Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Q & A -- favorite Christmas books

I'd love to hear more Christmas book suggestions if you have time to share.

We try to read a Christmas book under the Christmas tree every night once we have our Christmas tree up.  It's trickier and trickier as kids get older but I usually at least have Claire and Lu with me, and I love how it makes our house feel.

Here are some of our very, very favorites (click on the links below them if you want to find where to get them):

I love to kick off Christmas season with that one so we can get in the true spirit of it all.  It is here:  and the artwork is fabulous.  Maybe I need to just figure out how to copy those gorgeous things and hang them on my walls at Christmas.
When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem

I always, without fail cry when I read this one:
Seriously, what an amazing classic.  It is here:  The Gift of the Magi

This one is so fun for the kids...tells all about Santa's workshop and has all these cool little details that fascinate kids:
It is here:  Santa Claus

Great message in this one:
The Mansion

The kids and I read this next one night after night a few years ago.  It's a long one about how Santa began.  So many great spirit-filled nights were spent under the Christmas tree with that one.
 ...back in the days when the kids weren't going in 46 different directions each night and we could just sit and snuggle is here:  The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

Dave's Dad read this classic to them every Christmas Eve growing up.
Now Dave reads it to our kids.

This is an awesome one.  About Santa AND Christ and some similarities.
I Believe in Santa Claus

And, of course, my very favorite that always makes me bawl and my kids look at me with confused smiles while the spirit fills the room.
Christmas Day in the Morning

And how can I not list this one?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas 
Love that Grinch and his heart.

I don't have a picture of The Tale of Three Trees for some reason, but boy howdy, that's one of my very favorites too.  Three trees grow up to be just what they always dreamed, but in a completely different way than they pictured.  All centered around parts of Christ's life

So grateful for great books to bring in the Christmas spirit.  I'd love other suggestions because even though our Christmas book basket by the tree is overflowing you can always use a new great Christmas book:)

Another fav. Christmas tradition we need to get going on is back HERE.


  1. You would love Why Christmas Tree's aren't Perfect by Richard Schneider. Such a wonderful lesson and beautiful pictures, I cry every time.

  2. oh my all time favourite is ' A christmas dress for Ellen' Firstly because it's a true story and from the area where we live, and Pres Monson has the book where he re tells it.. I bawl and bawl every time!!!

  3. One of my favorites is Santa Claustrophobia by Mike Reiss. It's a silly rhyming book that is over the top creative and fun. It always brings tons of giggles when we read it.

  4. We too have a box of Christmas books added to each year since my eldest was born in 1985. Love the ones you share and these others, hopefully they are available on
    Christmas Please; one hundred poems for the festive season
    This is the Star, Joyce Dunbar; lovely for little ones
    The story of Christmas Jane Roy, beautiful illustrations
    Old Father Christmas; Berlie Doherty; set in Edwardian times
    A little house chapter book,Christmas Stories; all the 'little house' Christmases in one place
    The lion Christmas book; excerpts from favorite christmas stories, little women,narnia plus christmas traditions around the world
    The night before Christmas Dorling Kindersley
    And for the adults and older kids
    The Christmas Mystery Jostein Gaarder

  5. For a list of great Christmas books, check out this post with lots of handy links:

  6. If you like Tolkien, get "Letters from Father Christmas." He wrote them to his children every Christmas and included drawings and a letter about life at the North Pole. We like to read a letter or two a night and our kids love the drawings. We love it. We also love The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.

  7. My all time favorite Christmas book is The Little Drummer boy by Ezra Jake Keats!

  8. We do this tradition, but we wrap the books and put them under the tree and every kid rotates to open one. It's an extra step, but it makes it fun before reading at night =)

  9. Our new favorite is "Humphery's first Christmas" by Carol Heyerdahl. Don't forget to do a fantastic voice for Humpherey.

  10. Thank you for sharing! My two sons are young and I want to do this, but don't have a good good collection yet. I figure I might as well start and I bought two of them from this list just now. Hopefully I will have a collection as good as yours over the coming years! Thank you for sharing your wonderful family traditions!

  11. These are all great! I love my basket of Christmas Books under the tree. My favorite is The Light of Christmas written by, Richard Paul Evans.
    My good friend just gave me a book today called, The Life of Our Lord, written by Charles Dickens. It is illustrated by Simon Dewey and it is beautiful - to read and to look at!

