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11 Christmas Books for Kids

11 Christmas Books For Kids

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As the holiday season approaches, there’s a special kind of excitement in the air. For children, Christmas is a time of wonder, joy, and anticipation.

One of the most magical ways to celebrate the season is by sharing heartwarming Christmas books with kids.

In this blog post, we will explore 11 delightful Christmas books for kids, suitable for various age groups. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, or simply someone who loves to kindle the holiday spirit, these books are perfect for creating cherished memories with your little ones.

Table of Content

Why Read Books About Christmas?

Reading Christmas books to children is not just a festive pastime; it offers numerous educational and emotional benefits. Here’s a closer look at why this activity is so valuable:

  1. Cultural Understanding and Tradition
    • Christmas books introduce children to the rich traditions and cultural practices associated with the holiday. This fosters a sense of belonging and helps them understand and appreciate their own and others’ cultural backgrounds.
  2. Language and Literacy Development
    • Reading any book contributes to language development, but Christmas stories often introduce specific vocabulary related to the holiday. This expansion of language skills is crucial for young readers.
  3. Enhancing Imagination and Creativity
    • Christmas stories, with their magical elements like Santa Claus, reindeers, and elves, stimulate children’s imagination. This imaginative play is a critical aspect of cognitive development.
  4. Teaching Moral Values
    • Many Christmas stories carry important messages about kindness, generosity, and the spirit of giving. These stories can help instill these valuable moral lessons in a fun and engaging way.
  5. Emotional Connection and Comfort
    • The warmth and joy of Christmas stories can provide comfort and a sense of security to children. This emotional connection is especially important during the holiday season.
  6. Family Bonding and Tradition
    • Reading Christmas books together can become a cherished family tradition, strengthening bonds and creating lasting memories.

The Role of Books in Cultivating a Christmas Spirit

Books serve as powerful tools for teaching children about the significance of Christmas. They can help convey the importance of love, generosity, family, and the joy of giving during this special season.

Christmas books for kids are more than just stories; they are windows to a world filled with holiday magic, traditions, and the joy of giving. These books play a crucial role in introducing children to the spirit of Christmas and the values associated with it. Reading Christmas books together can become a cherished family tradition that creates lasting memories.

How To Use Christmas Books with Children

  • Choose a Variety of Books: Select books that represent different aspects of Christmas, including traditional stories, modern tales, and those that reflect diverse cultures and practices. Ensure they are age-appropriate and engaging.
  • Set a Cozy Reading Environment: Create a warm, inviting reading space, perhaps near a Christmas tree or with holiday decorations. Comfortable seating and good lighting make the experience more enjoyable.
  • Interactive Reading Sessions: Read aloud with enthusiasm and expression. Use different voices for characters and encourage children to predict what will happen next or ask questions about the story.
  • Discussion and Reflection: After reading, engage in discussions about the story. Ask children how they feel about the characters’ decisions and what they might have done differently.
  • Connect to Personal Experiences: Relate the themes or events in the book to the child’s own experiences of Christmas. This helps in making personal connections to the story.
  • Crafts and Activities: Plan activities related to the book’s theme. For example, if a book is about decorating a Christmas tree, you could have a tree-decorating activity or a craft to make ornaments.
  • Incorporate Writing Activities: For older children, use the story as a prompt for writing activities, like writing a letter to a character from the book or creating a Christmas story of their own.
  • Vocabulary Building: Introduce and discuss new words found in the Christmas stories to expand the child’s vocabulary.

11 Christmas Books For Children

Younger Children (Ages 3-6)

11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#1 “The Littlest Elf” by Brandi Dougherty

Oliver, the smallest elf at the North Pole, embarks on a journey to find his unique role in Santa’s workshop. Despite challenges in the toy shop, book shop, and bakery, Oliver’s story is about discovering one’s place even when feeling small. This story teaches kids about self-discovery, embracing individuality, and the importance of finding one’s own path, regardless of size or age.

For parents and educators, this book offers an excellent opportunity to discuss themes like perseverance and the value of individual strengths. 

  • Activity Idea: Children can dress up as elves and imagine their own special jobs in Santa’s workshop.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What challenges did Oliver face in finding his special job?
    • How did Oliver feel when things didn’t go as planned?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#2 “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss

“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss is a timeless story that tells of the Grinch, a Christmas-hating creature who lives in a cave above the town of Who-ville. The Grinch is known for his bitterness and his heart being “two sizes too small.” Despite his distaste for Christmas, he comes to learn the true spirit of the holiday through the kindness of the Whos, especially after an encounter with the young Cindy-Lou Who. This story is renowned for its message about the importance of community, kindness, love, and the realization that Christmas is more than material possessions. The Grinch’s transformation from a bitter creature to one filled with joy and love is a powerful message for children and adults alike.

