30 Best Christmas Books for Kids-Tailored to Your Family's Beliefs

As the holiday season approaches, there’s nothing quite like cozying up with a good Christmas story. As a parent and an educator, I’ve always cherished the role of books in celebrating the wonder of Christmas. Whether you’re looking for religious tales, magical adventures, or classic Santa stories, I’ve got you covered. Here’s my handpicked list of Christmas books for kids, complete with a legend to help you choose the right story for your family.

In this special collection of Christmas books, we’ve categorized each story to help you find the perfect match for your family’s preferences and beliefs. Our legend is designed to guide you through the selection:

✝️ Christian: These books focus on Christian narratives, often centered around the nativity story or Christian values. They’re perfect for families looking to delve into the religious aspects of the holiday and share stories that reflect their faith.

🎅 Santa: Books marked with the Santa symbol are all about the jolly man in red. These stories often involve tales of Santa Claus, his reindeer, and the joyous traditions of Christmas Eve. They’re ideal for those who embrace the classic and whimsical side of Christmas.

✨ Magic: Stories with this symbol are imbued with a sense of wonder and enchantment. They often involve fantastical elements, fairy-tale adventures, or the magical essence that makes the holiday season special. These tales are great for sparking the imagination and instilling a sense of wonder in children.

❄️ Spirit of Christmas: These books capture the essence and spirit of the Christmas season beyond specific characters or religious narratives. They focus on themes like giving, family togetherness, joy, kindness, and the warmth of the holiday season.

Our goal is to help you choose books that align with your family’s holiday traditions and values, ensuring a festive reading experience that enriches the holiday spirit for your children.

Best Christmas Books from Baby to Preschool


The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry ✝️

“The Story of Christmas” by Patricia A. Pingry is a gentle introduction to the nativity story for the youngest readers. This beautifully illustrated book simplifies the story of Jesus’ birth in a way that’s easy for little ones to understand. From Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem to the arrival of the Wise Men, Pingry’s narrative is both accessible and engaging, making it an ideal starting point for introducing the true meaning of Christmas to children.

Age Range: 1-4 years old

Lessons: The nativity story, the importance of sharing, and the origins of Christmas traditions.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RSTtbx


One Baby Jesus: A New Twelve Days of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry ✝️

Patricia A. Pingry’s “One Baby Jesus” presents a delightful twist on the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas, tailored for young children. This charming book combines the joy of counting with the story of the nativity, introducing little ones to the birth of Jesus in a simple and engaging way. Each page is beautifully illustrated, capturing key scenes from the nativity and making the story accessible to the youngest of readers. It’s a wonderful way to blend a beloved Christmas carol with the foundational story of the Christian faith.

Age Range: 1-4 years old

Lessons: Basic counting skills, the nativity story, introduction to Christmas traditions.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3v68fTj


My Birthday, Jesus’ Birthday by Holly Davis ✝️

Holly Davis’s book “My Birthday, Jesus’ Birthday” is a delightful read that draws an insightful parallel between a child’s birthday celebration and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Through engaging and simple storytelling, this book helps young readers understand the significance of Christmas in a context they can easily relate to. The illustrations are warm and inviting, perfectly complementing the text and making the concept of Jesus’ birthday approachable and meaningful for little ones.

Age Range: 1-5 years old

Lessons: Understanding the significance of Christmas, relating personal experiences to biblical events, and the joy of celebration.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NF8qvn


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

Martin Waddell’s “Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale” is a heartwarming rendition of the nativity story, told from the perspective of the animals in the stable. This beautifully illustrated book offers a gentle narrative, focusing on themes of kindness and welcome. The story unfolds as various animals find shelter in the stable, culminating in the birth of Jesus. It’s a perfect introduction to the nativity story for young children, emphasizing the values of hospitality and the warmth of a shared space.