  12. Thanks for all the suggestions (and suggestions in the comments). I just put a few on hold through the library and look forward to enjoying them with my family.

    Our family's favorite is "Drummer Boy" by Loren Long. It is a beautifully illustrated book with a wonderful message.

  13. One of our new favorites is GREAT JOY by Kate DiCamillo. It has a beautiful Christmas message about loving everyone around us as the Savior would.

    Great post!

  14. We love Christmas stories! I teach second grade so have collected quite a few. :)

    - Santa's Favourite Christmas Story, Hisako Aoki
    Santa tells a story about how Christmas is not about Santa, it's about Jesus!

    - Itsy Bitsy Christmas, Max Lucado
    - The Legend of the Candy Cane

    - Santa's Aussie Holiday, Maria Farrer
    - An Aussie Night Before Christmas, Yvonne Morrison
    Christmas favourites with an Aussie twist!

    - The Wild Christmas Reindeer, Jan Brett
    Gorgeous illustrations and borders.

    - A Porcupine in a Pine Tree
    Quirky Canadian 12 Days of Christmas!

  15. We love Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson. It's the story of a little mouse who finds a new home at Christmas, but it's occupied by a father, mother, and baby child (nativity). But several times, he keeps taking them out and making it his home, until he hears the Christmas Story and realizes what he's done...and he discovers the true meaning of Christmas! I bet Lucy would LOVE it and it's a great story for older kids too!

  16. My all time favorite is the Christmas miracle of Johnathan Toomey :)

  17. I love a golden book called "The Christmas Tree That Grew". It was my all-time fav growing up.

  18. I noticed Erin posted this already but The Legend of the candy cane is a favorite in this house

  19. I love "Christmas Day in the Morning" too! You might also like "The year of the perfect Christmas Tree" and "B is for Bethlehem". They are two of our very favorites! Beautiful stories with wonderful illustrations and messages!

  20. My daughter is younger than your kids but we also wrap 24 books and put them in a basket under the tree. The Night Before Christmas is obviously for 12/24 but other favorites include:
    Mortimer's Christmas Manger
    The Mitten
    Santa's Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas
    The Christmas Owl
    Bear Stays Up for Christmas
    God Gave Us Christmas

  21. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey...can't read it without crying. Such a good message. Also "If you're missing baby Jesus, Call 7162" I always cry over that one too.

  22. Claude the Dog is one of the sweetest books about giving and sharing with others in need on Christmas. It will make even your teenagers get glassy eyes and want to go volunteer and George Balenchine's The Nutcracker has beautiful photos, the nutcracker story and comes with a beautifully shot DVD of the ballet performance. Both of these were books given to me for Christmas when I was little and I still read them this time of year as an adult.

  23. I love that last picture of you reading to Lucy. That is so sweet. Love all of these recommendations.

  24. One of my favorites is "A Small Miracle" by Peter Collington. There are no words, only pictures, but it's easy to follow the story. The illustrations are beautiful and the story makes me cry. A tender book. It can be hard to find, but my small-town library had a copy and I finally tracked one down to purchase.

  25. Some of our favorites are The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Christmas Oranges, and The Light of Christmas.

    My brother was the model for Joseph in When Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem. I love it, because even though the artist changed things like his hair and eye color and added a beard, his face is my brother's. it is such a beautiful book!

  26. A Night Without Darkness (A Nephite Christmas Story) Can't get through that one without crying!

  27. For years I've loved reading The Christmas Miracle of Johnathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski. So excited that my 4 year old was old enough to follow along and enjoy it this year with me. It's about a woodcarver who lost his wife and child and is gloomy. Through the friendship of a widow and her son they are able to bring happiness back into his life.

  28. Mr Willowby's Christmas Tree. My favorite, hands down! It's SOOO good!!

  29. It's not technically a Christmas story but its my favorite boom to read at Christmas because it is all about giving and love... Boxes for Katja by Candace Fleming.
    Can't wait to try some of these others!

  30. Donkey Daniel in Bethlehem makes me bawl my eyes out!!!! It is a super old book by Arch Books. I found my copy on Amazon, it was used, but the story can never change ;)

  31. We love Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry!


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