One of my favorite Christmas traditions when I was a kid was ticking off another day on our advent calendar. Some years our advent calendar had a treat to eat on each day, or a little prize . . . but this year we're doing the ultimate book-lovers' advent treat: a new book to read each day as we count down to Christmas!
It's easy to pull together. Select 12 of your favorite Christmas picture books. You can find our favorites and suggestions at the bottom of this post!
If you don't own a lot of Christmas books or don't want to purchase them, don't worry--just use library books! I wanted to test some out before building our Christmas book collection, so all of our advent books are from the library. We'll purchase our favorites for next year's countdown!
Wrap each book up separately, and place them in a basket under your Christmas tree. Each night leading up to Christmas, have your kids unwrap one book to read aloud together. It's the perfect way to spend time together as a family, and to talk about the holidays. If you'd like, wrap up a Bible for Christmas Eve's storytime and read the Christmas story together.
There are so many wonderful Christmas picture books that we could list . . . here are just a few favorites:
Madeline's Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans // In this Christmas story, everyone's favorite Madeline is visited by a mysterious stranger on Christmas Eve. Ages 3-7
Cricket at the Manger by Edith Fine // The Nativity story as told by the littlest creature in the stable. Ages 5-7.
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown // A sweet and simple interpretation of the Nativity story. Ages 4-8.
Home for Christmas by Jan Brett // A little troll, a little boy, and a cast of animal friends make up this Scandinavian Christmas story. Ages 3-5.
Guess Who's Coming to Santa's for Dinner? by Tomie DePaola // Santa and Mrs. Claus have invited their large family for Christmas dinner. Kids will love the comic style and speech bubbles! Ages 4-8.
Merry Christmas, Strega Nona! by Tomie DePaola // Strega Nona, Big Anthony, and Bambolona prepare a Christmas Eve feast. Ages 4-7.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg // A Christmas classic--a little boy's journey to the North Pole. Ages 3-8.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss // “Every Who down in Who-ville liked Christmas a lot . . . but the Grinch, who lived just north of Who-ville, did NOT!” Ages 4-8.
Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh // Olive (a dog) realizes she must be 'the other reindeer' sung about in her favorite Christmas song, so she heads to the North Pole to help. Ages 3-7.
The Small One by Alex Walsh // A young boy from Nazareth must sell his donkey, and finds the perfect customer: a man who needs a donkey to help carry his wife, Mary, to Bethlehem.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry // A wife sells her beautiful hair to buy a chain for her husband's pocketwatch . . . but he has sold his pocketwatch to buy her a comb for her hair. A Christmas classic. Ages 6-9.
Dream Snow by Eric Carle // A farmer's winter nap and dreams of fresh snow have magical results. Ages 3-8.
Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck // A simple nativity story board book with sweet and lovely illustrations.
What Christmas books would you be sure to include?