The last thing you need is another Gift Guide or holiday bucket list. So here’s a short list of just a few favorite Christmas books. Each family finds their own favorites and maybe you are just dusting yours off from their hibernation in the attic all year. If you’re itching for a new one, though, one of these might be just right.
An Advent Option
Advent books set the pace for the pre-Christmas season and I’ve used a few different ones. If you’re familiar with Ann Voskamp’s style, and like it, you’ll probably enjoy The Greatest Gift. I love her insights into Christmas and the gospel and I found this book most rewarding in some of my darker advent seasons. If you don’t like this option, I do encourage you to pick up an advent book for yourself! Advent activities with the children or as a family build the anticipation together, but a personal quiet time advent study is rewarding in a different way.
A favorite for Tolkien fans
Tolkien fans, rejoice. This collection of letters were written by Tolkien when his own children were small. Each year they received a letter from “Father Christmas” filled with delightful stories of the goings-on at the North Pole. This is no Middle-Earth (sorry: no lembas bread or rings of power coming in your Christmas stocking) but the imaginative story-telling of Tolkien can brighten your December in a fresh way with this sweet collection of Letters from Father Christmas.
A charming family story from Scandinavia
We stumbled upon this gem last year. Christmas in Noisy Village is a sweet little tale about three adjacent farms in Sweden and the children who live there. The drawings are gorgeous and the story is heart-warming. If you fall in love with this like I did, snag a library copy of Springtime in Noisy Village when the weather warms up.
A wordless retelling of the whole Christmas season
Peter Spier is famous for his wordless (or nearly wordless) picture books filled with detailed images. This Christmas picture book is a treasure for children and parents alike. The mounting excitement as Christmas approaches is captured just as poignantly as the exhaustion of cleanup when the holiday season comes to a close. Make time to sit slowly with this one.
A book to singing along with
My kids and I love this edition of The Twelve Days of Christmas by Hilary Knight. Watch as Benjamin brings Bedelia her collection of gifts each day. Get glimpses inside her house as she turns pears into pear jam, makes ice cream with the milk from the maids a-milking, and sends out invitations via the turtle doves. Plus, watch a side-story unfold on each page as you watch the mischievous raccoon. Beautifully illustrated, this book may become a fast favorite.