{christmas book advent & my 25 favorite christmas children’s books!}

There is just something so magical about listening and reading Christmas stories, and it's one of our family's most favorite Christmas traditions.  It's one of the most perfect ways to celebrate the season, and spend some really wonderful family time together.  What could be more cozy than curling up on the couch each night, snuggling in blankets, and reading about the most beloved time of year?

It's perfection.

How does it work?  I wrap 25 Christmas books (my favorite way to wrap is with brown paper and red baker's twine--love!), and each day in December from the 1st through Christmas Day, my kids open a book for us to read together. Once they're unwrapped, I leave them out so they can can continue to read and re-read them.I collect Christmas books, and every year I add to our collection and choose a few more favorites or new discoveries.  I supplement with books from the library to make up the rest.

It's never too early or too late to start your own collection!  Just buy one or two favorites a year, or more if you can!  Supplementing with library books is the way to go...just be sure to check with them to see how long you can have books out, and plan accordingly. Our library has always been a 30 day checkout, with no renewals for holiday books, so I checked my books out right around the 24th of November.  Once we moved here, I found out that we only get a 2 week checkout period, so I have to change my plan. If you have children in school, make sure to check their Scholastic book orders--it's a great place to get books at low prices. If you can't buy books now, get all of them from the library, or even try garage sales or thrift shops where you might find a few treasures for cheap.

I just received some new books in the mail for this December, and it literally made me giddy! I CANNOT wait to get started!  My children are little, and I choose books accordingly, but I also challenge them a little bit, and select old-time classics and favorites that might be more than their typical listening level.  These stories capture their attention, and they feel that extra something special that surrounds them, and they love to listen to even longer books than they might normally. I also include some board books, which my smallest ones love, and are appropriate for babies up to preschoolers.  My school kids can be involved by reading these to their siblings, and they love that. I tend to shy away from character books, but if your children love those most, why not a add a few to your own library!  For those of you with older children, or only adults in the home,  try reading a chapter book aloud each night- like our family favorite, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens. That's something else we look forward to, and even the little ones listen in.

{KIERSTE'S FAVORITE CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS BOOKS}

Room for a Little One:  A Christmas Tale, Martin Waddell

The Tale of Three Trees, Angela Elwell Hunt

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, Susan Wojciechowski

The Christmas Candle, Richard Paul Evans

The Little Match Girl, Hans Christian Andersen

The Legend of the Christmas Tree, Rick Osborne

The Gift of the Magi, O.Henry

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree, Gloria Houston

Christmas in the Big Woods, Laura Ingalls Wilder

Who is Coming to Our House?  (Board Book), Joseph Slate

A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree, Colleen Monroe

The Polar Express, Chris Van Allsburg

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree,  Robert Barry

Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect, Richard Schneider

Christmas Day in the Morning, Pearl S. Buck

Winter's Gift, Jane Monroe Donovan

A Christmas Carol (picture book edition), Charles Dickens

The Little Fir Tree, Margaret Wise Brown

Humphrey's First Christmas, Carol Hever

Christmas Oranges, Linda Bethers

Jingle Bells, Iza Trapani

The Light of Christmas, Richard Paul Evans

Drummer Boy, Loren Long

The Nutcracker, Susan Jeffers

This is the Stable, Cynthia Cotton

{kierste}



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comments

  1. What a great list!!! I can’t wait to add some of these to our family library. :<)

  2. I love this idea!!! We are big readers in our house, but books can be so expensive…any tips on how to do this without breaking the bank?

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Yes, they can be expensive! I actually budget money each year for Christmas books, and buy them throughout the year, rather than at Christmastime–when it all adds up so fast. If you have access to Scholastic book orders, it’s a great way to get books for less. They won’t always have all of your favorite titles, but they will offer a few. If you don’t have children in school, ask a friend–I’m sure they wouldn’t mind you adding onto their order. Do you ever get asked for gift ideas for yourself or kids? Tell them Christmas books!! You may even start a tradition with a grandparent, etc.

      Google the books you want, and look for the cheapest price–there can often be a difference that’s worth looking into. You might also want to try garage sales and thrift shops like Goodwill and Salvation Army–you might stumble onto a treasure! And again, while you’re collecting, the library is a perfect way to supplement and make up for the books you don’t have.

      Good luck!

    • I look on Amazon for used books. The shipping is usually around $4 per book, but I’ve always been able to find what I’m looking for for less than $2… Most of the time you can pick up children’s books for pennies! You can search according to condition as well, so you know you’re not getting a book that’s been colored in.

