Thursday, December 11, 2014

Shepherds, SugarPlums, and Santa :: An Epic Collection of Our Favorite Christmas Books

My mama had a Christmas book basket when we were growing up that each year she would pull out, and we would delight in pulling out each story every time. This is a tradition that our family has embraced as well (with my mama once again helping as she adds books for my boys), and it's so much fun to come up with our own collection.

After the 4th person asked for Christmas book ideas, I figured it was about time I went ahead and rounded up the rest of our Christmas stories and share which ones have made our favorites list. Two years ago I came up with a list of 12 of our favorite Nativity focussed picture books, and though we do love each of those, there are many more that we pull out each year and pore over the stories.

We've also made it a tradition to add 2-3 new books to our collection on Epiphany, which means that I can hit up the post Christmas-day sales and get great deals. If you want, most of these titles are available on Amazon and can make it to your front door in time for Christmas day!

So here you go: some of the titles that can be found in our "Basket" of Advent, Christmas, and Beyond books. Happy Reading!

Snow, Santa, and so forth
You might remember that we have chosen not to "celebrate" Santa in our home - this is still the case, but we do talk about him as a fun story or legend to be enjoyed around the Christmas season. We aren't judging your choices - this is just how our family chooses to approach this part of our children's bringing up. It's the beauty of being and raising different families!

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff + illustrated by Felicia Bond

Silent Night: The Song and Its Story by Margaret Hodges + illustrated by Tim Ladwig

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson + illustrated by Jane Chapman

Home for Christmas by Jan Brett

The Nutcracker by Alison Jay

The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas by Christine Ford + illustrated by Trish Holland

Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story by Cynthia Rylant + illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet

Arthur's Christmas Cookies by Lillian Hoban

Christmas from Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bomber by Tom Brokaw + illustrated by Robert T. Barrett

The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg

Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson + illustrated by Hilary Knight

For the Teeniest Ones
I'm pretty sure these are all available in hardback/paperbook as well, but we sure do love our board book copies of these. Plus they're the perfect length for the more wiggly set.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Tomie's Little Christmas Pageant by Tomie DePaola (Out of print)

The Mitten by Jan Brett (also check out The Hat)

Even more Christ and Nativity themed
After you've exhausted our 12 faves, here are more that I'd probably add to that list if I rewrote it.

The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie DePaola

Wenceslas: The Eternal Christmas Story by Geraldine McCaughrean + illustrated by Christian Birmingham

Read Alouds

Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman + illustrated by Maurice Sendak

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry and illustrated by P. J. Lynch

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

Christmas with Anne by L. M. Montgomery (Out of print)

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (aren't these Christmas Penguin Classics delightful?)

The Birds' Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Not *my* favorites, but my kids love em

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree by Jan + Mike Berenstein

Country Angel Christmas by Tomie DePaola (Out of print)

Merry Christmas, from Biscuit by Alyssa Satin Capucilli + illustrated by Pat Schories (Out of print)

Out of print, but worth it if you can find used

B Is for Bethlehem by Isabel Wilner + illustrated by Elisa Kleven

Hark, the little angel by Mircea Vasiliu

Home for Christmas: Stories to Warm the Heart by various authors

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Tony De Luna

A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith

For even more recommendations, this Ultimate Christmas Book List from Molly Makes Do has many I've yet to read!

Thank you to each and every one who has been so sweet to use my Amazon links to make your holiday purchases! Each little bit is a blessing to my family, so thank you for taking the time to click through. I truly appreciate it.

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  1. I love these suggestions! I really want to add the Anne Shirley and Laura Ingalls ones to our collection :-)

    1. They're such great ones for reading aloud around the fire or just alone cozied under a blanket.


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