It teaches the importance of community, the spirit of giving, and that Christmas is more than material things.

  • Activity Idea: A science activity where children measure a heart shape before and after discussing acts of kindness.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • Why did the Grinch want to steal Christmas?
    • How did the Whos react to losing their presents?
    • What might have made the Grinch dislike Christmas so much, and how did his feelings change by the end?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#3 “Little Red Sleigh” by Erin Guendelsberger

“Little Red Sleigh” by Erin Guendelsberger is a heartwarming story about a small red sleigh that harbors big dreams of becoming Santa’s sleigh one day. Despite being told she’s too small, young, and incapable of flying or meeting Santa, the Little Red Sleigh remains determined and optimistic. This Christmas, with the help of her friends, she sets out to achieve the seemingly impossible. The story is a delightful reminder that no dream is out of reach if one believes, and it celebrates perseverance, optimism, and the magic of Christmas.

This book stands out for its encouraging messages about pursuing goals step by step and never giving up, no matter the challenges faced. These themes are particularly relevant and accessible for young children, as they’re presented in age-appropriate language that resonates with their experiences and aspirations.

  • Activity Idea: Create a dream board or a goal chart where children can illustrate or write down their dreams, much like the aspirations of the Little Red Sleigh.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What was the Little Red Sleigh’s dream?
    • How does the Little Red Sleigh deal with being told she’s too small or young?
    • What qualities does the Little Red Sleigh have that help her pursue her dream?

Lower Elementary Children (Ages 7-9)

11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#4. “Pick a Pine Tree” by Patricia Toht

A festive read-aloud that captures the excitement of Christmastime, beginning with the tradition of picking out a tree. The story follows a family as they select a tree and bring it home to decorate with friends. This book is particularly notable for its charming rhyming text and full-page illustrations, which convey a cozy, holiday atmosphere. The illustrations are designed in a crayon-like style on matte paper, adding to the book’s appeal for young children. The book’s portrayal of a family’s Christmas tree tradition, including the selection, transport, and decoration of the tree, is a wonderful way to introduce children to the festive customs and the communal spirit of the holiday season. 

The book celebrates family traditions and the joy of the holiday season.

  • Activity Idea: Children can participate in decorating a real or artificial tree, mirroring the story’s activity. This can be a family or classroom event.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What are some steps in picking and decorating a pine tree?
    • Why are traditions important during the holidays?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#5 “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by Charles M. Schulz

In this story, Charlie Brown seeks to understand the true meaning of Christmas, questioning its commercialization. Charlie Brown, amidst the commercialism that he sees around him during the Christmas season, feels depressed despite the joyful ambiance. He decides to direct a Christmas play and chooses a simple, sparse tree for the production. The tree, symbolic of Charlie Brown’s own feelings of inadequacy and the true spirit of Christmas, is initially ridiculed by his friends. However, after a heartfelt speech by Linus about the true meaning of Christmas, the group realizes their mistake and comes together to decorate the tree, transforming it into a symbol of beauty and hope.

For parents and educators, this book offers an excellent opportunity to discuss with children the significance of looking beyond materialism during the holiday season and finding joy in the simple, heartfelt aspects of life. The story of Charlie Brown and his Christmas tree is an ideal starting point for conversations about what truly matters during the holidays and beyond.

  • Activity Idea: Emulate Charlie Brown by decorating a simple tree, focusing on the meaning rather than the glamor.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • Why is Charlie Brown upset about Christmas?
    • What does Charlie Brown learn about the true meaning of Christmas?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#6 “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg

“The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg is a captivating and heartwarming Christmas tale that has become a classic in children’s literature. Awarded the prestigious Caldecott Medal in 1986, the story follows a young boy who is taken on a magical train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The journey aboard the Polar Express is filled with enchantment, adventure, and the spirit of Christmas. During the trip, the boy encounters other children, carols, candy, and hot cocoa, all celebrating the joyous season. The boy is eventually singled out to receive the first gift of Christmas from Santa Claus himself, choosing a sleigh bell. This bell becomes a central symbol in the story, representing the power and importance of belief, especially in the seemingly impossible.

