If ever there was a month to get cozy with the kiddos and read a million books, it'd be December. Holiday season is pretty bonkers for most folks, especially those of us with little kids who require more Christmas planning than any non-parent could begin to comprehend (presents; trying to keep them from un-decorating your tree; sticky candy cane hands; difficult bedtimes when they know Santa will arrive any minute). But to slow down just a bit, and enjoy all the season has to offer, I like to read a lot of books with my kids. In fact, one year, I wrapped a holiday children's book for every day in December leading up to Christmas, and every night my kids got to open a present and enjoy a new book.
I'll be honest, that was a lot of work! But, still, this year, I've already begun to stockpile my favorite new Christmas books to make for a magical Christmas Eve night. In case you are an overachieving parent who does the book-a-day thing every year, have no fear! We've done the heavy lifting. (No, these don't arrive wrapped.) All of these books are hot off the presses and ready to be devoured as 2018 winds down. Get your slippers and egg nog, and let's drink to snuggly bedtimes and quiet nights.
1. 'We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga' by Traci Sorrell, Illustrated by Frané Lessac
Start off the holiday season with a dose of gratitude. This book is great all year round, talking about the seasons and introducing Cherokee culture and language. But if you want to set your intentions for the month, this is a great place to start. Check out the pronunciation guide here!
2. 'Plum: How The Sugar Plum Fairy Got Her Wings' by Sean Hayes and Scott Icenogle, illustrated by Robin Thompson
Actor Sean Hayes and his husband wrote this cute backstory of the Sugar Plum Fairy. It's got all the trappings of a classic Christmas story: an orphan who wants a family, a little magic, and a big dose of caring and sharing.
Bonus: the dust jacket is glittery. I feel like that's important to add.
3. 'The Snowy Nap' by Jan Brett
When I think of winter + kids' books, Jan Brett's art just jumps into my mind. Her illustrations are always detailed and gorgeous and snowy. This is her latest, which features Hedgie, who wants to stay awake for winter so he can experience the magic, instead of sleeping through it as usual.
4. 'Construction Night On Christmas Night' by Sherri Dusker Rinker, illustrated by AG Ford
5. 'I Got The Christmas Spirit' by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illustrated by Frank Morrison
6. 'A Christmas Advent Story' by Ivy Snow
7. 'All Is Merry And Bright' by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Don Clark
This is a book you'll want to put on display. It's like Christmas exploded all over this book, and I am here for it. It's a keepsake board book that you and your kids will want to run your fingers over all the embossed pages and admire the shiny foil.
8. 'Merry Christmas, Pookie' by Sandra Boynton
9. 'Jingle Bells, At The Zoo' by Jeffrey Burton, illustrated by Emma Trithart
10. 'Winter Is Here' by Kevin Henkes, illustrated by Laura Droznek
11. 'The Broken Ornament' by Tony DiTerlizzi
12. 'This Is Christmas' by Tom Booth
13. 'One Christmas Wish' by Katherine Rundell, illustrated by Emily Sutton
Looking for a read you can enjoy snuggled under a blanket by the fire (or if you're like me, and you don't have a fireplace, you can always put a video of a fireplace on your TV. #lifehack), this one would be perfect. It's a longer tale à la The Velveteen Rabbit. It'll hit you right in the Christmas feels.
14. 'The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains' by Annie Silvestro, illustrated by Paolo Zakimi
15. 'Ecclesiastes' by Cynthia Rylant
Those wishing to include some spirituality to their winter reading should check out this gorgeously illustrated book based on The King James Bible's Book of Ecclesiastes. It's not about Christmas per se, but it invites discussions about the seasons and about patience and peace, which we could all use more of during the holidays.
16. 'The Night Before Christmas' by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Lindsay Dale-Scott
17. 'The 12 Pets Of Christmas' by Taylor Garland
18. 'Small Walt And Mo The Tow' by Elizabeth Burdick
19. 'The Cat Who Ate Christmas' by Lil Chase, illustrated by Thomas Docherty
Jingle is a delightfully naughty cat who can't resist eating the Christmas turkey. When his family gets (justifiably) angry at him, he runs away, but then misses his family and his family misses him. I'm sure there's a moral in there somewhere.
20. 'Little Christmas Tree' by Jessica Courtney-Tickle
21. 'Crafty Llama' by Mike Kerr, Illustrated by Renata Liwska
22. 'I Love The Nutcracker: My First Sound Book' by Marion Billett
23. 'Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas' by Kimberly and James Dean
24. 'I Love You Through And Through At Christmas, Too!' by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak, illustrated by Caroline Jayne Church
This is sweet and super-readable board book for our littlest Christmas loves. I know, I've personally read I Love You Through And Through probably hundreds of times to my kids, so I'm excited to put this one in rotation as well!
25. 'The Christmas Eve Tree' by Delia Huddy, illustrated by Emily Sutton
A spindly tree is the last one in the shop, but magical things happen when he's chosen by a boy who doesn't care that it's smaller or sparser. This book is another that will hit you in the feels and warm you up better than a mug of hot chocolate.