Age Range: 1-4 years old

Lessons: Hospitality, kindness, the nativity story, and the importance of sharing and welcoming.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/48uDINI

Merry Christmas, Corduroy! by Don Freeman, Illustrated by Jody Wheeler 🎅✨

Join Corduroy, the lovable bear, in this festive tale as he explores the joys of Christmas. From picking out a Christmas tree to waiting for Santa, Corduroy’s experiences are relatable and heartwarming, perfect for young readers. The book combines the charm of the Corduroy series with the excitement of Christmas, teaching children about holiday traditions and the joy of anticipation. Wheeler’s illustrations are colorful and engaging, bringing Corduroy’s Christmas adventures to life.

Age Range: Preschool – Kindergarten

Lessons: Christmas traditions, anticipation, the joy of the holiday season.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vbrrze


Best Christmas Books Preschool to 3rd Grade


The Littlest Angel by Charles Tazewell ✝️

Charles Tazewell’s “The Littlest Angel” is a timeless story that captures the heart of the Christmas spirit from a celestial perspective. This classic tale follows the youngest angel in heaven, who initially struggles to find his place but ultimately gives the most precious gift to the newborn Jesus. The narrative is both tender and poignant, filled with lessons of innocence, love, and the true meaning of giving. The book’s beautiful illustrations complement the story, making it a touching read for both children and adults, reminding them of the simplicity and purity at the heart of Christmas.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: The essence of giving, innocence, finding one’s place, and the true spirit of Christmas.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3vas247


The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado ✝️

In ‘The Crippled Lamb,’ we meet Joshua, who feels a bit left out because he’s different. But then, he gets to be part of something amazing – the birth of Jesus! It’s a beautiful story that teaches kids about finding their special place in the world and how being different is actually pretty cool.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: Inclusivity, understanding one’s purpose, empathy, and the Christian message of hope.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NBTRZs


The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg ✝️

“The Legend of the Candy Cane” by Lori Walburg is a beautifully crafted tale that unveils the Christian symbolism behind a well-known Christmas treat, the candy cane. This story takes readers on a journey with a candy maker who reveals the candy cane’s significance as a representation of Jesus’ life and legacy. The book combines a charming narrative with rich, colorful illustrations, making it an engaging read for young children. It’s a perfect way to introduce the concepts of faith and the deeper meanings behind Christmas traditions in a way that is both educational and delightful.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: Christian symbolism, the significance of Christmas traditions, and understanding Jesus’ life.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NBk5eJ


The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola ✝️

In Tomie dePaola’s “The Legend of the Poinsettia,” a cherished Mexican legend is brought to life with warmth and color. The story centers around a little girl named Lucida, who learns an important lesson about the value of heartfelt gifts. As Lucida frets over not having a grand present for the Christmas Eve service, a miraculous transformation of simple weeds into beautiful red poinsettias unfolds, symbolizing the true spirit of giving. This story is a wonderful way to share with children how the most modest gifts, when given with love, can hold the greatest value. It’s a tender and meaningful read, perfect for instilling the essence of Christmas in young hearts.

Age Range: 4-8 years old

Lessons: The beauty of selfless giving, embracing simple yet meaningful gestures, understanding and celebrating cultural traditions.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/41ALH9K


The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keat ✝️

Ezra Jack Keats brings to life the story of “The Little Drummer Boy” with his distinct artistic style. This classic tale follows a poor boy who, having no gift to bring to the newborn King, offers the gift of his music. It’s a simple yet profound story about how the most sincere gifts come from the heart, not the wallet. Keats’ illustrations add a rich, emotional depth to the story, making it a touching read that resonates with the true spirit of Christmas – the joy of giving from the heart.

Age Range: 4-7 years old

Lessons: The value of sincere gifts, humility, the power of music, and the essence of giving.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3tjBS3j

My Father’s Angels by Gloria Gaither  ✝️

Gloria Gaither’s “My Father’s Angels” is a beautifully written and illustrated book that brings to life the comforting concept of guardian angels. Told through the perspective of a child, the story explores the idea that angels are always around us, watching over and guiding us. The narrative blends whimsy with a sense of security, making it a wonderful way to introduce young readers to the concept of divine protection. The book’s charming illustrations complement the lyrical storytelling, creating a warm and reassuring reading experience that can help nurture a child’s faith and imagination.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years old

Lessons: The presence of guardian angels, comfort in faith, understanding God’s protection.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/41wMlF8


The Legend of the Christmas Tree by Pat Matuszak  ✝️

Ever wondered why we have Christmas trees? This book takes you on a little journey through time to find out. It’s a sweet way to talk about Jesus and the Christmas story with your kids, wrapped up with some lovely pictures. It’s like a mini history lesson with a heartwarming Christian twist.

