Our Favorite Christmas Books

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Non-Santa, Non-Jesus, But Still Fun

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Hilary Knight // Imagine if your true love really did give you all those gifts! Whew! The illustrations in this one are outstanding.

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry // A giant tree becomes a Christmas tree for more than just Mr. Willowby!

Fancy Nancy Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O’Connor // Fancy Nancy books are always more family than fanciness. I love this sweet grandfather/granddaughter story.

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff // Typical If You… fun at Christmas time!

Christmas Magic by Michael Garland // Two snowpeople experience some Christmas magic! (This is not my favorite book but my kids LOVE it!)


Dream Snow by Eric Carle // A farmer (dressed in red and white) tends to his farm animals on Christmas. Includes clear pages and lights and music!

The Christmas Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood // adorable animals experience a quiet Christmas (“hoping for a snow day quiet”, “writing letters to Santa quiet”)

Bear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma Wilson // Bear and his friends try to stay up for Christmas morning. (Santa isn’t seen, just his presents the next day.)

You are My Miracle by Maryann Cusimano Love // A sweet love-letter from parent to child at Christmas.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia Scarry // A little bear experiences all the smells of Christmas–you do, too with scratch-and-sniff stickers! (Santa is seen in this one, but is not the main point of the story.)

Merry Christmas, Ollie! by Olivier Dunrea // A duck and his friends wait for Father Christmas Goose.

A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates // A funny retelling including Sir Peggedy and his eight giant seahorses.

Non-Santa, Kinda Not About Jesus, But Kinda Still About Jesus

The Christmas House by Carol Bullman // Busy neighbors are drawn to a young couple’s home (and their baby).

17 Christmases by Dandi Daley Mackall // A family travels the country to visit allllll their family during Christmas.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski // A grumpy old man is loved on by a widow and her son as he carves a Nativity scene for them.

The Pine Tree Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs // A farmer’s wife gives her favorite Christmas tree on the farm to a needy family.

Merry Creature Christmas by Dandi Daley Mackall // Forest friends have a Christmas celebration in the woods and try not to wake the mean old bear.

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson // Mortimer the mouse discovers a funny little mouse-sized house at Christmas. He’s not a fan of the inhabitants until he learns who they are.

Stories about Christmas Symbols and Traditions

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg // A little girl meets a candy maker and learns the legend of the candy cane.

Jesus, Me, and My Christmas Tree by Crystal Bowman // Part of a series of board books about the symbols of Christmas.

J is for Jesus by Crystal Bowman

A Star for Jesus by Crystal Bowman

My Christmas Gift by Crystal Bowman

Christmas Books With Prophecy, Teaching or are Just SO GOOD You Should Totally Own Them

What's In The Bible

Christmas Love Letters from God Bible Stories by Glenys Nellist // goes through each of the main characters and then has a love letter in God’s voice at the end of each page.

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones // One of the best books to show God’s majesty. (Also, if you don’t own Sally Lloyd-Jones’ Jesus Storybook Bible, YOU MUST.) Both of these hardcover booksare on sale for UNDER $5 on Amazon today, 12/15!

The Wonder of Christmas by Dandi Daley Mackall // Maybe my favorite Christmas book ever. Turns a simple Christmas play into declarations to follow God.

Why Do We Call It Christmas? by Phil Vischer // I could talk about this book forever. Oh. I already did.

Ordinary Baby Extraordinary Gift by Gloria Gaither // A song set inside a book with lots of great truth about WHY Jesus came.

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Hunt // This book ties in all of Christmas AND Easter. Must have.

Born on Christmas Morn by Melinda Kay Busch // A simple little paperback telling the Nativity story but it ends at the cross & resurrection!

The Christmas Promise by Alison Mitchell // I love this author so much! This story is the nativity story but told thru the lens of God’s promises to the people of Israel–and how the Messiah would come as a new, rescuing, forever King! (also: the companion sticker Advent Calendar and Activity Book)

The Ballad of Matthew’s Begats by Andrew Peterson is based on his CD, Behold the Lamb. And if you do not own that CD, you must have it! It tells the whole story of Jesus–from Passover in Egypt to the Passover before the Crucifixion. Absolutely an essential part of Christmas!

 Nativity Stories

A Night of Great Joy by Mary Engelbreit // children in a play act out the first Christmas.

The Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel by Mike Berenstain // The Bear family learns about angels in the Christmas story.

The Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes // The characters of the Christmas story tell their part in the first person.

Christmas in the Stable by Astrid Lindgren // A mother tells her daughter the story of the first Christmas. The little girl sees it in her own time and location. Very cool retelling.

Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate // A sweet board book about animals in the stable waiting for Mary and Joseph.

A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck // A little boy tells everyone in his toy manger scene goodnight.

The Christmas Story (Peek a Bible: A Lift the Flap Book) by Tracy Harrast // A simple retelling of the Nativity with flaps and fun cartoon illustrations.

m is for manger by crystal bowman .

The Very First Christmas by Jan and Mike Berenstain // The first Christmas as shown by the Berenstain Bears. Sticks close to Scripture!

Goodnight Manger by Laura Sassi // A funny interpretation of how noisy the stable must have been!

Listen to the Silent Night by Dandi Daley Mackall // Another story about the noises of the first Christmas.

M is for Manger by Crystal Bowman // Not technically a story, it’s an ABC re-telling of the Christmas story. Beautiful and perfect for preschoolers.

Stories about Giving

A Royal Christmas to Remember by Jeanna Young & Jacqueline Johnson // Thieves steal from the villagers so the five princesses give their Christmas gifts to the villagers.

Annika’s Secret Wish by Beverly Lewis // Set in turn-of-the-century Sweden, Annika hopes to find the almond in her Christmas pudding. Instead, she learns it’s more blessed to give than to receive.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, illustrated by PJ Lynch // a favorite beautifully illustrated by PJ Lynch

The Three Gifts of Christmas by Jennie Bishop // A selfish Princess receives only three gifts for Christmas and then learns about giving to others.

The King’s Christmas List by Eldon Johnson // A little girl learns how to give to Jesus at Christmas. The illustrations are kinda weird but this book has set up our favorite Christmas tradition.

And a couple more non-Christmasy books you should own:

I AM: 40 Reasons to Trust God by Diane Stortz // not a Christmas book but a great devotional for the names of God. Perfect for Day 2 of Truth in the Tinsel!

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones // The byline of this book is, “every story whispers his name”. This whole book seems Christmasy because it is all leading to the coming of our King! MUST OWN.

The One o’Clock Miracle by Alison Mitchell // Story of a father’s faith in Jesus’ promise to heal his son.

The Garden, the Curtain and the Cross by Alison Mitchell // This book shows how sin kept us out of the Garden and the Holy of Holies but Jesus came to bring us back in.

The Storm that Stopped by Alison Mitchell // A powerful retelling of Jesus calming the storm.

Ultimate List of Christmas Books for Kids & Grown Ups Who Love Christmas

More of my favorite books & gift guides—>
best-books-for-under-your-tree  best devotionals for kids and families: gift guide

photo copyright: maglara / 123RF Stock Photo


  1. Great list of titles here, but you are missing one of my favourites!
    The Third Gift / Linda Sue Park

  2. The Night Tree by Eve Bunting, Snowmen at Christmas by Carolyn Buchner and The Crippled Lamb need to be on your list too!! Merry Christmas!

  3. Thanks for this great list! There are lots here I’m yet to check out. Here are a few gems I’ve discovered recently:
    Wombat Devine by Mem Fox – a sweet nativity play story by a beloved Australian author.
    The Nativity illustrated by Julie Vivas – the Christmas story beautifully illustrated, with text straight from the Bible.
    Jesus’ Christmas Party by Nicholas Allan – a fun take on the Christmas story, told from the perspective of the innkeeper (who liked nothing more than a good night’s sleep!).
    The Lion, the Unicorn and Me by Jeanette Winterson – this Christmas story is aimed higher age-wise (as well as an illustrated version, it’s included in a book of short stories for adults) but my young kids still enjoy it and I think it’s amazing.
    The Nutcracker: A Magical Theatre Book by Geraldine McCaughrean – gorgeous moving cut-paper scenes and a beautiful retelling of the story.
    Stories from the Bible: 17 treasured tales from the world’s greatest book by Kathleen Long Bostrom – not strictly a Christmas book, but it has the Christmas story, with lovely illustrations and exquisite storytelling.

    I also like to read the story of Saint Nicholas! The one we have is Saint Nicholas: The story of the real Santa Claus by Mary Joslin.

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