25 Days of Christmas Reading List!

We’re starting a new tradition in December and I’m really looking forward to it! Our 25 days of Christmas books for children was created out of a desire to slow the month of December down and focus on what is truly important. I want to spend a lot of fun time with the children, building memories and doing meaningful things with them.

Every day in December we are going to read one book together. What makes it super special is that the book will be wrapped up with a number on it, and they get to unwrap the book that goes along with the day. Most of them will be about Jesus and his birth, but others will be on wintertime, or Christmas in general. We don’t do anything with Santa Clause so I don’t have books included with him in them.

I was able to request all of these through my library, so definitely check into that!

Our 25 Days of Christmas Book List

A Christmas Goodnight Book

1. A Christmas Goodnight by Nola Buck

“On a quiet but wondrous Christmas Eve, the nativity story comes to life, and families everywhere celebrate the miracle of Christmas.”

Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

2. Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

“Long ago, a little girl named Laura Ingalls lived in a little house in the Big Woods of Wisconsin with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters, Mary and Carrie, and their good old bulldog, Jack. Winter was just around the corner, and Laura worked hard to help make the little house ready for the cold days ahead. Soon there was frost on the windows and snow on the ground, but Laura and her folks were warm and cozy in their snug little house in the Big Woods.”

The Big Snow Book

3. The Big Snow by Berta Hadar

“The woodland animals were all getting ready for the winter. Geese flew south, rabbits and deer grew thick warm coats, and the raccoons and chipmunks lay down for a long winter nap. Come Christmastime, the wise owls were the first to see the rainbow around the moon. It was a sure sign that the big snow was on its way.”

Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey

4. Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd

(We are not Catholic so I might edit this book slightly if I need to, I’m not sure yet)

“When Saint Francis, the patron saint of animals, encounters a donkey who is unhappy with his lot in life, Francis tells him a story that heals. True, long ago God punished the mischievous animal by giving him long ears, a loud bray, and heavy burdens to bear. Yet God gave the donkey something wonderful, too. For who was it that carried Mary to Bethlehem across rugged mountains and burning desert sand? And in the stable, who warmed the Baby Jesus with his breath? Whose love and devotion on the trip from Nazareth outshone even the gifts of the wise men?”

This Is the Stable

5. This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten

“Wondrous things are happening in the stable. The animals are gathering. Shepherds and wise men and angels are coming from afar. All of them are flocking to see the Christ child, born this night in Bethlehem.”

6. The Tale of the Three Trees: A Traditional Folklore by Angela Hunt

(While they say it is an Easter book I’m going to use it for Christmas!)

“Featuring the wonderful illustrations of Tim Jonke, this best-selling children’s book tells the Easter story from a new and unusual point of view. Children will be deeply touched as they understand, perhaps for the first time, the significance of Christ’s life and his atoning sacrifice on the cross.”

Marlee's Surprise

7. Marmee’s Surprise, A Little Woman story by Monica Kulling

“Each of the four March sisters is special in her own unique way. Meg is a dreamer, Jo is a tomboy, Beth is shy and thoughtful, and Amy is a bundle of energy. But despite their differences, the girls pull together to get through a difficult winter holiday. Based on the first chapter of the enduring classic Little Women, this enchanting retelling will introduce a new generation of “little women” to the works of Louisa May Alcott.  “

Lift the Flap Nativity

8. Usborne Lift the Flap Nativity by Felicity Brooks

(My older ones will have to be patient this night – this is a book best for my 2 and 4 year old)

“This illustrated volume provides a sensitive telling of the nativity story which aims to evoke a sense of wonder and mystery in very young children. The detail of this flap book incorporates details such as mice hiding in the corner of baby Jesus’ manger.”

The Story of Christmas

9. The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton

“Deeply reverent, richly detailed, and teeming with life, Dalton’s images follow the story of the Nativity from the appearance of the Angel, to the shepherds who came from the fields, and to the three wise men who followed the star to pay respect for their new king. Working in a Pennsylvania-German folk-art tradition, rich with lovingly rendered animals and figures, Pamela Dalton has created a book that takes a deserved place among the finest celebrations of Christmas.”

Room for a Little One

10. Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale  by Martin Waddell

“On a cold winter night, Kind Ox invites one visitor after another into the shelter of his stable–Old Dog, Stray Cat, and Small Mouse, who rest together in harmony. When Tired Donkey appears, he brings with him Mary and Joseph, and all of the animals welcome Jesus when He is born.”

