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Must Read Christmas Books for Kids

by | Nov 15, 2021 | holidays, reading | 29 comments

There are so many wonderful Christmas books available for children. I recently searched “Christmas books for children” on Amazon and found over 40,000 books! With so many books available, it’s hard to know where to start! To help you narrow down the choices available, I’ve put together this list of 20 Christmas books for kids. I’ve mostly chosen books that focus on Christ and the true meaning of Christmas or teach a valuable lesson. I’ve also included several timeless classics.

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Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

It’s Christmastime, and Mortimer Mouse is unhappy in his cramped, cold hole. While looking for a new home, he spies a nativity scene that seems just right for him. He moves the statues out and settles into the manger. When he hears the Christmas story being told, he realizes that the statues are of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. He returns everything to its rightful place, and a Christmas miracle occurs.


The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Elena Pasquali

Three trees dream of what they will become, but it seems like their dreams are over when they are felled. However, as each tree is crafted into a new item–a manger, a fishing boat, and a rugged cross–it becomes clear that they have an even more important purpose.


The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is lonely and never smiles. One day a widow and her son come to his door and ask him to carve some nativity figures. The resulting nativity scene and softening of Jonathan’s heart are a Christmas miracle.


The Mismatched Nativity by Merrilee Boyack

Joshua feels lonely and homesick after a cross country move. His new classmates take turns bringing him different pieces of a nativity set and offer their friendship by doing something to show how much they care.


Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

On Christmas Eve, a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift. The boy rose extra early to do his father’s biggest chore, the milking.


The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

In this story, a mysterious man rides into a small prairie town and settles down in an abandoned storefront. Lucy, a young girl, befriends the newcomer. He shares the legend of the candy cane with her. Together they share the legend with the town and bring everyone together in joyful celebration.


The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

Joshua is a lamb with a crippled leg who feels left out because he can’t run and play like the other lambs. Though Joshua feels sad, God shows him that He has a purpose for everyone’s life. Joshua’s prayers are answered in an amazing way on Christmas Day.


The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore

This classic poem tells the story of a father’s surprise encounter with St. Nicholas on Christmas Eve. Along with his eight reindeer, St. Nick has arrived to fill the family’s stockings with toys. His short visit fills the silent house with joy and wonder.


Christmas Prayer by Rian Anderson

On Christmas Eve in 1881, fifteen-year-old Matt’s father uses money intended for buying Matt a rifle to help a needy widow and her young children. The widow’s Christmas prayer is answered, and Matt learns that the best gifts are those that are given.


Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

When a leak damages the sacristy wall in his father’s church, Jonathan thinks the Christmas Eve service will be ruined. Fortunately, he and his father find a beautiful tapestry, perfect for covering the damaged wall. But then, an old Jewish woman recognizes the tapestry, leading to a real miracle on Christmas Eve.


Santa’s Favorite Story by Hisako Aoki

When Santa Claus tells the forest animals he is not looking forward to delivering all the heavy Christmas packages, they are worried that there won’t be a Christmas anymore. To help them understand that Christmas would still come even if he didn’t, Santa tells the story of the first Christmas. The animals learn the true meaning of the holiday.


Annika’s Christmas Wish by Beverly Lewis

In turn-of-the-century Sweden, finding the almond hidden in the rice pudding is the Christmas Eve highlight for many children, because it means a chance to make a wish. Annika has dreamed of finding the almond for her entire life. When she finally discovers that long-awaited almond will she keep it for herself or let someone else have the wish?


The Twelve Days of Christmas by Emma Randall

This beautifully illustrated book brings the lyrics of the classic Christmas carol to life. The carol has twelve verses, each describing a gift given by “my true love” on one of the twelve days of Christmas.


The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

In 1918, in the Appalachian Mountains, young Ruthie has a Christmas she’ll never forget. With her father off fighting in the Great War, Ruthie and her mother must figure out how to honor their family’s promise to provide the perfect Christmas tree for the village church.


Jotham’s Journey: A Storybook for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide

Jotham, a ten-year-old boy, journeys across Israel in search of his family. Though he faces thieves, robbers, and kidnappers, Jotham also encounters the wise men, shepherds, and innkeepers until at last, he finds his way to the Savior born in Bethlehem.


Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

Maria helps her mother make tamales for the Christmas meal. When her mother leaves the kitchen for a moment, she tries on her mother’s ring. Later, Maria realizes the ring is missing. Thinking she lost it in the tamales, she gets her cousins to help her eat all the tamales. Maria learns that it’s better to tell the truth than try to cover up a problem.


The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

When Tricia visits her closest neighbors, she expects to find them decorating their house for Christmas. Instead, they are all bedridden with scarlet fever. It’s difficult for Tricia’s family to enjoy their Hanukkah feast, knowing their neighbors won’t be able to celebrate their holiday, so they plan a surprise for them.


The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

Husband Jim and wife Della long to give each other Christmas gifts, but they can’t afford to. Each of them makes a significant sacrifice to get the other a gift. As a result, their love grows stronger, and they realize that true gifts don’t come from a store.


One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham

A mountain boy who is injured in a snowstorm seeks refuge in a cabin. While he waits out the storm, the woman who lives there tells him the Christmas story from Creation to Resurrection.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

The Grinch, a grumpy and solitary creature, attempts to stop Christmas by stealing all of the Christmas gifts, decorations, and food from Whoville on Christmas Eve.  But Christmas still comes, and the Grinch learns that Christmas is about more than these things.


More Christmas Learning & Fun

Free Christmas Around the World Unit Studies – This unit study series includes Australia, Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, and Sweden. Each unit study lasts five days. Other than a recipe on the 5th day, they require zero prep or purchases. There are no books to buy; everything is free online.

Free Advent Activities – This post lists numerous ideas for celebrating the Advent season with your children. There are daily Bible readings, crafts, printable Advent calendars, and other activities.


Christmas Books for Kids

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