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10 Favorite Read-Aloud Christmas Books

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without good Christmas stories — here are 10 of our favorite read-aloud Christmas books:


The Christmas Story

The Gingerbread Boy

Gingerbread Baby

Gingerbread Friends

The Mitten

B is for Bethlehem

The Baby Born in a Stable

White Snow, Bright Snow

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Great Joy

You should be able to find all or most of these at your local library!

What are some of your family’s favorite read-aloud Christmas books? I’d love to find new ones to add to our list of favorites!

top image via Bigstock

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  • Nichole D. says:

    Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch and new favorites this year are The Christmas Tree Farm by Ann Purmell and Peppa Pig and the Lost Christmas List. Happy Holidays! 🙂

  • Lisa K. says:

    Check out “The Sparkle Box.” A mom shared this at my bible study group recently and it is really great. 🙂

  • Melissa G. says:

    Our new favorite is Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson (who does the Bear Snores On Series). It’s a very touching story.

    Other good ones our family has enjoyed: Christmas Oranges by Linda Bethers, Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner, The Last Straw by Fredrick H. Thury, and The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

    Thanks for all your work to save my family some money and keep me organized. Happy Holidays!

  • JoAnna Magelitz says:

    The Littlest Angel – – – my all-time favorite Christmas story ever. I cry every time I read it. In fact, we just read it last night.

  • Brandy says:

    The Little Christmas Elf-A little goldenbook; My 2 and 3 yr olds love this sweet tale about a small elf who never gives up making a special teddy bear.

    We also are introducing the Polar Express, a few pages at a time. The Night Before Christmas will always be my favorite! As a first christmas present, my husband’s grandmother sent a copy of this story, one of the Hallmark recordable books. It is our Christmas Eve tradition for the boys’ G.G. to read them this story! I highly recommend recordable story books for loved ones far away. My kids treasure these, and it brings tears to my eyes that we have this keepsake from Great Grandma!

  • Sara says:

    Ours is the Polar Express it has ties with the state and city we live near. So it is a must
    Read in our house in the winter!

  • Heather says:

    Our family favorite is The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. It is a chapter book. We read a little every night when we do our advent time. My kids are older now (17, 14, 11), and we’ve probably read it every year for at least 8 years. It is funny – we laugh out loud and touching – my kids know I’ll cry when we read the end.
    A new favorite is Dave Barry’s “The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Dog” – told with Dave’s signature humor, it is a semiautobiographical story.
    Some picture book favorites are: Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco, Jingle the Christmas Clown by Tomie dePaola, Jacob’s Gift by Max Lacado, and Jan Brett’s Christmas Trolls and The Wild Christmas Reindeer.

  • Gina says:

    My kids are getting older (8, 5, 4) so I looked to get some books to meet their needs… we loved The Legend of the Christmas Rose by William H. Hooks, The Third Gift by Linda Sue Park, and On Angel Wings by Michael Morpurgo. All are fiction, but set in the scene of the Nativity. So happy to have added these to our personal collection this year thanks to Amazon gift cards from Swagbucks!

  • Kristy says:

    I love your list. We own the first one and have checked out a couple of those Jan Brett ones. One of our traditional books is Christmas Treasury from Dalmatian Press. I like its mix of holiday stories, Christian stories, songs, and nursery rhymes. The selections are all different lengths. We try to read (or sing) one selection every day of the season.

  • Mary says:

    Our new favorite is Santa’s Favorite Story, in which Santa tells woodland animals about Jesus’ birth. It really emphasizes that Santa’s role is Christmas is secondary. My kids ask to read it several times a day!

  • Connie says:

    One of our favorites is:

    The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story [Paperback]
    Gloria Houston (Author), Barbara Cooney (Illustrator)

    • Meredith says:

      Ours is the Year of the Perfect Christmas tree too! I grew up in the NC mountains and live in SC now. It’s important to us.

  • Jen says:

    You HAVE to try Mr Willowby’s Christmas Tree. It’s the sweetest!

  • Laura says:

    I agree with Heather. Crystal, you need to get a copy of the book, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.” Hands down one of the best Christmas books I’ve read. It’s a chapter book, but your kids would love it!

    • Crystal says:

      I read that growing up and I’d just been thinking that I bet my kids would love it! Thanks for giving me the nudge to go request a hold on it from the library!

  • Amy says:

    Three of our family favorites are Jotham’s Journey, Bartholomew’s Passage, and Tabitha’s Travels. These are written by Arnold Ytreeide. Each book is for the advent season, so you would pick only one book a year. You read a small portion of the book each night of advent and it has a small devotional to go with it. Even my teenagers still love to listen to them.

