We all know the holidays can be stressful, especially with kids. There is so much shopping, preparation, traveling, and social engagements that we commit ourselves to, and it's too easy to get caught up in it all. But even amongst the chaos, celebrating Christmas with children can — and should —be full of joy and wonder. One of the best ways to slow down and savor the good parts of the season is to pick up some of the best Christmas books for kids and to read them with your little ones.
Aside from relaxing and bringing some serenity to an otherwise chaotic few weeks, , these books are a surefire way to reignite your Christmas spirit. They'll help teach your child about the history and tradition of Christmas. They will also acknowledge the emotions this time of year can bring: wonder, impatience, frustration, and love.
Make some time to snuggle up under a blanket with some carols on. Hot chocolate isn't a bad idea either. In fact, there's no rule that you can't just get into your Christmas jammies early, slip on some slippers, build a pillow fort and read with your kids all day — that's a new Christmas tradition lots of parents and kids could get behind. These books are a great place to start, and will be fun to read with kids from one to ninety-two.
1. 'The Christmas Quiet Book' by Deborah Underwood
This is the gentlest, coziest book. Filled with quiet activities, honored tradition, and peaceful moments, this book shows woodland creatures decorating trees, playing in the snow and doing all the most fun things the season has to offer. It's poetic and simple. This would be a great naptime or bedtime read.
2. 'Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree' by Lori Nichols
Two sisters Maple & Willow (as seen in other books by Lori Nichols) are excited to be getting a live Christmas tree for the first time, but when Maple has an allergic reaction to the tree, they need to get creative. It's a sweet story with sibling love and teamwork at its core.
3. 'The Little Drummer Boy' by Ezra Jack Keats
The classic carol of The Little Drummer Boy is illustrated beautifully in this book. A child wishes to give a gift to Jesus, but has nothing to give aside from a song. The underlying message of giving is perfect for Christmas. There is something special about singing along to a book, it's a magical way of storytelling.
4. 'It's Christmas, David!' by David Shannon
David of No, David fame is back and up to his usual hijinks. This time he's trying to sneak a peek at some presents and running outside with only a hat, mittens and boots on. (Now there's an image.) David is as hilarious as ever, and children will wonder if he will possibly make Santa's nice list.
5. 'On This Special Night' by Claire Freedman
This is a sweet introduction to the Nativity. A mother cat and her kitten notice the stars are burning extra bright. They join other animals traveling to a barn where they meet a very special baby. The story is peaceful, and the illustrations are photo-realistic and beautiful. Jesus's birth is casually mentioned, so it isn't overly-religious, but it still introduces the idea that Christmas night is a sacred occasion.
6. 'A World Of Cookies For Santa: Follow Santa's Tasty Trip Around The World' by M.E. Furman
Fly around the world with Santa and discover the cookies and the cultures he gets to experience in different parts of the world. This book is an excellent introduction into geography and multiculturalism. For each place Santa visits, readers will learn customs and traditions and even what they call Santa. There are even recipes in the back, so you can sample some of the treats.
7. 'Bear Stays Up For Christmas' by Karma Wilson
Bear from Bear Snores On is still in his cave, but this time, he and his friends are preparing for Christmas. You'd think it would be difficult for a bear who should be hibernating to stay awake, but excitement keeps Bear going. The rhymes and painted illustrations are fun for kids of all ages.
8. 'The Little Reindeer' by Nicola Killen
The mostly black, gray, and white illustrations really help make this nighttime adventure story feel cozy. Ollie, who is dressed in a reindeer costume, is drawn out of bed when she hears a jingle noise. She feels compelled to follow the sound, sledding down hills and trudging through a snowy forest.
9. 'Pick A Pine Tree' by Patricia Toht
Traditions are so important in celebrating Christmas, and no tradition is more beloved than picking out and decorating a tree. This rhyming book goes through all the steps from finding the perfect tree, to digging out boxes of ornaments. With an emphasis on being with friends and family, Pick A Pine Tree is a great read to remind kids of the magic of the season.
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