Through the Animals Eyes

11. Through the Animal’s Eyes: A Story Of the First Christmas by Christopher Wormell

“From dogs watching over the shepherds’ flocks when angels appear, to a charmed cobra performing in Herod’s court as the king tries to deceive the wise men, Wormell’s trademark animal imagery brings a new perspective to the story of the first Christmas.”

The Legend of the Candy Cane

12. The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

(I’m going to get miniature candy canes and let them eat them while I read them the story!)

“One dark November night a stranger rides into a small prairie town. Who is he? Why has he come? The townspeople wish he were a doctor, a dressmaker, or a trader. But the children have the greatest wish of all, a deep, quiet, secret wish. Then a young girl named Lucy befriends the newcomer. When he reveals his identity and shares with her the legend of the candy cane, she discovers fulfillment of her wishes and the answer to her town’s dreams. Now will she share what she has learned?”

God Gave Us Christmas

13. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Bergren

“As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?”
Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that…Jesus is the best present of all.”

Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

14. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

“Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.”

The Crippled Lamb

15. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

“In this timeless bestseller, readers experience the tender love God has for those who feel alone and different. Joshua was a lamb with a crippled leg who felt left out because he couldn’t run and play like the other lambs. But God had a very special plan for Joshua’s life, as He does for all who feel alone. Readers can expect a gentle tug on their hearts as the little lamb’s prayers are answered in an amazing way.”

Itsy Bitsy Christmas

16. Itsy Bitsy Christmas by Max Lucado

“Do you ever feel like you are too small or too ordinary? That is just how Itsy and Bitsy feel. When these two charming little mice hear that a King is coming to Bethlehem, they set off with great enthusiasm to find Him. Along the way, they are met with discouraging words telling them they are too little and unimportant for any king. Just when Itsy and Bitsy begin to believe that they really aren’t big enough for the new King, they learn that Christ the King has indeed come for everyone. “

Tonight you are my baby

17. Tonight You Are My Baby: Mary’s Christmas Gift by Jeannine Norris

“The miracle of Christmas began with a mother holding her child, filled with boundless love. Now the warmth and spirit of the first Christmas come alive in this Nativity retelling, perfect for mothers to share with their own little ones.”

Listen to the Silent Night

18. Listen to the Silent Night by Dandi Mackall

“It was not such a silent night when Baby Jesus was born. From the baa, baa, baaof sheep to the flut-flut-flutter of angel wings, it was actually quite noisy! “

One Wintry Night

19. One Wintry Night by Ruth Graham Bell

“A classic Christmas picture book, One Wintry Night tells the story of a mountain boy who is injured in a snowstorm and seeks refuge in a cabin. While he waits out the storm, the woman who lives there tells him the Christmas story. In a magnificent blend of a contemporary setting with the history of God’s redeeming love, Ruth Graham created a wonderful and unique version of the Christmas story.”

One Shining Star

20. One Shining Star: A Christmas Counting Book by Anne Kennedy

“Help your child learn to count using the most beloved story of all—Jesus’ birth! With gentle rhyme and number fun from 1 to 10, this book is full of shepherds, kings angels, animals, a baby, and a shiny star, all waiting to be counted before bedtime.”

The Little Drummer Boy

21. The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Keats

“A procession travels to Bethlehem, bringing gifts for the newborn baby Jesus. The little drummer boy comes along, although he is too poor to bring a present fit for a king. Instead, he plays a song on his drum for the Christ Child. Within the little drummer boy’s seemingly simple gift lies the true spirit of Christmas.”

Humphrey's First Christmas

22. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

(I’m going to make it clear to my children that the three wise men did not come to baby Jesus in the manger, but when he was a little older.)

“We’ve all heard the story of the three wise men who brought their gifts to Baby Jesus. But what about the camels who carried them? Here is the story of Humphrey the camel and his long, cold journey to Bethlehem. Humphrey has lost his blanket and schemes to acquire a new one. When the party reaches its destination, Humphrey is so drawn to the love surrounding Baby Jesus that he finds himself selflessly giving his new blanket to the Christ child.”

The Gift Of The Magi

23. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

“In a shabby New York flat, Della sobs as she counts the few coins she has saved to buy a Christmas present for her husband, Jim. A gift worthy of her devotion will require a great sacrifice: selling her long, beautiful hair. Jim, meanwhile, has made a sacrifice for Della that is no less difficult. As they exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, the discovery of what each has done fills them with despair, until they realize that the true gifts of Christmas can be found more readily in their humble apartment than in any fine store.”

