Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Book List for Families

My children, even the teenagers, re-read these books every year.  We put them away at the beginning of Epiphany and only pull them out at the beginning of Advent, and the family is always overjoyed to see them again.  On St. Nicholas' Day every year, I give them a new Christmas book. For those of you in the United States, you should be able to find these at your local libraries.  For those overseas, it may be hard to access as easily.  I would be glad to give you my top recommendations based on your ages of children if you can only purchase a couple.

Click here for a printable book list. 


A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill
(a boy receives a personal miracle at Christmas; moving)

A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
(beautifully written;  every Christmas Eve, we watch the movie, which dramatizes the poem in such a lovely way. My children love this.)

A Christmas Gift for Mama by Lauren Thompson

A Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco
(a Jewish couple is reunited through a Christmas miracle)

A Cobtown Christmas by Julia Van Nutt

A Cowboy Christmas by Audrey Wood
(a beautiful story about a boy's answered prayer)

A Small Miracle by Peter Collington
(an absolute favorite!)

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy
(my father's favorite, and now one of our family's beloved stories; a chapter book)

An Amish Christmas by Richard Ammon

An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
(a wonderful story--gets us every time)

Back to the Manger by Margaret Philbrick
(a meaningful story by a friend of mine set in our area)

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
(a boy gives his father a gift of service--beautiful)

Father and Son: A Nativity Story by Geraldine McCaughrean
(through the eyes of Joseph)

Good King Wenceslas by Jane Seymour
(includes C.D. with the song--beautiful new book)

Grandfather's Christmas Tree by Keith Strand
(a pioneer survival story)

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo

I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge

Irene Jennie and the Christmas Masquerade by Irene Smalls
(great window into a slave's Christmas)

Jacob's Gift by Max Lucado

Jotham's Journey, Bartholomew's Passage, and Tabitha's Travels by Arnold Ytreeide
 (Advent chapter books, can be fairly intense;  good at placing the Nativity story in an historical context)

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
(written for his children every Christmas--get an edition that has all the letters in envelopes with Tolkiens illustrations delightful)

Lighthouse Christmas by Toni Buzzeo

Listen to the Silent Night by Dandi Daley Mackall
(for very young children)

Mary's First Christmas by Walter Wangerin, Jr.
(longer story)

Papa Panov's Special Day by Ruben Saillens

Room for a Little One by Martin Waddell
(great for little ones)

Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd
(a fairy tale of how the donkey redeemed himself after being marginalized after Creation)

The Advent Book by Jack and Kathy Stockman
(a book of doors that open for the days of Advent)

The Carpenter's Gift by David Rubel
(the story of the Rockefeller tree in NY, about sharing what you have, even in poverty)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

The Christmas Stories of George MacDonald by...George MacDonald
(the Scottish author that inspired C.S. Lewis)

The Christmas Treasury by Jan Brett
(lots of different winter stories with great illustrations--great for young children)

The Dolls' Christmas by Tasha Tudor
(inspired our girls to do an annual Doll Christmas Tea for years)

The First Christmas by the National Gallery, London

The First Christmas Stocking by Elizabeth Winthrop

The Legend of the Poinsettia retold by Tomie dePaola

The Lion in the Box by Marguerite de Angeli

The Man of the House at  Huffington Row by Mary Brigid Barrett
(a story of love in the midst of loss)

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola
(about a Mexican tradition)

The Real Santa Claus by Marianna Mayer
(wonderful illustrations and stories about the real St. Nicholas)

The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
(lovely little story)

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt
(the trees that become the manger, the boat, and the cross)

The Tree of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
(a favorite)

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Uncle Vovo's Tree by Patricia Polacco
(a great Epiphany story--beautiful)

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate
(great board book for little ones)

Young Mary of Nazareth by Marianna Mayer
(great art work but definitely apocryphal in its information)