For years I’ve been adding to our Christmas book library, and it all began with one book. While pregnant with our first child, I worked as the special orders clerk for a bookstore. As the only soon-to-be-mother employee, any free children’s books that arrived for the staff ended up on my desk.
Who knew that the first Christmas book, Mooseltoe, would be delighting our fourth child a decade later?
Our collection is a hodge podge of pure silliness, to beautifully illustrated, to heart inspiring.
A few years ago I began a tradition of wrapping one of our beloved books for each day of December first through the 25th.
Each day a child unwraps a book and we read it and count down one day closer to Christmas.
I’ve found it stays exciting if I’m always mixing in a few new treasures (old treasures, really, from the thrift store and used bookstore) with our old ones.
Here’s a list of our favorites (in no particular order of most loved):
- Mooseltoe by Margie Palatini
- One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
- Petunia’s Christmas by Roger DuVoisin
- Silent Night: The Song and Story by Margaret Hodges
- The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
- Drummer Boy by Loren Long
- The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes, illustrated by Tasha Tudor
- The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg
- Spruce the Moose cuts loose by Sarah Stapler
- The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- Night Tree by Eve Bunting
- Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones (author of the Jesus Storybook Bible)
- Jan Brett’s Christmas Treasury
- Silver Packages by Cynthia Rylant
- Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
- The Nativity by Julie Vivas
- The Little Spider by Sigmund Brouwer
- The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury
- A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
- Babar and Father Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff
- The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L’engle, Illustrated with Frescoes by Giotto
Chapter Books and Collections
- Snowbound with Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
- The Trees Kneel At Christmas by Maud Hart Lovelace (author of Betsy-Tacy Books, haven’t read this yet)
- Once in the Year: A Christmas Story by Elizabeth Yates
- A Little House Christmas: Holiday Stories from the Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Children of Christmas by Cynthia Rylant
- Christmas edited by Alice Dagliesh (we haven’t read this yet)
- Holly, Reindeer, and Colored Lights: The Story of the Chrismtas Symbols by Edna Barth
Note to Myself, Books to try next year:
- Star Mother’s Youngest Child by Louise Moeri
- The Animals Christmas by Anne Thaxter Eaton
- Christmas Long Ago from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman
- Christ in Christmas: A Family Advent Celebration by James C. Dobson, Charles R. Swindoll
The longer chapter and story collection books have not been wrapped, we’ve been reading chapter by chapter through them each day while unwrapping a picture book to read as well.
Whether you wrap them or check them out from the library, here’s wishing you many days of hot chocolate and good stories.
Do you have any favorite Christmas books that I need to add to my library?