I just pulled a whole canvas tote bag out of the closet that contained all the Christmas books I used to read to my two sons. I saved them all just like I saved all their old Halloween books. We spent many nights in the weeks before Christmas reading these books as bedtime stories. They’re all sentimental and some of them are worn from so much reading. They’re all keepers, but it’s time to pack them up and get them out of the closet (did I mention my sons are both in college?). Here are some of my favorites.
1. The Night Before Christmas-– by Clement C. Moore
A friend I worked with gave me this version of The Night Before Christmas when my oldest son was just two years old. It’s one of my favorite versions and I love the vintage illustrations. It was always a tradition to read this on Christmas Eve!
2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas— by Dr. Seuss
Who doesn’t love the grouchy Grinch? I think this book can teach us all something about the commercialization of Christmas. Definitely one of my favorites.
3. Frosty the Snow Man
We had The Little Golden Book edition of this story (1989). We loved the popular television special and we loved reading the book every year.
4. Clifford’s Christmas— by Norman Bridwell
We loved all the Clifford books. America’s biggest, reddest, most-loved dog!
5. Clifford’s First Christmas— by Norman Bridwell
Another great Clifford book. See how Clifford celebrates his first Christmas as a cute little red puppy.
6. The Boy With a Drum-– by David L. Harrison
This is an old favorite of many. It’s a fun rhyming book about a little drummer boy who is marching along playing his drum when he is joined by an interesting assortment of animals who join him in the parade.
7. Christmas Bear— by Georgina Russell
This story is about a naughty little teddy bear who peeks out of Santa’s toy sack on Christmas Eve and falls off the sleigh. The little bear has quite the adventure on this snowy Christmas Eve but finds love with a little girl named Sally.
8. I Can’t Wait Until Christmas— By Linda Lee Maifair
This was a favorite Christmas book of my sons. I must have read this book a million times and it is well-worn to show it. It’s a Sesame Street Little Golden Book. Big Bird is the main character but many of the Sesame Street characters are in this book. The book starts out with Big Bird asking Granny how long before Christmas. She tells him Christmas will be here in four weeks. Granny tells Big Bird about the bird house her grandpa made her when she was a little chick which sadly was broken many years ago. Maria helps Big Bird build Granny a new bird house. They visit Santa and pick out a Christmas tree. Big Bird makes cookies with Cookie Monster. Finally Christmas arrives and it’s time to open presents. A sweet story about love and the anticipation of Christmas.
9. Franklin’s Christmas Gift— by Paulette Bourgeois
This is another great Franklin story which teaches children about the gift of giving during the Christmas season. Mr. Owl puts out a donation box and tells the students they have three days to come up with a toy to donate to a needy family. At first all of Franklin’s toys seemed too special to give away. Then, nothing seemed special enough. Franklin learns a valuable lesson on giving from his Great Aunt Harriet.
10. The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree— by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Our family loved all the Berenstain Bear books. This was one I always enjoyed reading to my sons at Christmas time. It’s a fun book to read and it has an awesome lesson about what the true meaning of Christmas is. Join the Berenstain bears as they search for the perfect Christmas tree!
11. The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear— by Stan and Jan Berenstain
I absolutely LOVE this story. Another great Berenstain Bear book that teaches children that Christmas isn’t just about getting gifts, but about the joy of giving.
12. My Christmas Treasure: A Collection of Christmas Stories, Poems, and Songs
My children really liked this book. It had three Christmas carols we always sung together– O Little Town of Bethlehem, We Three Kings of Orient Are, and O Come, All Ye Faithful. It also contained a neat little story called A Christmas For Bears that was a lot of fun to read. It also had The Night Before Christmas story and a short Christmas poem.
13. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer– by Barbara Shook Hazen
No explanation needed for this book. Who doesn’t love Rudolph?
14. A Pussycat’s Christmas— By Margaret Wise Brown
This is another great little book by the author of the very popular book Goodnight Moon. It’s a tale of Christmas from the vantage point of a black and white cat. It has beautiful, vivid pictures and descriptions and was always a favorite to read at Christmas time. If you have a cat or like cats, you will love this book.
15. The Real Mother Goose Book of Christmas Carols— by Laurence Schorsch
This book has 22 favorite Christmas carols with background notes to go along with the words. I like it because it also contained a brief summary of the history of each carol. At the beginning of the book is a nice introduction which tells us the origin of Christmas carols. I used this book every year to try to teach my sons the words to the more popular Christmas carols. It has nice illustrations to go along with each carol.
16. Baby’s Christmas— by Eloise Wilkin
I had to include this book in my list because it was a favorite of my oldest son when he was just an infant and also a toddler. Mine is a board book and is definitely worn from all the reading. And believe me, I read it over and over and over! There was something about this book that my son just loved and when he was a toddler he would bring this book to me and want me to read it over and over. When I would finish it, he would say, “Read it again Mommy!” I’m not sure if it was the story or the pictures he loved… probably both. It’s a story telling “baby” all about Christmas– making cookies with mommy, hearing Christmas carols, decorating the tree, waiting for Santa to fill the stockings, and finding presents under the tree on Christmas Eve.
Happy Christmas reading to you all!