2 Christmas trees on the sides, books under the trees - Great Christmas Books to Get your Family Ready for the Christmas Season

Great Christmas Books to Get your Family Ready for the Season

Christmas books are a great way to get your family in the Christmas spirit. You can make reading Christmas books part of your school day or just use them as a family activity to wind down a busy day and get everyone ready for bed. Some families prepare a stack of 25 Christmas stories and read one each day until Christmas.

Whether you are looking for picture books, chapter books, short stories, or devotionals, I think you will find books listed here in all those categories. Some of these stories will make you laugh, while others will likely bring some tears. (Use your discretion with those!) And then again, many of these books will make you think.

Some of these book suggestions are written from a Christian perspective, while others focus more on the cultural aspects of Christmas. And then some of the books exemplify the spirit of Christmas. Choose which ones work for you!

3 teddy bears looking at a book - Give Your Little Bears Some New Books to Read

Caution: Because not everyone holds to precisely the same standards or beliefs, I encourage you to research the different books listed here. While I have read several of the books in this list, I have not personally read each one of these books. However, I read reviews of each one by reviewers I trust and respect. So, with that cautionary note, let’s get on with the book list!

Also, I included some age guidelines at the end of each book description. Remember, these are just guidelines. Always use your discretion. And, of course, anyone of any age can enjoy a Christmas book!

Christmas Books for Preschoolers

The Very Best Christmas Present – by Jim Razzi

This book tells the story of an older man and an unwanted cat. Or is the cat unwanted? Who needs someone to love more – the older man or the cat? (Ages 2-4)

Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale – by Martin Waddell

This book is a sweet and beautifully illustrated telling of the Nativity story from the perspective of an animal living in the stable. (Ages 2-4)

The Hat, The Mitten – by Jan Brett

Both books are delightful stories of animals and what they do with lost items children have dropped. What does a hedgehog do with a stocking cap? While these books are not specifically Christmas books, your children will enjoy the winter scenes. (Ages 2-5)

The Littlest Elf – by Brandi Dougherty

Is the littlest elf just too little to be of any use in Santa’s workshop? A little reindeer helps this smallest of elves realize the true Christmas spirit. (Ages 2-6)

The Construction Site on Christmas Night – by Sherri Duskey Rinker

Are your youngest children in love with dump trucks, excavators, and other construction vehicles? Then this is the Christmas book for them! With fun rhyming text and excellent illustrations, this book is sure to be a favorite with young children (and probably their dads). (Ages 2-4)

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas – by Alice Schertle

Your youngest children will enjoy counting the Christmas trees that Little Blue Truck delivers to all his animal friends. (Ages 1-3)

Long Ago, on a Silent Night –  by Julie Berry

This book is described as a “special, beautiful, keepsake storybook to read, share, and cherish every Christmas season with the ones you love.” You will find lyrical poetry, beautiful illustrations, and the miracle of Christmas combined with the promise in every new child in this book. (Ages 3 and up)

Dream Snow – by Eric Carle

Eric Carle, of The Very Hungry Caterpillar fame, presents a delightful little Christmas book in his usual style. When the farmer falls asleep wondering how it can be Christmas without any snow, he wakes to find it has snowed! So, he must make Christmas for his animals! Your young children will be thrilled with this book’s illustrations and simple text. (Ages 2-4)

Voices of Christmas – Nikki Grimes

While I have not read this book, it comes highly recommended. What makes the premise of this book interesting is that it views the Christmas story through the eyes of many who witnessed the birth of Christ and surrounding events. We see how the other people mentioned in Scripture were involved or connected to Christ’s birth. From the angel Gabriel to Anna and Simeon in the temple, from Elizabeth to the wise men, imagine the thoughts going through their minds as they learn about the birth of Jesus. (Ages 4-7)

Christmas in the Big Woods (Little House Picture Book) – by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Have your children enjoyed any of the Little House books? Then this Christmas book, based on stories in the series of books, will also warm their hearts. (Ages 2-6)

