For several years, our most loved Christmas books were board books. My kids are now old enough to listen to and enjoy longer stories, but these four are still favorites:
- B is for Bethlehem is out of print, but lovely if you ever come across one.
- Christmas in the Manger is my favorite for a very first Christmas book. Perfect for infants and toddlers to go along with a Little People or other nativity scene that can be played with
- The Story of Christmas
- The Night Before Christmas--We still like our board book version of this poem well enough that we haven't upgraded to a "big kid" one.
We like to focus in early December on reading about the historical person of St Nicholas. We don't "do" Santa here, but we discuss how the modern Santa Claus has his roots in St Nicholas and then we're free to enjoy the season with Santa around every turn, in stores, in books, in movies, etc, knowing where that came from, and not waiting for him to bring us presents on Christmas Eve. To aid us in those conversations, we have a couple of books on St Nicholas. I prefer Saint Nicholas: the Real Story of the Christmas Legend (red, below) to The Legend of St Nicholas: a Story of Christmas Giving (blue), but I don't super love either of them. The red one is better for a younger audience for sure. This is the first year that mine have sat through the blue one willingly. I'm still on the lookout for an even better version, and if I find it, I'll update! Our other favorite resource on this is the super silly Veggie Tales video on St Nicholas. Streams on Netflix!
Others that mama never minds reading again and again, year after year include:
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas
- The Sweet Smell of Christmas
- The Legend of the Candy Cane
- Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
- Mortimer's Christmas Manger
- The Polar Express
- Cajun Night Before Christmas (OK, I tire of reading this just because my Cajun accent is horrid and it's HARD! But it's too fun not to include in the list.)
Also, in the spirit of there never being enough Christmas books, I requested a few at the library that had been recommended by others. We have found a few winners among them!
- Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree--I'm pretty sure this will be next year's Christmas book purchase. Too fun!!
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey (tear jerker!!)
- An Orange for Frankie (another tear jerker)
- Great Joy
Of course, we have our fair share of groan-worthy Christmas books, too. You know--the ones that I consider hiding in the night (and still might!) like the book that comes with the Elf on the Shelf, anyone with me on that one? But mostly, Christmas books bring us much joy, and we love to share them with our friends!
Any favorites of yours that you think we ought to try? I'm all ears!