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25 Great Children’s Christmas Books + Christmas Book Countdown Tradition

Last year I wrapped up 25 Christmas books and each night we unwrapped and read 1 book before bed. It turned out to be a tradition to keep! This year I wrapped them in white paper and used a whole bunch of fun vintage ribbons I found in my Moms ribbon stash to wrap around them!

I do have my favorites and last year some of them didn’t get unwrapped until right before Christmas and I was sad we didn’t have them all month. So this year I added stamped numbers to them so they actually got unwrapped in a specific order.

We keep our books in our wagon next to our Christmas tree.

Pam is also going to start the tradition this year and together are working on building our Christmas libraries and finding really fun books. Between the two of us here are our favorite 25:

One Baby Jesus

The Polar Express

I Believe in Santa Claus

The Littlest Angel

Snowmen at Christmas

On This Special Night

Who Will Help Santa This Year?

Who Will Guide My Sled Tonight?

Jolly Old Santa Claus

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

The Little Match Girl

The Gift of the Magi

Queen of Christmas

Christmas Oranges

How Do Dinosaurs Say Merry Christmas?

Silent Night

The Donkey’s Christmas Song

The Berenstain Bears Meet Santa Bear

A Wish to be a Christmas Tree 

The Mitten

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

A Christmas Dress for Ellen

The Christmas Train

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree


Some additional ones suggested by readers:

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

The Crippled Lamb

Olivia Helps with Christmas

The Spirit of Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

A Bad Kitty Christmas


We are ALWAYS looking for new titles – so if you have a favorite that we haven’t listed PLEASE leave it in our comments!  Merry Christmas and Happy Reading!


Previous author of Over the Big Moon. I shared my passion for home and family life! I love graphic design, DIY projects, cooking, and working in my garden! My favorite role is taking care of my husband and our 3 amazing and busy boys!
  • Jenny Jones

    A Bad Kitty Christmas – I did the same book activity with my kids last year and have wrapped up most of the books for this year. Last year on a whim I picked up A Bad Kitty Christmas to add to our collection (we have a couple of the Bad Kitty books and they are pretty cute) and we ended up LOVING this book. Check it out!



  • akdduke

    Such a fun idea! Do you buy new books every year to keep adding to your collection or to you re-wrap Christmas books you already have?….A few favorites are “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or the “The Spirit of Christmas.”

    • Lisa

      I wrap the same ones each year. Last year I didn’t have enough so I wrapped some library books up. I inherited all of my childhood Christmas books which helped me up my selection this last year. I am still 4 books short of 25 and am hoping to find 4 new ones to buy this year. I love when we unwrapped them last year and the boys would be so excited to see one of their books again. They even tried to guess which book it was by the size. It really is SO fun. We always turned the lights out except the Christmas tree and read to the light of the tree.

  • I love how you put them in the wagon. We do this but I don’t have a cute way to display them like that. I love it!!!
    Dee, from The CSI Project

  • The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado, is such a great one,

  • Amanda

    Olivia helps with Christmas is a fun one. And I love that you are reusing books! I am glad to be able to make this a fun memory and tradition with my kids without adding another expense to my holiday season.

  • Christina

    Cranberry Christmas is a favorite from my childhood that both my boys (ages 3 and 6) love now!

  • Mariel

    What a great list! I would love to have you come share this or any of your great ideas at the link party on ‘Or so she says…’ There’s one going on right now (and every Saturday – Tuesday). Hope to see you there! http://www.oneshetwoshe.com

  • navywifeypeters

    Thanks for sharing this list! I’m always looking for new books to read to my daughter! I’d love for you to share this at my link party Submarine Sunday. It’s open until Friday @ 11:59pm. I hope you’ll stop by!



  • Jennie

    Fantastic, and I love the way you displayed them too. xo jen

  • “A Cobweb Christmas”

  • Tonia@thegunnysack

    How fun is that! I love this idea! We love Who Is Coming To Our House by Joseph Slate!

  • xtine

    This is a great list. My first niece has her birthday a few weeks before Christmas so I started a tradition of a Christmas book each year. She’s only going to be 4 this year, so this list will give me inspiration!

    So far I’ve given her: Night Before Christmas, Gyo Fujikawa edition because I love the illustrations.
    The Sweet Smell of Christmas, scratch and sniff and my brother and I loved it growing up.
    Santa’s Stuck
    And this year is Olive, the Other Reindeer.
    Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree is next year…I went a little crazy when she was born. 😉

  • Beth (Homeschooler)

    We do this too – my kids anticipate this all year =-)

    Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week,
    Beth =-)

  • Michelle

    Christmas Day in the Morning is awesome.

  • Sara

    You skipped 3 of my favorites: The Legend of the Candy Cane and Merry Christmas Amelia Bedelia. I also love one that is hard to find: The Christmas Collie, I use to loan it to fellow teachers when I was teaching as they loved it also.

  • caspa

    Try the newly out, The Christmas Tree by Kathy Laity, illustrated by Ingrid Beck, available Amazon.co.uk

  • Janice

    The Polar Express by Chris VanAlsberg needs to be on this list

  • Donna Walkush

    What a great list! I’m in the mood for Christmas already and if you’re still looking for ideas, my two favorites are Red Ranger Came Calling and How Murray Saved Christmas. Reviewed here: http://theharrissisters.blogspot.com/2012/12/red-ranger-came-calling.html and here: http://theharrissisters.blogspot.com/2012/12/how-murray-saved-christmas.html. Hope you enjoy the suggestions!

  • Katie Hopkins

    The Crippled Lamb makes me cry every time I read. My brother has special needs and is in a wheel chair. The Crippled Lamb is such a beautiful story of how we all have a place in this world.

  • Kat and Squirrel

    Silver Packages is a great Christmas picture book. Love you list!
    Kat from katandsquirrel.com

    • overthebigmoon

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll for sure have to check it out!

  • Karen

    My sister and I wrote a children’s picture book: “The Great PJ Elf Chase: A Christmas Eve Tradition.” It’s a 2014 B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree, a National Indie Excellence Finalist and a Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Review recipient. You can buy it on Amazon or at our website, http://www.TheGreatPJElfChase.com. We’d be honored if you added it to your collection.

  • Carousel Publishing

    I would love to have you check out Carousel Publishing’s award winning book, The Myth of Santa’s Beard. It’s all about ethics and values and ends with the child receiving a snippet of Santa’s beard that is included in the book. You can see it and read the entire book at http://www.carousel-publishing.com. Let me know if you would like me to send you a copy to review. Sharon

  • Michelle

    I love this idea! Two of our favorites that we look forward to reading each year are Twas the Night before Christmas and the Nutcracker. We also read the nativity story in Luke on Christmas Eve.

  • Elizabeth Mann

    Little Porcupine’s Christmas, by Joseph Slate is a family favorite… illustrated by Felicia Bond.

  • Elizabeth Mann

    Little Porcupine’s Christmas, by Joseph Slate is a family favorite… illustrated by Felicia Bond.