The Crippled Lamb – by Max Lucado

You will find a lovely story of a crippled lamb and lessons about how God can use each of us, in our unique way, despite our imperfections or disabilities. (Ages 3-7)

How the Grinch Stole Christmas – by Dr. Seuss

This is another one of my favorite Christmas stories. It’s Dr. Seuss – what more can you ask? I love the illustrations in the classic version of the book! Even the Grinch learns that Christmas is more than the trimmings and trappings, more than the feast of the roast beast! (Ages 2-7)

Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas – Ann Voskamp

This beautiful Advent family devotional book offers an excellent way to lead your children through the history of the Bible to the birth of Jesus. Each day’s entry in this book provides the next step in God’s preparations for bringing Jesus into the world. The book offers Scripture readings, child-friendly devotionals, thought-provoking questions, and simple family activity suggestions. (Ages 2 and up)

Christmas Books for Elementary-Aged Children

A Christmas for Bear – Bonny Becker

From the delightful Bear and Mouse series by Bonny Becker comes this warm and fun Christmas book. How does Bear have a Christmas party? And where is Mouse in all the pictures? Your younger children will surely enjoy this book! (Ages 5-9)

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story – by Gloria Houston

This simple story, combined with beautiful illustrations, will delight most children of all ages! You will want to add this endearing story about courage and family to your Christmas book collection. (Ages 3-8)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey – by Susan Wojciechowski (Illustrated by P. J. Lynch)

While this book is new to me, it is considered a true Christmas classic. What happens to a lonely and sad woodcarver one winter’s day after encountering a young widow and her son? What request does the lady make of the woodcarver? (Ages 5 and up)

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story – by Cynthia Rylant

Loosely based on an actual event, this book is about hope. Learn about an Appalachian boy’s hopes and dreams and what role the annual Christmas train plays in young Frankie’s life. (Ages 4-8)

Bialosky’s Christmas – by Leslie McGuire

This Christmas book was one of my children’s favorites! Bialosky (a bear) plans a beautiful Christmas party for his friends and spends all day preparing for the party but forgets one crucial detail! What happens to his party? (Ages 6-8)

Mr. Putter & Tabby Bake the Cake – by Cynthia Rylant

Have your kids discovered the Mr. Putter & Tabby series of books? What happens when Mr. Putter and his cat Tabby try to make a Christmas cake for their wonderful neighbor Mrs. Teaberry? All the books in this series are delightful takes on real-life situations. Kids find these books funny and entertaining. (Ages 5-7)

The Christmas Day Kitten – by James Herriot

This book, written by veterinarian and author James Herriot, shares the true story of a stray cat, a woman, and three dogs. Who receives the best Christmas gift? (Ages 5-10)

The Polar Express – by Chris Van Allsburg

In case you aren’t familiar with The Polar Express, this Caldecott Medal book tells the story of a young boy who is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Before you watch the movie this year, take some time and read the book! (Ages 2-7 and up)

A Charlie Brown Christmas – by Charles Schulz/Tina Gallo 

A Charlie Brown Christmas is one of my favorite Christmas videos/shows. And this is that story in book form. What’s not to love? Join Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and all the rest of the gang and discover the true meaning of Christmas. (Ages 4 and up)

Amahl and the Night Visitors – by Gian Carlo Menotti (Illustrated by Michele Lemieux)

Do you know the story of Amahl and the Night Visitors? If not, you are missing out! Originally written as an opera for television, commissioned by NBC, this one-act opera is a delightful story of a disabled boy, three wise men, a distraught mother, and a Christmas miracle. This book tells the story of the Three Kings on their journey to Bethlehem. It is a lovely story, accompanied by beautiful watercolor illustrations. Also, if you can find a video of the opera, I encourage you to watch it! The music is memorable! (Ages 3-8)

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Christmas Books for Upper Elementary and Middle School Children

A Certain Small Shepherd – by Rebecca Caudill

“This is the story of a strange and marvelous thing. It happened on a Christmas morning at Hurricane Gap, and not so long ago at that.

But before you hear about Christmas morning, you must hear about Christmas Eve, for that is part of the story.

