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All the Best Christmas Books for Kids

Reading books together is one of the most wonderful parts of Christmas!

Christmas is a time of loved ones, togetherness, and joy. And what better way to embrace all that happiness than with a good book?

The Christmas season offers endless Christmas-themed books perfect for gifting. From classic Dicken’s to modern sweet construction site machinery celebrating Christmas, there is truly something for every audience.

Part of the joy of the Christmas holiday is that warm, tender togetherness, and reading aloud creates special moments remembered throughout the year. Snuggled by a fire, The Grinch comes to life! Reading about Santa at bedtime takes on a whole new meaning as Christmas nears. Think of all the happy memories that can be created by sharing a story together as a family.

Whether you’re looking for something whimsical, classic, religious, educational or something just plain entertaining, Christmas books are here for the rescue!

The Best Christmas Books for Kids

In the spirit of the most wonderful time of the year, we’ve put together a list of the best new kids’ Christmas books that capture the holiday magic. We know you’ll love our Christmas Books booklist!

It’s holiday shopping time! Hopefully you’re planing to #GiveBooks to the children in your life. Nothing beats the gift of reading. Look no further than these hand-picked book lists.

The History of Giving Books at Christmas

Everyone knows that modern gift-giving has become a bit…commercialized. Books are often cast aside as the boring gift, or the gift you get from your nerdy Aunt who really wished you read more literary fiction. But did you know that modern gift-giving started with the book industry?

The book industry began advertising books as gifts for the Christmas holiday in the 1820’s. Within fifty years, the market for “gifting” books had grown so much that there were gift books for nearly every interest, age and political persuasion. Sound familiar? Walk through any bookstore during the holiday season and you’ll find packaged boxed sets ready for a bow of classics and new bestsellers, and you might think, even books have succumbed to capitalist notions of Christmas gift haul! But, as it turns out, gifting books isn’t such a new concept, after all.

Giving bookish gifts was even popular as far back as the middle ages, when richly drawn manuscripts were given as tokens of love and affection. There is even evidence of writings being given as gifts as far back as the Romans. So go ahead—be that family member who sends the nieces and nephews books. You’re in good company! And we know you’ll find an excellent source below for the perfect Christmas book to give.

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Christmas Book Classics: The Most Famous Christmas Books

You can’t talk about Christmas and books without thinking of Dickens. His iconic masterpiece, A Christmas Carol, has defined Christmas for generations of fans. It is so ingrained in our western cultural conscience that everyone from the Muppets, to Mickey, to Bill Murray in the 1980’s classic, SCROOGED have reimagined it. With a much more interesting history, A Christmas Carol is a wonderful book to read during the Christmas season.

But don’t forget the other classics. The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, by E.T.A. Hoffman (or the story retold by Alexandre Dumas), is beloved the world over and has gone on to become the iconic Christmas ballet, Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker, beloved by children.

Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express is a wonderful tale the captivates the entire family, as is O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi. Then there are the silly, but no less loved classics, like Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Prepare for the children to demand you read the story again, and again…but, you’ll be delighted to. It’s hard not to fall in love with the sour Grinch and his dog Max.

And last, but certainly not least, is the poem that nearly everyone has at least partially memorized (remember the reindeer names!): The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore. Did you know the poem was originally titled A Visit from St. Nicholas?

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Christmas Book Read Alouds to Share Together

Those classics are wonderful, to be sure, but what about newer favorites that the whole family can enjoy? 

Reading aloud to the family creates a warm, bonding environment. Children can experience the wonder and magic of the Christmas season through stories and learn lessons about kindness and empathy. Selecting fun and heartwarming books to read aloud to your family ensure warm, special memories of Christmas time and togetherness. Plus, you’ll be increasing language acquisition in young children, expanding vocabularies of elementary students, and broadening concepts of the world and history for older children. Who said Christmas books couldn’t have a little learning, too? 

But most of all, you’ll be creating moments of bonding and sweet memories. Some wonderful newer books for reading aloud include Clifford’s Christmas, by Norman Bridwell, How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas? by Jane Yolen, The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert and The Crayon’s Christmas by Drew Daywalt. Other fun stories include I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison, The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston and Caldecott medalist illustrator Barbara Cooney, and The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola.

And don’t forget to stop by your local library and check out the holiday section. You might find a new story you’ve never heard of that can quickly become your family’s new favorite Christmas story!

Favorite Christmas Books to Love and Share

Christmas is the season of giving and loved ones. Bond as a family over shared read-a-louds with a new favorite Christmas story, or enjoy a new book picked out together as a family. Take those quiet moments together to remember that the Christmas season is about being together.

And if you can’t be together, consider sending your love with a book. Family and friends can bond across the miles reading the same book, like The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. How much fun would it be to read together over the phone, or talk about it later in a video chat? 

Sharing favorites with the next generation is always a wonderful gift giving idea. A beautiful copy of The Nutcracker to a budding ballerina would be a fantastic gift. Or gift a copy of Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker for the kid who can’t get enough heavy equipment.

There is no limit to the amount of adorable, genuinely wonderful Christmas books you can purchase or borrow from the library. With themes for every type of person and categories for every reader, there is truly a perfect Christmas book match for every person. Whether you purchase the books for your family or as gifts, or are borrowing them from the public library to read and enjoy together at home, books are the perfect addition to the Christmas season.

Here are some more Christmas book lists to get you on your way:

Even More Christmas Books for Kids

This article, All the Best Christmas Books for Kids, was written by Denise Mealy.

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