Christmas is the best time of year for traditions! As with many other homeschooling families, we got into the habit several years ago of collecting Christmas picture books that we keep in our Christmas storage box and only take out around the holidays. This is a fun little tradition that not only allows memories to be made from the decorations we pull out of the box, but also the stories contained in the books.
Today I’m listing a few of our favorites in case you’re looking for inspiration for your own Christmas book collection!
We love pretty much anything by Elsa Beskow. Her books are sometimes a little strange but probably more so to grown-ups than children. We don’t really do the whole Santa Clause thing in our house, but we’ve had fun joking about a Christmas goat with the kids because of this book. 🙂
We’re also huge fans of Jan Brett. This is the story of one of Santa’s helpers who comes of an age to finally help with his reindeer. She learns through trial and error that leading with gentleness is much more effective than trying to dictate and force good training.
This is the story of how St. Brigid visited the Holy Family when she was a young girl. The story and illustrations in this book are beautiful.
Without fail, every.single.year, this one makes me cry. A widowed and sad woodcutter finds comfort in showing a little kindness during the holidays.
I heard about this one on someone else’s Christmas book list several years ago and I love the story of how one huge Christmas tree became a gift to many families!
Another absolutely beautifully illustrated and modern version of the Christmas story written by a Venezuelan poet.
I’ve had this book since I was a girl and the story always takes me back to the small apartment of a woman who did a Bible study with me. It emphasizes the importance slowing down during the holidays and spending time with those who we sometimes overlook.
Another one with beautiful illustrations and a good story about believing in magic even when those around you don’t.
This one is about animals calling a truce at Christmas and making room for each other in a barn. I love the magic quality of the paintings.
This was the first Christmas-themed book we received for B when he was an infant and I have a lot of sweet memories related to this one as well. It tells the story of how the animals band together to prepare the stable for the birth of Jesus.
The list wouldn’t be complete without a dePaola book. This one emphasizes that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed with friends.
You may or may not be a Seuss fan, but I think the lesson of this book is a wonderful one. This has also inaugurated the tradition of always having “roast beast” (no matter what the meat happens to be) on Christmas day in our family.
A few others we have in our collection are The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson and Eloise Wilkin, Tell Me the Christmas Story by Joni Walker, Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck, The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Buck and Mary Engelbreit, and A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz (this is one of the kids’ favorites as it plays sounds).
This list is not complete by any means, but part of the fun is discovering other books we can add to it each year. For this year, our addition will be The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden and Barbara Cooney.
Read-Aloud Revival also offers a very thorough booklist for December that includes many fantastic Christmas books and my friend Dawn posted her list a few years ago as well. She has the tradition of putting each book in a bag and opening a new bag on the days leading up to Christmas.
So what must-have book do you have in your Christmas book collection that I need to add to mine?