Age Range: 4 – 7 years old

Lessons: Christian symbolism, the meaning behind Christmas traditions, and historical perspectives.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RSZrt0

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch ❄️

O. Henry’s classic tale, beautifully illustrated by P.J. Lynch, tells the story of a young couple, Jim and Della, who sacrifice their most treasured possessions to buy each other meaningful Christmas gifts. The narrative poignantly captures the essence of selfless love and the spirit of giving. It’s a moving depiction of sacrifice and the true meaning of Christmas, showing that the most precious gifts often come from the heart. Lynch’s illustrations add a layer of warmth and realism to this timeless story, making it a must-read during the holiday season.

Age Range: 5 – 10 years old

Lessons: Selflessness, the true spirit of giving, love, and sacrifice.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/478SKaO


The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen ✨❄️

Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” is a timeless tale that speaks to the heart with its poignant narrative. This story, beautifully illustrated, tells of a young girl’s struggles and dreams on a cold New Year’s Eve. Each match she lights opens a window to her hopes and a better world, yet her reality is much harsher. This story, while somber, offers an important lesson about compassion and awareness of those less fortunate, especially during the holiday season. It’s a powerful read that can help children understand empathy and the importance of kindness, reminding us all to be mindful of the needs of others.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years old

Lessons: Empathy, the harsh realities of life for some, the power of hope and dreams, the importance of kindness and compassion.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3trymDY


Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers ❄️

Linda Bethers’ “Christmas Oranges” is a heartwarming story that captures the essence of the holiday spirit in a unique and touching way. Set in an orphanage, the tale unfolds around the simple joy of receiving oranges for Christmas. The children’s excitement and the shared warmth of this small gift remind readers of the power and beauty of simple acts of kindness. The narrative is richly illustrated, bringing the story to life and highlighting the importance of sharing and the joy it brings, especially during the festive season.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years old

Lessons: The value of sharing, the joy of simple gifts, kindness, and the spirit of the holiday season.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/48qejEE


The Nutcracker by Susan Jeffers ✨❄️

Susan Jeffers’ adaptation of “The Nutcracker” brings a fresh perspective to the beloved Christmas story. The book tells the tale of Clara’s magical journey on Christmas Eve, as she travels with the Nutcracker Prince through a fantastical world. Jeffers’ illustrations are stunning, capturing the elegance and excitement of the ballet. This book is a wonderful way to introduce young readers to the story of “The Nutcracker,” filled with magic, adventure, and the timeless charm of a classic Christmas narrative.

Age Range: 4-7 years old

Lessons: Adventure, imagination, the magic of Christmas, appreciation of the arts.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RPEKhw

Christmas Treasury by Jan Brett 🎅❄️

Jan Brett’s “Christmas Treasury” is a captivating collection that brings to life the magic and wonder of the holiday season. This treasury showcases some of her most beloved Christmas stories, including ‘The Mitten’ and ‘The Wild Christmas Reindeer,’ each story is beautifully illustrated in Brett’s signature style. These tales, rich in detail and festive spirit, transport readers into enchanting winter landscapes and heartwarming adventures. The book is perfect for families looking to immerse themselves in the joy and wonder of Christmas storytelling.