On This Special Night

24. On This Special Night by Claire Freedman

“On a silent winter’s night, one star burns brighter than all the rest. “That must be a special star,” Mother Cat whispers. When Little Kitten and Mother Cat join the animals journeying toward the starry light, they discover that it is a special star indeed — shining with peace, love, and joy on this very special night.”

25. The Christmas Story from the gospel of Luke in the Bible!

I can’t wait for December 1st to start this! So much fun and good memories will be taking place! 🙂

16 Comments on 25 Days of Christmas Books for Children

  1. We collect Christmas books, but I love your idea of wrapping them and counting down to Christmas. That would encourage me to read through them all with the children. I love your list. We have a few of them. A few of my favorites that are not on your list are: Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John(a longer read but a beautiful story of forgiveness), All is Well by Frank Peretti(I can’t read this one without crying:), Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco, and The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot.

    • I’m off to go request those at the library! 🙂 We are finishing up Star of Light by Patricia St. John and it is so good!

  2. I love this!! I have seen this idea before but no one that mentioned getting them from the library!! So much easier and frugal than trying to buy all of them! I just reserved them all…which is another great thing because a lot of times I have seen obscure books listed that I haven’t been able to easily find. I hope you enjoy reading all of these with your little ones! 🙂

  3. FYI, *One Wintry Night* is very long. it’s wonderful- just long! (We’ve had it for a number of years. Our Christmas book collection numbers in the 50s, but I do admit we have some Santa Claus stories….)

  4. Thank you for this awesome list! I just spent about an hour requesting them from a couple of local libraries, but I managed to find them all! I love this idea! And it’s great to have a list that keeps the focus on Jesus.

  5. We didn’t have a lot of Christmas traditions, but a few years my dad read us the story “On that Night” by Elizabeth Yates. Not so much a young children’s story, but very beautiful.

  6. I’ve read Christmas books to our kids for years. It is so fun!! I HIGHLY recommend The Best Christmas Pageant Ever; it’s a very special chapter book. Also, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We read One Wintry Night every year, but just one chapter each day. Our kids’ all time favorite picture book is Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree, and my favorite is Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck. Neither one is a Santa story and both are so special!

  7. Thank you for this list! I requested many of them through my library. I do warn other moms: if you wrap up the library books, keep a list of which one is which (looks like Caroline numbered hers,that’s smart). Reason: many libraries will not renew a book if someone else requests it. Since you hope to keep some of these all month, you’ll need to renew them. But these Christmas books may be in high demand right now. If your renewal is denied, you’ll need to know which one to unwrap and return pronto, or pay library fees!

    My other 2 cents: I choose to tread very lightly on some stories where animals are put into the Bible narrative and interact with the true Bible characters. We should be careful to not allow a cute critter to change details of Christ’s message. I know these are kid’s books and not intended to be great theological debates. I just read through the story myself first and ask myself if it truly lines up to the facts (as Caroline points out about the camel with wisemen at the manger.) The real story is great enough to stand on it’s own!

  8. I love “Tale of Three Trees” dearly. We brought our first child home from overseas this year. A friend gave me the book as a shower gift, and I tried to read it to my son on his first day home and couldn’t get through it without sobbing. Such a perfect, beautiful parallel to our journey to our son: Oftentimes, God answers our prayers in ways that are completely different, yet SO much better, than what we had in mind.

  9. Dear Caroline,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful list! I am going to try your idea this year and do wrapped Christmas books in December. I appreciate all of your hard work in putting this together for us!! I am leaving a couple of our favorites as well (sacred and secular). Happy Thanksgiving!


    ☐ The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree (Sarah Houston)
    ☐ Mr. Putter and Tabby Bake the Cake
    ☐ Christmas in the Country
    ☐ An Early American Christmas (Tomie de Paola)
    ☐ The Christmas Cat (Tasha Tudor)
    ☐ The Tale of Three Trees
    ☐ The Legend of the Christmas Rose
    ☐ The Little Drummer Mouse” (Mercer Meyer)
    ☐ Christmas in Noisy Village (by Astrid Lindgren)
    ☐ Charlie and the Christmas Kitten (by Ree Drummond)
    ☐ The Christmas Cowboy (by Audrey Wood)
    ☐ Christmas Farm (Mary Lyn Ray)
    ☐ Grandfather’s Christmas Camp (Marc McCutcheon)
    ☐ The Gift of the Christmas Cookie: Sharing the True Meaning of Jesus’ Birth” (Dandi Daley Mackall)
    ☐Home for Christmas ( Jan Brett)
    ☐Wombat Divine (Mem Fox)
    ☐Christmas Wombat ( Jackie French)

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