    • Michelle says:

      This is my second year reading Jotham’s Journey to my now six year old. My son loves it. However, I wouldn’t recommend it for everyone. There is violence, cruelty and death in the book series. Within the first few days of Jotham’s Journey the boy gets separated from his parents, and winds up being treated very badly by a man who actually chops the fingers off of another child, etc. The series, though fictional, is set around the time of Jesus’ birth and tells a lot of details about that time period in Jerusalem and events from Scripture. I really like the series, and my son has learned a lot

  • Jennifer B. says:

    I’m glad someone else mentioned a book that makes her cry. I heartily recommend The Three Trees. (There are several versions, some with titles like The Story or Legend or Tale of The Three Trees.) It sort of reminds me of The Giving Tree, which also makes me cry, but has a Christian theme with a Christmas tie-in. (It is also a great Easter-time book — if that doesn’t give too much away!)

    • Sara says:

      Glad you mentioned this! I posted above about polar express, because of the ties to our city. But the three trees is also a favorite of mine. I too, cry! My kids look at me funny and as much as i try not to it makes me tear up! A Must read! 🙂

  • Ann says:

    Just finished “The Lion in the Box” by Marguerite De Angeli. We love all her books, but this is a great Christmas story.

    • Kris says:

      “‘Twas the Fright Before Christmas” is a really fun book and the illustrations are awesome. It has become my kids’ favorite…we read it over and over and have for 3 years.

  • angel says:

    The Sparkle Box
    Jotham’s Journey
    One Wintry Night

  • Jennifer says:

    The Sweet Smell of Christmas, One Special Night, The Snowman, Olive..the Other Reindeer, Elf on the Shelf, The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever….to name a few!

  • Meghan Ross says:

    Here is a list of Christmas books for kids that I compiled. Thanks for sharing yours!

  • Ashley P says:

    The Best Christmas Pageant Ever was our family tradition. Some parents may want to ensure that their kids are a bit older, since some of the elements of the story can be a bit mature for the elementrary set (they use words like “pregnant” and “underwear” which causes some kids in the story to giggle and reference some of the bad behavior of the main characters such as smoking cigars and disrespecting adults) but for the 10+ set, it’s an amazing story about how that Babe in Bethlehem is still changing lives today, even the lives of the worst kids in town.

    Plus, it’s just plain FUNNY! My grandmother and I would read it and laugh and cry together. A few years ago, I read it out loud to my best friend who was visiting at Christmas time and he sat at 23 years old, wide-eyed and riveted hanging on every word! it truly is a wonderful read.

    • Ashley P says:

      Oh, and my other favorites are The Velveteen Rabbit (which isn’t ENTIRELY a Christmas story, but starts at Christmas and is about toys), One Wintry Night, written by the late great Ruth Bell Graham, and A Christmas Carol. I know it’s mostly a book for the older set also, but I’m certain there must be a children’s version out there somewhere. I was a pretty advanced reader, so I read it on my own around 5th grade and understood most of it. But I REALLY got into it when I re-read it in high school. If you don’t want to read it aloud to your kids because you think it’s too advanced, there’s a wonderful Focus on the Family Radio Theatre adaptation that would work well on that long car ride to grandma’s on Christmas or something.

  • Mica says:

    The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! I read it last year to my then-almost 9 year old and this year to my 8 year old. Great message.
    And How The Grinch Stole Christmas – every year!

  • Suzanne says:

    Here are our favorite and a few new ones that we’re trying this year! 🙂 My favorite is “Christmas Came for Easter.” You can read more about it here. Such a great way to help our children understand the significance of Christmas because of Easter. 🙂

  • Joy says:

    Jotham’s Journey is our all-time favorite Christmas read-aloud book!

  • Laura says:

    This is the Stable has gorgeous artwork and is lovely to read. I like that Mary and Joseph and baby Jesus are not pale European looking as well.

  • Courtney says:

    We love Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S Buck. It’s the story of a boy from a poor farm family who wants to give his father a gift to show how much he loves him. He gets up in the middle of the night and sneaks out to the barn and does all the chores so his father can relax and enjoy Christmas morning.

    Mr Willowby’s Christmas Tree is also a favorite!

  • Ember says:

    We LOVE Room for a Little One. It’s from the perspective of the animals in the stable where Jesus was born. Great for toddlers and preschoolers!

  • Susan in St. Louis says:

    Walter Wangerin Jr. has a couple of really good children’s Christmas books, including Mary’s First Christmas.

  • Kayla P says:

    I absoutely loved The Christmas Miracle of Jonathon Toomey! I did a blog post about the books we will be reading through December – one a day until Christmas. They are all wrapped up and the children get to open a “present” each day! 🙂

  • Cecilia says:

    A beautiful story: Room for a Little One. The Author is Martin Waddell.
    My dad bought this book for myself and my siblings about 6 years ago because he loved it so much and he wanted us to read it to our children. Who says you are ever too old to receive a children’s book? If you love The Mitten by Jan Brett you will love this story and the beautiful illustrations.

  • Julie says:

    We love Do You See What I See? It’s about some animals roaming thru the woods and country side during the night, and they come upon the manger with Baby Jesus. I absolutely LOVE this book.

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