I love Christmas! One of our favorite traditions during the Christmas season was to sit down after dinner and read Christmas books. We would buy a new one every year. At times some of our kids would actually ask for a Christmas book instead of a regular book (since we bought them a book every year for Christmas)
Here are some of my favorites and ones I now love to read with my grandkids.
T’was the Night Before Christmas
No list would be complete with this classic. I remember as a child my mom paid me to memorize poems and books and I memorized this entire book (not that its hard – since it’s in poem form)
Although commonly referred to as ’Twas The Night Before Christmas,’ this children’s Christmas poem is actually titled A visit from St. Nicholas. Like many of you I’m sure, reading this on Christmas Eve is a family tradition.
The Polar Express
This tale is about a young boy who is awaken in the middle of the night by a train full of children parked right outside of his house. He is whisked away to the North Pole where is is chosen to choose the first gift of Christmas.
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.” -Chris Van Allsburg
This is one of my favorite books of all – because I also believe that the most real things are things we cannot see. This year I am going to take two of my grandkids on a Snowball Express ride (on an old steam locomotive). I’m pretty excited about it.
Silent Night: The Story of the WWI Christmas Truce
I remember the year we bought this book
“On both sides in 1915 there would be more dead on any single day than yards gained in the entire year. And there would be nearly four more years of attrition — not to determine who was right, but who was left.”―Stanley Weintraub
In 1914 during World War 1, a Christmas truce spontaneously broke out in the trenches. In Silent Night, Stanley Weintraub provides an in-depth analysis of this forgotten Christmas story.
It is such a fascinating story and in the edition we purchased it came with a cassette (yes that does date me) of the story as narrated by Walter Cronkite. This is a must have Christmas tale of a battlefield that for a brief moment chose to put down the guns and celebrate together.
Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
I’ve always loved books where the underdog comes out as the winner in the end. I love the book and song about Rudolph. My kids have always loved to hear the story over and over again.
At the request of the department store Montgomery Ward (I actually worked for them doing on Christmas season) Robert L. May wrote Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer. The story was given out for free to over 2 million children who visited the stores during Christmas time of 1939. Robert’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, saw the popularity of the story and wrote the song we all know and love. From there, the story took off and now we can’t imagine Christmas without our best bud, Rudolph.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
To say I’m a HUGE fan of Dr Seuss would be an understatement. He has such an amazing way of sneaking deep life lessons into each and every book he writes. With the Grinch he demonstrates that Christmas really has to do more with the heart than the checkbook.
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!” ―Dr. Seuss
The Small One
This sweet story of a boy searching for a suitable buyer for his old donkey chooses a man named Joseph who plans to travel to Bethlehem with his wife Mary.
The Light of Christmas
High in the mountains lies the town of Noel, surrounded by beautiful white walls and a great silver gate. Every year Alexander and his mother walk the long distance to Noel to watch the lighting of the village Christmas tree. This year Alexander learns that the Keeper of the Flame will choose the person who has given the truest gift of Christmas to light the flame. On his way to Noel, Alexander helps a poor old man he finds lying in the snow. His act of charity is rewarded when he is chosen to light the Christmas flame.
Mr Willowbys Christmas Tree –
This is a dear favorite of mine that I discovered as a child. It all begins with a rich old man, Mr. Willowby who acquires the biggest Christmas tree he had ever seen.
Unfortunately, the tree is too big, even for his giant mansion. So, he of course has his butler chop off the top of the tree to make it fit. The butler then decides to present the chopped off tree part to his friend, the upstairs maid, who is delighted to have a Christmas tree; but alas, it is too big for her space.
So off goes the top… and so begins a glorious tale of the Christmas tree that keeps on giving. That is probably why it’s one of my favorites at Christmas!
The Tale of Three Trees
This is a sweet story of three trees and their aspirations. What they hoped for with their life and how it became so much more than they ever could’ve dreamed of.
“The next time you feel down because you didn’t get what you want, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you.”
So when my second son came home from school in Kindergarten all excited about a book they read in class I had to get the book. Jingle Bugs is a sweet book about all different sorts of bugs that come around to make your Christmas memorable to fun. But more than anything I just love the memory of that little guys face when he told me the story of this book.
“Jingle Bugs, Jingle Bugs jingle all the way, here’s a merry pop-up book to share on Christmas day.”
These are just a few of my favorites – please comment below on your best loved Christmas books.