Age Range: 3 – 8 years old

Lessons: The joy of the holiday season, kindness, the spirit of giving, and the importance of nature and animals in our lives.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/48jMDkS


How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss 🎅❄️

Dr. Seuss’s “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” is a timeless tale that explores the transformation of the Grinch from a Christmas-hating character to one filled with the spirit of the holiday. This engaging story, with its rhythmic verses and unique illustrations, captivates children while teaching them about the true spirit of Christmas – it’s not about the presents or the feasts, but about community and togetherness. The Grinch’s journey from a curmudgeon to a joyful participant in Christmas festivities shows the transformative power of kindness and the true meaning of the holiday season.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years old

Lessons: The true spirit of Christmas, transformation through kindness, community, and joy.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3tjSgRn


The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore🎅❄️

The Night Before Christmas is a classic poem all about the excitement of waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve. The rhymes are fun, and the pictures are super cozy. It’s a perfect story to read the night before Christmas to get the kids all excited for Santa’s visit – a true holiday tradition in our house!

Age Range: 4+ years old

Lessons: Christmas magic, family traditions, and holiday cheer.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/4ayOvrK


The Snowman by Raymond Briggs ✨❄️

Raymond Briggs’ “The Snowman” is a magical winter tale told entirely through stunning illustrations, capturing the story of a boy who builds a snowman that comes to life. Their nocturnal adventure is filled with wonder and awe, showing the power of imagination and the transient nature of special moments. This wordless narrative allows children to interpret the story in their own way, encouraging creativity and storytelling. The book is a testament to the special bond formed in friendship and the magical possibilities within a child’s imagination.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: Friendship, imagination, the value of moments, and the magic of winter.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/4atsWZL


Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer ❄️

This charming story by Mercer Mayer is all about trying to make Christmas perfect for Mom and Dad. Little Critter tackles various holiday tasks like baking cookies and decorating the tree, with each endeavor leading to its own little adventure, often filled with humorous mishaps. This story perfectly captures the essence of a child’s eagerness to contribute to family traditions. It’s a delightful read that combines humor with heartfelt intentions, teaching children about the joy of participation and the love behind every effort during the holiday season.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: Effort and intention in giving, holiday preparations, family bonding, and the joy of participation.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/4avYqhF


The Berenstain Bears’ Merry Christmas by Stan Berenstain ❄️

The Berenstain Bears bring their own special brand of holiday cheer in “The Berenstain Bears’ Merry Christmas.” This festive book follows the Bear family as they engage in familiar Christmas activities, from picking out a tree to waiting for Santa. The story is an excellent way to introduce young children to the joys and traditions of Christmas while emphasizing family values and togetherness. The colorful illustrations and relatable Bear family dynamics make this book a delightful read for the holiday season.

Age Range: 4-7 years old

Lessons: Family traditions, holiday joy, the importance of togetherness during Christmas.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3TAaSH9


Babar and Father Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff 🎅❄️

In “Babar and Father Christmas,” the beloved elephant Babar sets out to find Father Christmas and bring him to Celesteville. The story is a delightful adventure filled with the charm and whimsy characteristic of the Babar series. De Brunhoff’s illustrations are both elegant and playful, perfectly capturing the spirit of Christmas and adventure. This book is a wonderful way to blend a classic character with the excitement and magic of the holiday season, making it a fun and enchanting read for children.

Age Range: 4-8 years old

Lessons: Adventure, the magic of Christmas, determination, and the joy of making others happy.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/47bHNVZ


Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg  🎅❄️  

‘Polar Express’ takes us on a magical train ride to the North Pole. It’s a story that sparks the imagination with its beautiful illustrations and heartwarming narrative. A young boy’s journey on the Polar Express is a metaphor for the wonder of childhood and the beauty of believing in something magical. This book is a Christmas Eve staple that has a way of making everyone, young and old, feel the Christmas spirit in their hearts.

