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Must-Have Christmas Books



books-2-2I have an entire stack of Christmas books sitting by my tree every year, and they’re one of my favorite parts about this holiday. My mom started buying a new Christmas book for me every year, and every year we’d read one together…or two…or five. The stories ranged from the Legend of the Candy Cane to heartfelt stories about giving gifts to those who need them the most during Christmas. It taught me a lot about the true meaning of Christmas and about the heart that’s behind it. Here’s a list of great books (Amazon synopsis for each is included) that you can add to your Christmas book collection and even pass down to your friends, kids, grandkids, or the people you care most about.


Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story
Cynthia Rylant

In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift a very special gift will be tossed to him from that train. It is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season.


Christmas Day In The Morning
Pearl S. Buck

Rob wants to get his father something special for Christmas this year — something that shows how much he really loves him. But it’s Christmas Eve, and he doesn’t have much money to spend. What could he possibly get? Suddenly, Rob thinks of the best gift of all…


A Charlie Brown Christmas
Charles Schultz

In the holiday classic TV special A Charlie Brown Christmas, the Peanuts gang learns the true meaning of Christmas from a scraggly old tree. In this interactive edition of the story, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and friends come to life with the help of sound prompts that allow readers to listen to the unforgettable dialogue and music we love.


Grandfather’s Christmas Camp
Marc McCutcheon

When Grandfather’s three-legged dog, Mr. Biggins, disappears on Christmas Eve, Lizzie and her grandfather go up the mountain to find him.


The Puppy Who Wanted A Boy
Jane Thayer

Petey the puppy has one wish for Christmas: to have a boy of his very own. But boys are in short supply this year, and he can’t seem to find one who is just right!


The Christmas Day Kitten
James Herriot

The famous veterinarian/writer shares the true story of how an independent-minded stray cat gives a woman and her three Basset hounds a Christmas present.


The Polar Express
Chris Van Allsburg

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.


The Jolly Christmas Postman
Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Jolly Postman rides again with more real letters, and presents, too, in his Christmas postbag.


The Quiet Little Woman
Louisa May Alcott

Patty’s life in an orphanage is a dark world with little hope, beauty, or love. Even after a family finally does come for Patty, it is only because they need a servant. But there is one person who does care about her. And soon Patty’s life will never be the same.


The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.

(Quick side note from Anne: I like this version best because of the illustrations, but you could get the anniversary edition which includes a new note from the author and an audio narration by James Earl Jones available as a complimentary download.)


The Legend of the Candy Cane

Pat Matuszak and Lori Walburg

Introduce little ones to a best-selling story in The Legend of the Candy Cane Board Book. Adapted from the original book just for children ages 4 and under, the youngest child can now discover an inspiring story of hope that reveals the Christian symbolism of a favorite Christmas candy—the candy cane.


The Legend of the Christmas Tree
Rick Osborne and Pat Matuszak

On a visit to a tree lot, the Johnson family sees three beautifully decorated trees standing in the center of the lot. A mysterious silver gift-wrapped box is under one of the trees. The old lot owner notices their intrigue and what he tells them, not only marks the beginning of a new family tradition, but also brings meaning and understanding into their Christmas celebration. In The Legend of the Christmas Tree, children ages 4 to 8 will discover the wonderful story of how the evergreen tree first became a symbol of Christmas and a way to tell people about God. The beautiful illustrations by Bill Dodge add a wonderful richness to the story and help bring meaning to one of our best-loved traditions—decorating the Christmas tree.


The Legend of the Christmas Stocking
James Griffin

This wonderful Christmas tale, set in the late 1800s, shares the touching story of a young boy named Peter. He sells newspapers to help his family while his father is away at sea, and he’s been saving a bit of his earnings to buy a model schooner in the woodworker’s shop. But after Uncle Jim, the woodworker, tells him the story of St. Nicholas, Peter discovers the meaning behind the hanging and filling of Christmas stockings and learns a heartfelt lesson in kindness and generosity. Filled with the rich, realistic illustrations of Jim Griffin, children ages 4 to 8 will discover the depth of God’s love shown through others as they learn
the Christian meaning revealed in The Legend of the Christmas Stocking.


That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Christmas books, so if you have some that you’d love to add to the list, please comment below. I’d love to add some new books to my collection! Merry Christmas 🙂


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