa Claus. The magic of Christmas is alive and helps to inspire people to believe in things they can’t always see.
Written by Vivian Walsh
A dog named Olive misunderstands the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to say “Olive the Other Reindeer”. She then decides it is her duty to report to the North Pole for her job to pull Santa’s sleigh. Even the story doesn’t quite go how she expected, she ends up saving the day in the end.
Written by Tara Knudson
A delightful book about baking Christmas goodies. This newly-released book is perfect for younger children, with short rhymes and fun illustrations. At the end of the book, there is a recipe for Christmas sugar cookies. This book can start a new tradition of baking with your children. Read it prior to baking Santa’s cookies each year.
Written by Mindy Baker
When the town Parson becomes ill, there is no one to put on the town’s usual Christmas Eve celebration. Well, maybe not. Mouse comes in to save the day, and helps set up the nativity and light the candles. Mouse inspires the people in his community to have faith and hope with his act of love.
Written by Ryan T. Higgins
Mother Bruce is at it again in this hilarious Christmas tale. Your children will love the illustrations in this book, and be laughing at the predicament Bruce finds himself in as the whole forest thinks he is Santa Claus! If you loved the other books in the Mother Bruce series, this is a must-read.
by Nancy Tillman
I think this is such a charming book! A man is visited by the Spirit of Christmas, and shown many of the magical parts of Christmas- trees, candy cane, marshmallows, caroling, and so much more. But still, he thinks something is missing. What is it? Love! Christmas is made special by spending it with those we love. Bonus: Your kids will love looking for the Spirit of Christmas hidden on each page.
Written by Cheryl DeVleeschouwer
Granny tells the story of a lonely girl who finds an elf who has lost her way. Throughout their journey, they learn what friendship means: standing up for each other and encouraging each other to achieve their dreams. Appearances from Santa Claus, reindeer, and elves make this book a must-read this holiday season!
Written by Adam Wallace
Since Santa Claus is too hard to catch, children set their sights on catching one of his elves! This fun and upbeat book will keep your children entertained. Watch elf dodge traps and try to escape the snares the kids have set to catch him. Warning- this book is more fun and light-hearted, and it does talk about ways children trap the elf.
Written by Brandi Dougherty
Oliver lives in the North Pole with his family of elves. This year, he gets assigned a special job at Santa’s Workshop. When Oliver goes to each workshop to see what job he is best at, he discovers that he is too tiny and clumsy for all of them! Then Oliver meets Dot, a reindeer who can’t fly. Together they discover what Christmas truly means.
by Jan Berenstain
Of course, this Berenstain Bear book is a classic that your children will love. Brother and Sister Bear are so excited for Christmas, because of all of the gifts they are going to get. However, throughout the book they learn an important lesson about the joy of giving, rather than receiving. A great book to teach the principle of giving to your children.
Written by Mercer Mayer
Little Critter wants to help his Mom and Dad this Christmas season, but nothing seems to be going as expected. It seems that everything he does gets him as tangled up as Christmas lights! This fun and light-hearted book will delight your children.
Written by Lucille Colandro
If you and your kids love the original book, “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly”, then you are going to fall head-over-heels for this holiday version! Your kids will laugh with delight as the Old Lady swallows a bell, a bow, some reindeer, and more! When Santa comes, the Old Lady whistles and…something magical happens! Read the book to find out how this clever story ends.
Written by Susan Wojciechowski
This Christmas, teach your children about the power of kindness with this book. Jonathan Toomey is a lonely woodcarver who hasn’t smiled since his wife passed away. When a young boy wants to learn wood carving, he goes to see Jonathan. The boy’s love and kindness changes Jonathan Toomey’s life. A beautiful book about hope, love, and overcoming loss.
Written by Trina Hakes Noble
A family living in a small-town community have an apple tree growing near their barn. Each year, they pick apples for cider, pies, apple butter, and just to eat. During a terrible blizzard, the tree comes crashing down. The kids are devastated! Join this family on their journey to discover that Christmas isn’t about the celebration- it is about family ties and the love that families share.
Written by Rumer Godden
I can’t promise that this book isn’t going to make you cry like a baby. This book has a lot of text (better suited for older children), coupled with beautiful illustrations. Ivy is an orphan who wishes for a home this Christmas. Join Ivy on her journey to making her dreams come true, with a few tear-jerking surprises along the way.
Written by Kevin Brougher
When Santa’s reindeer come down with a case of chickenpox, Santa has to find someone else to help pull his sleigh. This hilarious and fun-filled book is all about different animals trying out to be Santa’s helpers. The elephants, hyenas, skunks, hippos, bunnies, and cats didn’t make the cut. However, the dolphins did! Your kids will love this fun take on a holiday classic.
Written by Lori Evert
A young girl name Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. She sets out to find Santa, and on her way meets a reindeer, a polar bear, a bird, and an ox. These striking animals help Anja find her way to Santa Claus. This book is unique; rather than drawn illustrations, it has pictures of a real little girl. Your children will truly believe this book and get into the spirit of Christmas.
Written by Karma Wilson
This is such a fun addition to the Bear series that your children probably already love. In this book, Bear is trying so hard to stay awake for Christmas. He finds himself dozing off, so his friends come to the rescue. They spend the night baking, hanging stockings, and singing. In the end, Bear learns that giving is the best part of Christmas.
Written by Alice Schertle
Little Blue Truck is at it again! He gets to deliver 5 Christmas trees to his friends this year. Join Little Blue Truck on his deliveries and learn that giving is the best part of the season. Bonus- the last page has a lit tree that your toddlers will go crazy over!
I’m almost certain that there is an unspoken rule that this book must be read on Christmas Eve. Snuggle up with your kiddos in their warm Christmas jammies and read this book before sending them off to bed. A sweet family is nestled in bed when Santa Claus comes to pay them a visit.
Written by Martin Waddell
This story talks about the birth of Jesus from the perspective of the other animals staying in the manger. It is such a sweet story of inclusion and love, perfect for little ones and big kids alike. Read this book Christmas day to keep in mind the true reason we celebrate Christmas, the birth of the Savior.
What are some other “must-read” books for your kids at Christmas time?
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Michele is a Family Life Educator with her degree in marriage and family studies. She is a mom to 5 kids and loves helping others strengthen their families! When she is not blogging she is spending time with her family and running around drinking Diet Coke trying to get everything done!