I have to admit that as of the evening of November 30, I still didn't have any of the books wrapped and was almost ready to pop the unwrapped books in a basket. BUT a mama friend and two sweet little friends jumped right in at knitting night and wrapped those books up in record time.
When I posted a picture on my instagram, I had lots of requests for my book list so I said I'd try to get a post up of our favorites. As you'll see, it was hard to choose. There are some incredibly gorgeous Christmas books, both illustrations and writing. Some are more overtly focused on the story of Christmas and the Christ Child as that is our belief and tradition but I would say usually in a beautifully written way. Many of the books we most enjoy are on the traditions and culture of Christmas; the girls especially love stories of the "old ways" as you'll see. We also include St Nicholas in our tradition rather than Santa so there's not much in our book list with the newer Jolly ol' fella. We've also got some seasonal/wintery favorites that make this list as well. I'll share them through Amazon links as way to get a good look at each one if you'd like.
The Story of Holly & Ivy by Rumor Godden & Barbara Cooney
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston & Barbara Cooney
Becky's Christmas by Tasha Tudor
Christmas Farm by Mary-lyn Ray
Silver packages by Cynthia Rylant
Pioneer Christmas; Celebrating Backwoods by Barbara Greenwood
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo & Bagram Ibatoulline
Song of the Stars by Sally Loyd Jones
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
Christmas Stable by Astrid Lingren
Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl Buck
The Polar Express by Chris Allsberg
A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe
The Bakers Dozen; A St Nicholas Tale by Aaron Shepard
The Yule Tomte & the Little Rabbits by Ulf Stark
A Calf for Christmas by Astrid Lingren
Silent Night, Holy Night by Werner Thuswaldner & Robert Ingpen
The Visit by Mark Kimball
An Early American Christmas by Tomie DePaola
Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect by Richard Schneider
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado
A Time to Keep; A book of Holidays by Tasha Tudor
By Trisha Romance A Star for Christmas [Hardcover]
Many of the Jan Brett books are absolutely lovely as are many by Tasha Tudor as well as Tomie DePaola, it would just take to much time to list all of them them.
For Younger Children:
Stopping By Woods on a Wintry Evening by Robert Frost & Susan Jeffers
The Winter Barn by Dorothy Ripley
Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson
Mortimers Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson
Animals Christmas Eve by Gail Wiersum
We haven't read a lot of Christmas chapter books yet but this year we will read A Christmas Carol together and last year, we read The Family Under the Bridge. Many chapter books have a section about Christmas that we have read through out the year so I'll give a list of those that I think of.
The Family Under The Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson
The Bird's Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggins (Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm also has Christmas Chapters that I loved as a kid.)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens & illustrated by Roberto Innocenti
Laura Ingalls Wilder books all have at least one Christmas chapter. For younger children, the best ones are Little House in the Big Woods, Little House on the Prairie and On the Banks of Plum Creek. **Just a little warning, should you read the entire books, there is some very overt racism in these books (especially Little House on The Prairie) that you may choose to skip or talk about. For us, its been a good chance to address some of the very wrong ways that specific groups of people have been treated in the past and currently and how racist attitudes are present even in people who seem really great and kind (this can include ourselves.**
I'd love to hear some of your favorite Christmas books. What is your family enjoying this year?