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Christmas Books for Kids

Immerse yourself in the enchanting tales that capture the warmth and magic of the holiday season. These classic stories contain timeless lessons of love, generosity, and wonder. The list of Christmas books for kids that follows offers a treasure trove of joy and inspiration, not just in  December, but throughout the whole year.

Classic Folklore and Fairy Tales

The Elves and the Shoemaker by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (Published 1806)

A poor shoemaker receives unexpected help from elves who secretly make beautiful shoes for him overnight, rewarding his kindness. This heartwarming tale teaches the value of generosity and hard work.

Fun Fact: It was first published in Germany in the book Grimm’s Fairy Tales which contained 86 stories.

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen (Published 1844)

The Snow Queen is a story about the struggle between good and evil. It follows the journey of a young boy named Kai who is kidnapped by the cold-hearted Snow Queen. His friend Gerda sets out on an epic quest to rescue him, facing many challenges along the way.

Fun Fact: Andersen had the idea for this iconic fairy tale after experiencing a piece of ice in his eye as a child.

Christmas Classics

The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore (Published 1823)

While not a book, this legendary poem vividly depicts the arrival of Santa Claus and his reindeer on a snowy Christmas Eve, largely shaping the modern-day Santa myth.

Fun Fact: Clement C. Moore wrote the poem as a gift for his nine children, and initially, he did not intend to publish it.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss (Published 1957)

The grumpy, green Grinch tries to ruin Christmas for Whoville by stealing everything, only to learn the true meaning of the holiday.

Fun Fact: Dr. Seuss wrote the book in response to a 1957 article in Life magazine that lamented the commercialization of Christmas.

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles Schultz (Published 1965)

Charlie Brown searches for the true meaning of Christmas amidst the holiday’s commercialism. After taking on the role of director for the school Christmas play, his friends mock his choice of a small, scraggly tree. With the help of Linus, Charlie Brown and his friends learn that Christmas is about love and the true spirit of the holiday. This is one of the true classic Christmas books for kids.

Straggly tree with one red bulb to show Charlie Brown Christmas as one of great Christmas books for kids.

Fun Fact: Charles Schultz completed the book in just six months. It features real children voicing the iconic characters.

Stories of Holiday Magic

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum (Published 1902) 

The creator of The Wizard of Oz weaves an imaginative mythology about the origins and immortal life of the beloved Santa Claus figure.

Fun Fact: The book established many Santa Claus traditions like living at the North Pole, keeping a list of naughty/nice children, and delivering toys on Christmas Eve.

Santa and reindeer riding in front of white moon

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May (Published 1939)

The story of an underdog reindeer who saves Christmas with his glowing red nose. Rudolph finds his purpose after others ridicule him for his uniqueness. This is one of the most iconic Christmas books for kids. 

Fun Fact: It was originally written as a poem for a promotional Christmas booklet for the Montgomery Ward department store in 1939.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (1985)

In this magical 1985 children’s story, a boy boards a train bound for the North Pole on Christmas Eve. The mysterious train brings him to Santa’s village for a peek at the Christmas preparations. This helps rekindle his fading belief in Santa. It is a perfect pick to get both kids and adults into the holiday mood.

Fun Fact: This book won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for its illustrations.

Railroad tracks in winter to show Polar Express as one of best Christmas books for kids

Timeless Tales of Christmas Spirit

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck (1955)

The story centers around Rob, a farmer’s son, who reminisces about a special Christmas morning from his childhood. As a young boy, Rob wanted to give his father a meaningful Christmas gift to show his appreciation. Knowing that his father wakes up early every morning to milk the cows, Rob secretly gets up even earlier to complete the chore for him, allowing his father to sleep in. The story beautifully captures the spirit of selfless love and the joy of giving.

Fun Fact: The author won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938. She was the first American woman to receive this prestigious award.

Christmas in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder (1981)

This autobiographical story follows Laura and her pioneering family’s Christmas traditions and adventures in the Wisconsin woods during the 1800s.

Fun Fact: Wilder based these chapters on her own childhood memories of homespun holiday celebrations with loved ones.]

Woods in winter showing one of christmas books for kids

Heartwarming Animal Stories

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (Published 1922)

A tattered nursery rabbit becomes real after years of being truly loved by a boy. This timeless tale promotes the virtues of love and wisdom.

Fun Fact: The idea came to Margery Williams after she saw a well-worn stuffed rabbit on a family vacation and wondered about the toys’ feelings.

The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter (Published 1903)  

A tailor finishes an important coat for the Mayor of Gloucester’s wedding in time for Christmas Day. He receives help from grateful mice in this illustrated tale.

Fun Fact: Potter created the story as a Christmas gift for a sick child, inspired by her pet mice and rabbit.

The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden (Published 1958)

It is the story of a doll named Holly and the toys in a toy shop that come alive at Christmas time, along with an orphan girl named Ivy.

Fun Fact: Godden was inspired by her own familiarity with dolls and puppets growing up in India.

While Christmas books for kids are most commonly associated with the holiday season, their timeless messages and magical storytelling are great any time of year. The joy, love, and wonder found within the pages of classic Christmas tales for children have an evergreen quality. They can uplift spirits and inspire young minds throughout all twelve months.

Ornaments on Christmas tree

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