And before you hear about Christmas Eve, you must hear about Jamie, for without Jamie there would be no story.”

And so begins this lovely book written by award-winning author Rebecca Caudill. Be sure to read the rest of the book to learn about the miracle happening to the main character, Jamie. (Ages 9-12)

The Christmas Day Kitten – by James Herriot

This book, written by veterinarian and author James Herriot, shares the true story of a stray cat, a woman, and three dogs. Who receives the best Christmas gift? (Ages 5-10)

The Family Under the Bridge – by Natalie Savage Carlson

What should an older man in Paris do when, just before Christmas, he finds three cold and hungry children alone under a bridge? This book is described as a warm and funny adventure of family, freedom, and Santa Claus. (ages 7-12)

The Little Match Girl – by Hans Christian Anderson

Warning: This book will probably make you cry! We picture Christmas as a time of joy, festivities, warmth, and plenty, but that is not the reality for many people around us. This book shows us the reality of cold, hunger, and poverty at Christmas. It is a beautiful story, but still sad. (Ages 4-8)

The Nutcracker – by E.T.A. Hoffman (Illus. Maurice Sendak)

Although E.T.A. Hoffman wrote The Nutcracker more than 200 years ago, children are still fascinated by the tale of battle, magic, and adventure! Maurice Sendak provides the perfect illustrations for this timeless story! (Ages 10-11)

A Christmas Carol – by Charles Dickens

The classic tale of the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, this book presents the concepts of redemption, forgiveness, hope, and generosity found within the Christmas season. And while they enjoy the story, your kids may fall in love with the rich language of Dickens’ time. (Ages 6 and up)

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever – by Barbara Robinson

If you aren’t familiar with this story, I highly recommend it. When the book was first published, my dad read it aloud to us. There were parts where he couldn’t continue reading because he was laughing so hard! What do you do when a family of six unregenerate kids volunteers to play the lead roles in the church Christmas pageant? What is their take on the Christmas story? This book will have you laughing aloud yet still gaining insights into the true meaning of the Christmas story. (Warning: There are some language issues with this book and some references to smoking and drinking.) (Ages 7-11)

Treasures of the Snow – by Patricia St. John

While I have read this book multiple times, I never thought of it as a Christmas story. This book has themes of revenge, anger, humiliation, danger, repentance, restoration, forgiveness, light, and new life. And isn’t that the message of Christmas? This is also a great read-aloud book. (Ages 7 and up)

The Birds’ Christmas Carol –  by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Written by the same author who wrote Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Birds’ Christmas Carol is a story that truly demonstrates the Christmas spirit. This sweet and sad story is one of generosity and giving to others. (Ages 7 and up)

Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury – by Louisa May Alcott

Are you or your children fans of Little Women? Then this is the Christmas book for you. A collection of short stories, novellas, and excerpts featuring your favorite characters from Louis May Alcott, this book is sure to be a favorite. (Ages 8 and up)

Christmas Books for Teens

The Gift of the Magi –  by O. Henry

Although I am not a fan of many short stories, I like this one! The Gift of the Magi is about selflessness, love, and giving. Like most of O. Henry’s short stories, the plot has an unexpected twist at the end. Your older children may find this story enjoyable. (Ages 14 and up)

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas: A Hercule Poirot Mystery – by Agatha Christie

Do your teens need a mystery to read this Christmas? While many are available of various sorts, Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot stories are classics! This mystery takes place on Christmas Eve at a house party. Murder in a locked bedroom? How can that be? I guess you will have to read the book to find out! (Ages 12 and up)


Are you ready to head to the library (or your Amazon account) and stock up on new Christmas books? Let me know what new favorites you find! Happy Christmas reading, everyone!

Carol Rhine Rhine Home School Services

Here are some additional posts about Homeschooling and Christmas:

Great Ideas for Christmas and Homeschooling

Even When Life Is Crazy, Let Them Help

Great Gift Ideas for Homeschooling Families

And an additional post about Books:

Looking for some Great Books for your Kids?

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