One of my favorite memories from growing up is cuddling with my mom next to our Christmas tree and having her read "Twas The Night Before Christmas" out loud to me. Even as I grew up and learned to read on my own, I still insisted she read to me.
Sharing that book with my kids was something truly special and, over time, we added even more Christmas books to our must-read lists. Here are some of our favorites!
Twas the Night Before Christmas - Clement Clarke Moore
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Dr. Seuss
This heartwarming story about the effects of the Christmas spirit will grow even the coldest and smallest of hearts. Like mistletoe, candy canes, and caroling, the Grinch is a mainstay of the holidays, and his story is the perfect gift for young and old.
The Littlest Elf - Brandi Dougherty
Oliver may be the littlest elf in the North Pole, but he has a big desire to discover his very special job in Santa's workshop! But after getting lost in the toy shop, making a mess at the book shop, and falling in the mixing machine at the bakery, is the littlest elf just too little?
The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole.
How Santa Got His Job - Stephen Krensky
When Santa was young and needed a job, no one was looking for a man in a red suit to deliver gifts on Christmas. So Santa tried just about everything -- from a chimney sweep to a postman to a circus performer. But none of these worked out. It wasn't until he met a group of elves who helped him use all his special talents, that Santa was able to find his dream job.
The Christmas Owl - Angela Muse
A barred owl becomes injured and must ask others for help. He promises to give back to those who have a generous heart and he is true to his word.
Bear Stays Up for Christmas - Karma Wilson
Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up—by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents of all!
The Christmas Wish - Lori Evert
Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa's elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. A generous trim-size, matte cover, extraordinary photographs, and foiled title make this a special book for the holiday season.
A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas - Philip Yates
A witty re-imagining of “The Twelve Days of Christmas”—with a sly buccaneer twist. A brave cabin boy receives marvelously mysterious gifts for each of the 12 days he is left alone to guard the pirate ship.
The Elf on the Shelf - Bell Chanda and Carol V. Aebersold
The Elf on the Shelf tells the little-known story of the North Pole birthday tradition.
Reindeer Christmas - Mark Kimball Moulton
Late one snowy winter evening, two young children and their grandmother happen upon a weak and weary deer while feeding the animals in the forest. Together the children care for the deer and warm him by the fire until he is back to health, completely unaware of the surprise that awaits them on Christmas morning!
Llama Llama Holiday Drama - Anna Dewdney
If there's one thing Llama Llama doesn't like, it's waiting. He and Mama Llama rush around, shopping for presents, baking cookies, decorating the tree . . . but how long is it until Christmas? Will it ever come? Finally, Llama Llama just can't wait anymore! It takes a cuddle from Mama Llama to remind him that "Gifts are nice, but there's another: The true gift is, we have each other."
A Bad Kitty Christmas - Nick Bruel
A greedy Bad Kitty didn't get all the presents she wanted for Christmas, but after she goes on a Christmas caper across town and through multiple alphabets, she makes a new friend, finds an old friend, and learns the true meaning of Christmas. Or not.
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas - Natasha Wing
It's December 23, and Christmas is just around the corner. But one family is having trouble getting its act together. Once again, Natasha Wing follows the rhythms and meter of the classic Christmas poem, yet gives it her own entirely original twist, while paying homage to The Night Before Christmas.
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree - Colleen Monroe
This charming tale of an overgrown pine always being passed by for Christmas, and what his woodland friends do to help him, is sure to become a Christmas classic.
Snowmen at Christmas - Caralyn Buehner
Snowmen at Night shared with us the magical, slip-sliding adventures of snowmen after dark . . . but have you ever wondered what snowmen do for Christmas? Well, now’s your chance to find out! The snowmen are back, and this time they’re celebrating Christmas—the snowman way!
What is your favorite Christmas books to read with your kids?