The Best Christmas and Advent Books

Posted by Kristen Kum on

Hello friends, and happy Advent! It's that time of the year when so many of us want to curl up with cocoa or tea and piles of beautiful Advent and Christmas books! This is my favorite book time of the year for so many reasons.

I often share about our favorite books on Instagram, and have long promised so many of you that I would make some good book lists for you all. Since I am asked most often about our favorite Advent and Christmas books, I decided this should be the topic of our first list! 

If a book is marked with an asterisk *, it means that I personally think it's the best of the best, worth being in a collection for those who can only have a small "core" book collection, or for those who are just starting out and want to go right for the gold! This list contains books that range all the way from board books up to chapter books that make great read alouds or for older kids. 

You can view most of these books on Amazon here. Many are out of print, and are worth tracking down used, but I do suggest doing that in the "off season" for the best prices. Also, check out this post to make sure you're getting the best deal on used and out of print books!


Tomie DePaola belongs at the top of the list, because he has has so many beautiful and good Advent and Christmas books: 

*The Legend of the Three Wise Kings 

The Night of Las Posadas

The Legend of the Poinsettia

Joy to the World: Tomie's Christmas Stories (This treasury contains the 3 books above)

*Merry Christmas Strega Nona

*The Lady of Guadalupe

The Legend of Old Befana

The Birds of Bethlehem

The Clown of God

My First Christmas

Strega Nona's Gift

The Friendly Beasts

The Night Before Christmas

An Early American Christmas

Tomie dePaola's Christmas Tree Book

Four Friends at Christmas

Hark! A Christmas Sampler - by Jane Yolen & Tomie DePaola


And here, in no particular order, are all our other favorite Christmas books!

* Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas - by Ann Voskamp

* The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas - by Ann Voskamp (This beautiful gem is for you, Mamas!)

* The Story of Christmas - by Pamela Dalton

The Story of Christmas - by Jane Ray

* The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas: An Austin Family Story - by Madeline L'Engle

* Lucia: Saint of Light - Katherine Bolger Hyde

Lucia Morning in Sweden - by Ewa Rydaker

* Our Lady of Guadalupe (pop up book) - by Francisco Serrano

The Beautiful Lady: Our Lady of Guadalupe - by Pat Mora

* Christmas Tapestry - by Patricia Polacco

An Orange for Frankie - by Patricia Polacco

The Twelve Days of Christmas - by Laurel Long

B Is for Bethlehem - by Isabel Wilner

Who is Coming to Our House? - by Joseph Slate

* How the Grinch Stole Christmas! - Dr Seuss

* The Joy Of A Peanuts Christmas - by Schulz (Note, my kids read this on their own because it's written comic book style, but they've read it to pieces!)

* The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story - by Gloria Houston

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale - by Aaron Shepard

* Christmas in the Trenches - by John McCutcheon

The True Gift - by Patricia MacLachlan

* A Tree for Peter - by Kate Seredy

The Little Fir Tree - by Margaret Wise Brown

On Christmas Eve - by Margaret Wise Brown

The Story of Holly and Ivy - by Rumer Godden

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree - by Robert Barry

Christmas Day in the Morning - by Pearl Buck

* The Night Before Christmas - by Clement Moore

Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury - by Jan Brett

Gingerbread Baby - by Jan Brett

Gingerbread Friends - by Jan Brett

Gingerbread Christmas - by Jan Brett

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey - by Susan Wojciechowski

* The Legend of the Candy Cane - by Lori Walburg

* The Nutcracker Story Orchestra - Adapted by Katy Flint

Nutcracker - by ETA Hoffman

The Nutcracker - by Susan Jeffers

The Huron Carol - Illustrated by Frances Tyrrell

Mary - by Brian Wildsmith

* The Three Gifts of Christmas - by Jennie Bishop

* The Gift from Saint Nicholas Paperback - by Dorothea Lachner

This is the Star - Joyce Dunbar

Mortimer's Christmas Manger - by Karma Wilson

* Apple Tree Christmas - Trinka Hakes Noble

Christmas at the Top of the World - by Tim Coffey

Christmas In The Country - by Cynthia Rylant

* There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve Hardcover - by Pamela Munoz Ryan

* The Donkey's Dream - by Barbara Helen Berger

* The Miracle of Saint Nicholas - by Gloria Whelan

*Letters From Father Christmas - JRR Tolkien (Note, this is my 12 year old's favorite Christmas book. I think it's best suited for kids old enough to not get confused by the fact that Tolkien posed as Father Christmas in letters to his children)

* A Little House Christmas Treasury: Festive Holiday Stories - by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Christmas in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder

*A Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories - by Louisa May Alcott

* Christmas with Anne - LM Montgomery

* A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens


That's it! Except I know I'm probably forgetting several books (there are so many!), and I'm sure I'll discover more as we go. So I am updating this list as I think of, or discover, more beautiful Advent and Christmas books! I would love to hear what your favorite Christmas/Advent books are, and what Christmas book deals you find!

Love, Kristen


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