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As I mentioned in the previous post Ditch the Elf on the Shelf, Alternative Christmas Countdowns, and “Santa is Watching” Traditions we love the Christmas storybook tradition in my house. It fits right in with our daily routine of reading before bedtime. I have one big wrapping session a few days before the first of December and then the kids love having a book to unwrap each night leading up to Christmas. I even add numbers so I am the one in control of which book is opened when!
I compiled this list with all the Christmas stories in our house. I pack them away with the decorations each year. When its time for December first I make sure they are wrapped and under the tree for the kiddos to open one each night. As you may notice I have more than 25 here. That is because some are little baby board books, we are not ready to part with, so some wrap jobs have more than one book inside. I am going to do my best to include Amazon links for all the books if you click on their photo, as well as a little review of each. Some of these are OLD and/or I found in a thrift shop, so we shall see if they can even still be purchased. If there is not a photo link for the book that means Amazon didn’t have it.
1. Advent Storybook 24 Stories to Share Before Christmas
– by Antonie Schneider, illustrated by Maja Duskova This book was given to us by my Aunt. Her kiddos received it from an Aunt and it has been a part of their tradition ever since. I am excited to start reading it each night with my kids this year! The book has a one-page story for each night. It is our first book to open this year and we will be reading from this each night along with the new book. You could just use this for the story tradition if you don’t want to pack away 25 or more books each year.
2. The Christmas Story
– by Jane Werner, illustrated by Eloise Wilkin (Little Golden Book) A retelling of Jesus? birth but this time in Little Golden Book form.
3. Christmas in the Barn
– by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Diane Goode Here we have a very cute and simple version of Jesus? birth. Great illustrations!!!
4. What Star is This?
– by Joseph Slate, illustrated by Alison Jay This book takes a more scientific approach to that same retelling but focuses more on the star in the story.
5. The Little Drummer Boy
– illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats My second favorite Christmas song. I always sing-read it with the kids.
6. This is the Star
– by Joyce Dunbar and Gary Blythe This book is a retelling of Jesus? birth but in a poem-like format with words repeating. It can be compared to the 12 days of Christmas almost.
7. Silent Night
– verse by Joseph Mohr, illustrated by Susan Jeffers My all-time favorite Christmas song. I always sing read this one too. This book has the most beautiful illustrations.
8. Polar Express
– by Chris Van Allsburg
A classic and a must-have in any Christmas library! A little simpler than the Tom Hanks movie recreation.
9. The Night Before Christmas
– by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Douglas Gorsline
Another classic here. There are so many beautiful versions of this little story/poem. I remember reading this most as a kid.?
10. The 12 Days of Christmas
– by Laurel Long and Dial Books (Search and Find)
Everyone knows this poem or song. We have 2 different versions of this book. One is a beautifully illustrated search and find. Each of the previous lines is hidden in the next illustration.
11. The 12 Days of Christmas
– illustrated by Dori Santos (Puzzle Book) A more condensed version with 4 puzzles included in the pages. I could not find this one on Amazon.
12. The Littlest Elf
– by Brandi Douchtery, illustrated by Kirsten Richards Cute little scholastic book club book.
13. The Bear Santa Claus Forgot
– by Diana Kimpton, illustrated by Anna Kiernan This book is long so don?t double up on this night. It reminds me of the Corduroy stories but with Santa.
14. Christmas Cats
– by Jean Mazollo, illustrated by Hans Wilhelm Just super cute cat fun. We all know a cat lover who would enjoy this story of cats preparing for Christmas.
15. When Santa Was a Kid
– by Janice Leotti Bachem, illustrated by Anthony Lewis This story talks about Santa as a Kid and I used it when I taught first grade. The kids can practice sequencing the story, main idea, main characters, setting, and really any comprehension skill you can think of. I like that they see him as a kid who makes mistakes just like they do.
16. Five Busy Elves
– by Patricia Hegarty, illustrated by Julia Woolf A good counting story and it?s from the scholastic book club.
17. Merry Christmas Splat
– by Rob Scolton This is another cute cat Christmas story. He writes his Christmas list to Santa and has a hard time doing it honestly. He also tries to stay awake to see Santa but we know that never works for tired kids or cats.?
18. The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa
– by Stan and Jan Berenstain This story is another classic. It also showcases writing Santa a wish list and shopping for mom and dad.
19. Christmas Lift the Flap Shadow Book
– by Bethany Perkins and Hermoni Edwards with Priddy Books Found this book at the thrift shop. It is a fun surprise to look through and guess the festive Christmas clues under the flaps.
20. A Christmas Carol
– retold by Gaby Goldslack, illustrated by Caroline Pedler Totally a Christmas classic. This story can be very long, and my younger kiddo doesn?t have the patience to sit and listen to it yet. It gets put with one of the board books.
21. It?s Christmas David!
– by David Shannon (My son?s favorite)
This was my son?s favorite author for a little while. I think it was because of the illustrations of him running down the street with no pants. We have all the David books and this one is cute.
22. The Polar Bear Who Saved Christmas
? by Fiona Boon and Clare Fennell A cute little story about a polar bear standing in for a reindeer on Christmas Eve.
– by Marge Palatine, illustrated by Henry Cole A silly story about a papa moose who is way into the season and all decorating traditions, but he forgets the tree! In the end, they use his giant mustache and he stands in for the tree.
24. Christmastime is Here
– Fisher-Price Little People Book with over 50 liftable flaps My kids LOVE this one. I always put it near the end because they want to reread it every night and it?s a lot. You could also use it as an advent calendar- it has one on the last page.
25. Merry Christmas Santa
– by Joanne Barkan, illustrated by Barbara Lanza This one again is a little long but features Santa getting a Christmas gift from the elves. The gift gets switched with a little girl’s gift and one of the elves saves the day and switches it before she notices.
26. Jingle Bells
– by Lathleen N. Daly, illustrated by JP Miller (Little Golden Book) This is a creative take on the song Jingle Bells.
27. The Pokey Little Puppy?s First Christmas
– by Justine Korman, illustrated by Jean Chandler (Little Golden Book) This story is a holiday version of one of my favorite childhood stories. There are counting and cute puppies.
28+29. That?s not my snowman and That?s not my reindeer
– Usborne Books (Linked you to my favorite Usborne Dealer!) These are two of our board books. They have pages to touch and feel different textures. I almost handed them down to my nephew this year, but I know my 3-year-old will still love them!
30. Merry Sparkling Christmas
– by Elizabeth Spurr, illustrated by Colleen Madden This is another board book. Very short with cute illustrations. I am quite sure this was my sons very first Christmas story of his own. Probably will keep this one forever even after it goes out of the rotation.
31. The M+M?s Christmas Gift Book
– by Barbie McGrath and Peggy Tagel Finally, this one is another board book and fun to read with a bag of M+M?s. The pages have little spaces to arrange the candy as you are reading. Please enjoy this big book list I have created for you. The library is a great place to check out books as well! With an extension, you should be able to keep them for the month. I also recommend searching for Christmas books in thrift shops. And of course, you can always follow my links here!