  3. SUCH a cute idea — I love it! What a fun tradition, and what a great memory for your kids … not to mention a fabulous way to encourage reading!

  4. you know, another way to do this would be to borrow from the library if you don’t have money. maybe buy one book a year until you have a collection and borrow the rest from the library. you would have to do it a little different but could still wrap them to make it special. Great idea kierste. there is a series of books by Arnold Ytreeide that are christian stories for advent. we read the first one, Jotham’s Journey to the kids last year and they loved it.

  5. I ordered books from the library I work for, I have wrapped them…most of them are the same books! My husband and I are helping a friend with their Christmas, so this is what my David and I are doing, reading stories together. I added The Other (or Fouth) Wiseman, The Littlest Angel, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Stupidest Angel (an adult fiction book about zombies, VERY funny!)

  6. Thank you SO MUCH for this list. Christmas stories are my very favorite tradition and I have so many favorites (many on your list!) I think I will be finding a few new favorites this year. This post has put me in the Christmas mood :) thanks!

  7. Christina says:

    You are amazing!!!!! Amazing!
    I love, love, love this idea. I’m a first grade teacher so I have the books just need the time to wrap them. I am doing it both at school and at home!
    I did the Halloween story countdown too…31 books in a basket and read one each night, my children LOVED it. I think I got it from you Kierste! at school it was a dream (22 school days=22 books) I never had to tell students how many days until Halloween, they just counted!
    Kierste, where can I buy the red and white bakers twine?
    Love, love, love it!!!
    Christina

    • simply {kierste} says:

      I’m so glad you love it! Both the Halloween and Christmas countdowns are seriously my favorite traditions, celebrating one of my favorite things…books! How perfect to incorporate that into a classroom! I’m sure your students loved it.

      My favorite place to get the twine is from The Twinery (http://thetwinery.com/)–they have tons of colors, it’s nice & soft, and it’s pretty reasonably priced. You can also probably find it at a local scrapbook store, but they might be more limited on colors.

      Have fun! You’ll have to let me know how it goes!!! XO

  8. Thank you for listing the books. I have read about the christmas book advent – and what a sweet tradition it would be to start – however I had no idea where to begin for books. I just printed out your list and hope to start collecting them through the month so we can start this on the 1st of December. Thank you!

    Also, I LOVE your blog…I have never commented before but your blog is bookmarked and one that I visit on a daily basis.

    • simply {kierste} says:

      Thank you so much for telling me, Shelly! I really appreciate it! Enjoy your Christmas book advent…you are going to love it! XO

  9. Have you read Mortimer’s Christmas Manger? My new favorite! And an incredible family read aloud is: Jotham’s Journey. It is an advent story. Happy Holiday Season!

  10. Nikki Howser says:

    What a fabulous idea! I’ve never heard of this before, but we are big readers in this house, and I can’t wait to start this new tradition this year!

  11. Such a cute idea, but I am wondering if you ACTUALLY wrap all the books like that? {wink}

  12. I love this idea so much I am going to do with my kids and with my preschool! Thanks!

  13. Gloria Ballard says:

    I have been looking around for Christmas Books, thanks for the suggestion. I buy one every year and I was led here! I really needed some more ideas, thanks! Miss you Kierste!

    • simply {kierste} says:

      You are most welcome! I love that you have the same tradition to buy a book each year…SO fun! So fun to see your name in my e-mail!!! Hope you are well, and that you have a fabulous Thanksgiving. Wish I was there to come by and say hi… XO

  14. First I love your blog, second I feel like this post was reading my mind. I got my daughter Scholastic book order & was trying to order a set x-mas books but do to lack of order the school could submit order. So I just happen to stumble on your blog post and it has so inspiring/ encouraged me not to give up on the idea. Thanks for sharing and great ideas. I hope the best for your family this holiday season.

  15. I did a blog post with 4 of my favorite Christmas books to read to my children and 2 are on your list! If I were to add more, I think I might borrow from many of the great ones you have here. Thanks for the post!

  16. Dear Kierste,

    A complimentary PDF of the Kindle edition of our book The Night Before Christmas… The Gift is available for review. May we send it to you?

    Since this is a Christmas title, we would not have time to get a print edition to you for review this year.

    Link to PR, Teaching Our Children the Gift of Giving: Crosland Hill Publishing Releases The Night Before Christmas… The Gift: http://www.ereleases.com/pr/teaching-children-gift-giving-crosland-hill-publishing-presents-night-christmas-gift-181621

    Blessings,
    Malcolm

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