As another holiday weekend comes to a close, we’re taking time to enjoy our Christmas books. We hope you can take a moment away from the hustle and bustle of the season to cuddle close with a child in your life and read, too.
The Kids’ Favorite Christmas Books
Of course, we have recommendations. Each of the kids (and Allie and I, too) have selected a favorite (or two). Are any of these on your list? If not, tell us what makes your list of favorite holiday books. (If you’re looking for classics, see our last post.)
Winter’s Favorite: Fa! La La!
We really just can’t get enough Leslie Patricelli in our house. Fa! La La!, featuring our favorite baby, gets us all into the holiday spirit while it documents important Christmas traditions from decorating the tree to the hilariously awkward first visit with Santa. And somehow the humor works from age 23 months to 34 years.
Cam’s 2nd Favorite: Pete the Cat Saves Christmas
As noted in our last post, Cam’s favorite Christmas book is How the Grinch Stole Christmas. In second is Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, illustrated by Pete the Cat creator James Dean, story by Eric Litwin.
When Santa gets sick, he calls on Pete the Cat to deliver the toys. And though he is small, he agrees. Throughout the book, this refrain repeats: “Give it your all, give it your all. At Christmas we give, so give it your all.” Not only a great message about helping at Christmas time, but also about determination and giving it your all no matter what.
If you’re worried about the singing that’s always incorporated into the Pete the Cat books, no need. PetetheCatBooks.com gives you songs and videos for most the books, including a video for Pete the Cat Saves Christmas.
Willow’s Favorite: Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree
Maybe it’s because she shares a name with the heroine, but this sweet tale about sisterhood and Christmas is Willow’s holiday favorite this year. When big sister Maple is allergic to the girls’ perfect Christmas tree, Willow gets creative to make Christmas special for everyone. She even gets up – in the dark – to prepare a special surprise for her sister. Extra points for bravery on top of sisterly kindness.
CJ’s Favorite: The Legend of Mistletoe and the Christmas Kittens
This sweet tale of Mistletoe, a kitten with red paws, green fur, and a candy-cane striped tail, is CJ’s favorite. I think he’d like a kitten that looks like Mistletoe. In fact, we couldn’t believe that no one wanted him at the beginning of the book.
Though it starts sad, it wouldn’t be a Christmas tale if it ended that way. When Mistletoe finds some lonely kittens, he unselfishly finds them a home. And Santa turns that act of kindness into its own gift for Mistletoe. This is precious story by Joe Troiano, illustrated by Lydia Halverson encompasses the true meaning of Christmas.
CJ’s 2nd Favorite: Charlie and the Christmas Kitty
Charlie is very funny…even funnier when read in my southern accent. He first mistakes the kitten for a rabbit. Then he tries everything he can think of get rid of it…or at least ignore it away. He eventually finds some good reasons to live with it, but then gets another surprise.
The realistic illustrations of Diane deGroat will make you feel like you’re celebrating Christmas with Ree Drummond’s family. As big fans, we liked recognizing the real-life people in the books.
Mom’s Favorite Children’s Christmas Books
Allie and I couldn’t resist sharing our favorites, too. But it was really hard choosing just one! So we both picked two.
Allie’s Favorite: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Written and illustrated by Jan Brett, this book helps you remember all those numbers and days of Christmas while gazing at Jan Brett’s gorgeous and colorful wintry illustrations. Even though we own the board book size, it packs a punch. I love to sing it with the girls, especially when they hit the high notes on “five gold rings!” with their angelic little voices.
Allie’s 2nd Favorite: Angelina’s Christmas
In this story, Angelina is up to the usual (beautifully dancing) when she notices a lonely neighbor. She sweetly and subsequently brightens the holiday for this elderly mouse and all the other mouselings by beginning a new holiday tradition. I love this series and story by Katherine Holabird as well as Helen Craig’s charming illustrations and the warm holiday coziness they evoke.
Christine’s Favorite: The Sweet Smells of Christmas
Little Bear is excited that Christmas is almost here. While he waits, he cuts down a tree with Father, makes gingerbread boys with Mother, shares hot chocolate with carolers, and other fun things that we get to smell.
You and your children will not only enjoy smelling your way to Christmas with Little Bear, but might find inspiration for some new traditions. The Sweets Smells of Christmas sparked me to make sure Santa includes an orange at the top of the boys’ stocking each year.
Christine’s 2nd Favorite: Llama Llama Holiday Drama
We were first introduced to Llama Llama at a holiday event at my Mom’s company. CJ was three, and we joined a special storytime where Llama Llama Holiday Drama was read aloud. He was captivated by the colorful pictures and rhyme of the text.
Llama Llama Holiday Drama captures the craziness of the season. I feel it talks to me even more than the kids. With work, CJ’s birthday, general life, and preparing for the holidays, there’s a lot of Holidrama! But I try to keep in mind this quote from Mama Llama: “Sometimes we should take a rest and hold the ones we love the best. Wishing, waiting, wanting things…we forget what this time brings. Gifts are nice, but there’s another—the true gift is we have each other.”
While we could continue to recommend Christmas books, we hope these will get you started. For more of what we’re reading this holiday season and beyond, check out our Instagram feed. And don’t forget to share your favorites this holiday season!