Age Range: 4-7 years old

Lessons: Belief in the magical, the spirit of Christmas, the joy of childhood wonders.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/48jykNc


Madeline’s Christmas by Ludwig Bemelmans ❄️

In “Madeline’s Christmas,” Ludwig Bemelmans brings his iconic character Madeline into the heart of the holiday season with his usual charm and whimsy. This delightful tale follows Madeline and her friends at their boarding school as they prepare for Christmas. Despite everyone falling ill, Madeline’s spirit and resourcefulness shine through, ensuring Christmas is celebrated with joy and wonder. The book’s enchanting illustrations and rhythmic storytelling make it a festive read, capturing the essence of the holiday season through the eyes of everyone’s favorite fearless little girl.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: Resourcefulness, the joy of Christmas, maintaining a positive spirit, and the magic of the holiday season.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NF6zqy


Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry 🎅❄️

Robert Barry’s “Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree” is a charming and heartwarming tale that captures the true spirit of Christmas. The story begins with Mr. Willowby, whose Christmas tree is too tall for his parlor. As the top of the tree is passed down from character to character, it brings holiday cheer to each new home, from a family of bears to a group of mice. This delightful story, with its engaging narrative and cheerful illustrations, teaches a wonderful lesson about sharing and the joy of community during the festive season.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: The joy of sharing, community spirit, the interconnectedness of lives, and the spirit of the holiday season.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/48v8plx


If You Take a Mouse to the Movies by Laura Numeroff ✨❄️

Laura Numeroff’s delightful tale, “If You Take a Mouse to the Movies,” is a whimsical journey that begins with a simple holiday outing. In this story, a small act of kindness – taking a mouse to the movies – snowballs into a series of festive escapades. Each page is filled with humor and charm, showcasing the unpredictable adventures that unfold. The playful narrative and engaging illustrations captivate young readers, making it a fun and lively read for the holiday season. It’s a wonderful book to teach children about the joy of spontaneity and the magic of Christmas activities.

Age Range: 3-7 years old

Lessons: The spirit of adventure, cause and effect, the joys of the holiday season, and embracing unexpected moments.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3TBfAVh


Best Christmas Books 3rd Grade and Above


The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson ✝️

Barbara Robinson’s “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is a delightful and humorous tale that turns the traditional Christmas narrative on its head. The story revolves around the Herdman siblings, known for their mischievous ways, who unexpectedly become part of the local Christmas pageant. Their unconventional portrayal of the nativity story brings a fresh, honest, and surprisingly poignant perspective to the well-known biblical events. This book is a wonderful reminder that sometimes the most profound understanding of Christmas can come from the most unlikely sources. It’s a fantastic read for families, offering laughter and a deeper appreciation for the true meaning of the season.

Age Range: 9-12 years old

Lessons: Understanding and empathy, the true meaning of Christmas, seeing things from different perspectives.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/4azgSGy


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens ❄️

Charles Dickens’ beloved tale, “A Christmas Carol,” is more than just a holiday story; it’s a journey of redemption that has touched the hearts of readers for generations. The story centers on Ebenezer Scrooge, a miser whose cold heart is warmed after visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. It’s a powerful reminder of the transformative power of kindness and the true meaning of Christmas. This classic is a must-read in our house during the holiday season, as it beautifully illustrates the importance of generosity and the impact one person can have on the lives of others.

Age Range: 9+ years old

Lessons: The significance of empathy and generosity, the transformative power of kindness, and the enduring spirit of Christmas.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3NF7oPX


Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies 🎅❄️

“Miracle on 34th Street” by Valentine Davies is a timeless story that brings the magic of Christmas right into our hearts. This charming tale revolves around Kris Kringle, a kind-hearted man who believes he’s the real Santa Claus. His journey, filled with warmth and miracles, particularly impacts a little girl and her mother, reminding us all to hold onto the spirit of Christmas. It’s a wonderful book to share with children, fostering a sense of wonder and the joy of the holiday season.

Age Range: 8-12 years

Lessons: Belief in the wonder of Christmas, the power of faith, and the importance of kindness and generosity.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/3GTMYyR

Kersten Veronesi


  1. Charlotte Perez on December 22, 2023 at 2:43 pm

    Kersten, Thank you for the superior suggestions. I am very familiar with the 4-12 age range. Each book is delightfully unique. Some touch the heart, some make you belly laugh, but all share a wonderful aspect of Christmas to delight in and contemplate. Well done! A few are new to me and I’m looking forward to adding them to my collection.

    • Kersten Veronesi on December 22, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      You are so welcome Charlotte! This blog post was a labor of love indeed.

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