10 Classic Children’s Christmas Books

As the holidays approach, everything starts to look like Christmas. The tree comes out, the lights go up, old Christmas favorites start being played on the radio, and you find out that you need to buy more wrapping paper.

A Christmas Carol is one of the most popular children’s Christmas books. Photo Credit: Roco Julie at Flickr.

If you have a young or growing family, you might find yourself having to celebrate Christmas with young children for the first time. You might have extended family with this problem, or you might just be feeling nostalgic for a child’s view of Christmas. How do you kindle the wonder and joy? Classic Christmas books are a great way!

Here are 10 classic children’s Christmas books to help you and your family start off the holiday season.

1) The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

Photo Credit: Amazon.com.

This beloved book is a quiet and sweet look into a small family’s Christmas. Every year, the father of a small boy with a lame leg digs up a little fir tree to put in his room and decorate. After the holiday is past, his father plants the tree back in its meadow. As years pass, things change and the little fir tree grows lonely. However, the Christmas celebration comes to the tree. The illustrations are lovely and old-fashioned. It’s a really sweet story that makes for a wonderful holiday book to read to children. Buy this book here.

2) The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore

This Christmas classic poem has become a part of the culture. Its description of Santa and its names for the reindeer have become the standard. You can find this classic poem in many forms. It has been a song and sections of it can be found on Christmas ornaments. An illustrated, hardcover edition of the poem as a book is a must-have for families. It’s a great book to read on Christmas Eve, encouraging excited little ones to settle down and (try to) sleep before the big day.

3) The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

The wild Herdman children run amok all over the church’s traditional Christmas pageant. The normal hustle and bustle is all disrupted in hilarious ways. Despite—or rather, because—of this, everyone learns the deeper meaning of Christmas. This book is a refreshing take on Christmas, timeless but lively. If you’ve ever been involved in the organization of Christmas festivities, you’ll find it particularly funny, and there’s nothing kids enjoy hearing about more than other kids causing chaos for adults. The touching, wonderful message at the end cements the book’s place as a Christmas classic beloved by both children and adults.

4) The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

While The Polar Express movie is a delight, the book is a beautiful, quiet classic that helps children know the true magic of Christmas. A young boy finds himself given a great opportunity to take a trip to the North Pole one Christmas Eve. He finds himself in a world of wonder during the train ride to the North Pole and gets a chance to make a special Christmas wish.  The illustrations are timeless and the message is a beautiful one for adults and children to share.

5) The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett

Teeka the little girl elf is busy getting the reindeer ready for Santa’s Christmas Eve flight for the first time. She finds that yelling only makes things harder, so she has to find a different tactic. The illustrations in this book are amazing. It’s a different take on Christmas imagery, carefully detailed and strikingly charming. The story is a bit more complex than young children can understand, but it’s a very good message for children who have probably had to deal with getting others to do things. The lovely illustrations and new additions to the mythology of Santa Claus make a wonderful addition to a family’s Christmas books. Buy here.

6) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Christmas Carol has become such a part of modern Christmas traditions that almost every televisions show has done a version of it. It’s a very short novel, but the language can be a bit difficult. If you can do voices while reading out loud, however, this can be a lot of fun to read to children over a few nights.

7) A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown

Get into the spirit of Christmas alongside a curious cat. This cat is enchanted by the snow and the decorations of Christmas. As you read, you’ll find yourself remembering how amazing the holiday atmosphere is. The lovely illustrations will sweep you into a new world of wonder. If your family has a cat, especially one that looks like the book’s cat, it will be extremely special. Pick up this book for a charming look at the Christmas atmosphere.

8) Olive, the Other Reindeer by Vivian Walsh and J. Otto Seibold

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen and Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen but do you recall…Olive, the Other Reindeer? A dog named Olive has heard the song about Rudolph, and heard her name (all-of the other reindeer). She takes a trip to the North Pole to take her place pulling Santa’s sleigh. It turns out she is just what the North Pole needs. This book is very charming and is a delight for children. Who hasn’t wondered about Olive, the other reindeer? This book is clever take on a small line in the classic song, based on the author’s Jack Russel Terrier Pick it up for a fun read.

9) Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr

A cat wonders what all these new sights, sounds, and smells are about. It’s strange and kind of scary, but she quickly finds out that it’s all about Christmas, and her family wants her as a part of the joy. It’s a silly, fun book with beautiful illustrations. Pick it up to see just what trouble a cat can bring to Christmas. Do you want to collect this book? Check it out here then.

10) Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs

This is a fun look at Santa with some amazing art. You get to join Santa on his busiest and longest day of the year. It’s a funnier take on Santa traditions and is very fun for both adults and children. After all, squeezing down chimneys isn’t always easy for a large man. The book “Father Christmas” brings a reality to Santa, making him seem very much like the adults children know and love. The fun touches and charming illustrations make it a must-read for the Christmas season. In fact, this book makes a great Christmas gift for your little ones.

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