The book has been widely recognized for its deep message and beautiful illustrations, which bring the story’s magical world to life. The story celebrates the magic of belief and the spirit of Christmas.

  • Activity Idea: Have children create their own sleigh bells, symbolizing the story’s theme of belief and magic.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • Why did the boy choose a bell as his gift?
    • What does the sleigh bell represent in the story, and why can only some characters hear it?
    • What does the Polar Express symbolize in the story?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#7 “Dasher: How a Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever” by Matt Tavares

Dasher, a young doe in a traveling circus, dreams of a better life and ultimately changes Christmas forever. The narrative centers around Dasher, a young and adventurous doe who yearns for a life different from the one she has in J.P. Finnegan’s Traveling Circus and Menagerie, where she and her family are kept under harsh conditions. Dasher dreams of a life in the snowy North, as described in her mother’s stories. One windy night, an opportunity for escape presents itself, and Dasher seizes it, following the North Star. Her journey leads her to Santa and Silverbell, a horse struggling to pull Santa’s heavy sleigh. Dasher volunteers to help, and her offer marks the beginning of a magical transformation in Santa’s Christmas journey.

This story is not just a delightful Christmas read but also offers valuable lessons about courage, family bonds, and the joy of helping others. It teaches resilience, hope, and the impact of pursuing one’s dreams.

  • Activity Idea: Use a simple map and compass or even a star app to teach kids about navigation, inspired by how Dasher followed the North Star.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • How did Dasher feel about working in the circus?
    • What dream did Dasher have, and how did she achieve it?
    • What challenges did Dasher face, and how did she overcome them?

Upper Elementary Children (Ages 9-11)

11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#8 “The Story Orchestra: The Nutcracker: Press the note to hear Tchaikovsky’s music” by Katy Flint

The book follows Clara in her dreams, battling a mouse king and traveling with her nutcracker-turned-prince to the Land of Sweets. 

This interactive book introduces children to classical music and the enchanting story of “The Nutcracker”.

  • Activity Idea: Play different pieces of Tchaikovsky’s music and encourage children to create their own dances.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What adventures does Clara experience in her dream?
    • How does the music enhance the story of “The Nutcracker”?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#9 “Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore

This enchanting poem narrates the events of Christmas Eve, where a family encounters the magical arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer. It vividly describes Santa’s appearance and actions, capturing the joy and wonder of this festive night.

This poem is a timeless classic that brings the magic of Christmas to life. Its vivid imagery and rhythmic verses evoke a sense of wonder and excitement about the holiday, making it a perfect read to enhance the Christmas spirit among children.

  • Activity Idea: Create a DIY Christmas stocking based on the description in the poem.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What did the family see on Christmas Eve?
    • How does the poem describe Santa Claus and his reindeer?
    • What feelings do you experience when reading about Santa’s arrival?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#10 “Christmas Is Coming: Traditions from Around the World” by Monika Utnik-Strugala

This book takes children on a delightful journey across continents, exploring unique Christmas traditions and customs from different cultures, thereby broadening their understanding of global diversity during the festive season.

It’s a great resource for teaching children about cultural diversity and the various ways Christmas is celebrated worldwide. This awareness fosters a sense of global community and respect for different traditions.

  • Activity Idea: Create a map marking different Christmas traditions around the world.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What are some unique Christmas traditions around the world?
    • How do Christmas celebrations differ across countries?
11 Christmas Books For Kids
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#11 “The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree” by Gloria Houston

Set during WWI in the Blue Ridge, this heartwarming story follows Ruthie and her family as they prepare a special Christmas tree for their village church, highlighting themes of community, family, and the spirit of giving.

The book offers a touching narrative on the importance of community and generosity. It’s a wonderful story to teach children about the values of giving and kindness during the holiday season.

  • Activity Idea: Write a short story or draw a comic strip about a family preparing for Christmas in your own community.
  • Questions To Ask: 
    • What was special about the Christmas tree in the story?
    • How did Ruthie and her family contribute to their community?

What Christmas Book(s) Are You Going To Read Later?

This holiday season, make reading a cherished part of your celebrations by sharing these heartwarming Christmas books with kids. Whether it’s the magic of “The Polar Express,” the lessons of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,” or the adventures in “Dasher,” these books will not only entertain but also impart the values and spirit of Christmas.

Let the joy of reading and the magic of the season fill your hearts and homes.

So, which books are you going to read later? Or, do you have any other suggestions? Tag me on Instagram @LittleYellowStarTeaches and let me know.

Bye for now!

Prima at LittleYellowStar

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