One of our favorite Christmas traditions revolves around books. Each year, both sets of grandparents send us a new Christmas book that we read as part of our Christmas Eve celebration. The books from years past sit in a basket by the couch for the month of December, easily accessible for bedtime stories, Family Home Evening lessons, or whenever we need a little extra dose of Christmas spirit.
After 18 years of marriage, we have quite the collection of Christmas books that have wonderful messages about the real meaning of Christmas. If you would like to collect a few of your own, I have compiled a list of our 10 favorites to get you started:
This one is probably my favorite. It is a story of an orphan girl named Rose who discovers that the joy of Christmas comes down to love, kindness, and friendship. The illustrations are beautiful, and I tear up almost every time I read it.
2. A Christmas Dress for Ellen, by Thomas S. Monson
This is the story of family who is in such destitute circumstances that they can barely afford the essentials, let alone any Christmas gifts for their five children. In a mother’s desperation, she wrote to her sisters asking for help with food and, perhaps, a few used quilts to replace the worn out ones that no longer kept her children warm. While her letter appeared to go unanswered, a miracle happened at the last minute, bringing hope and light back into young Ellen’s childhood. Once again, the illustrations are gorgeous.
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas, by Dr. Seuss
This one needs no explanation, and I can recite the whole thing from memory. I love it that much!
4. The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski
This is the sweet story of a widow and her son who, upon moving to a new village, realized that their beloved nativity set had somehow been lost. They employed the grouchy village wood-carver, Jonathan Toomey, to carve a new set for them. It is the story of love, loss, change, and renewed hope.
5. The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
Once again, this one needs no explanation. It is the magic of Christmas, all wrapped up in a simple little book.
6. Santa Claus, The World’s Number One Toy Expert, by Marla Frazee
This is probably my younger kids’ favorite. It is about how Santa gets to know each child throughout the year, and how he gets the right gift to the right child – almost all the time…because nobody is perfect, not even Santa Claus. It is an adorable and quick read.
7. The Crippled Lamb, by Max Lucado
This is the heartwarming story of a crippled little lamb named Joshua who could not run and play with the other lambs. He felt left out, but his prayers were answered in a special way on that first Christmas morning. It is a wonderful reminder that God has a special place in his heart for all of us, despite our imperfections.
8. The Light of Christmas, by Richard Paul Evans
This is the story of young Alexander who learns that the real meaning of Christmas is not about how many material things that you have to give, but about how you give of yourself to others in need. It is a good reminder for all of us.
9. The Christmas Train: A True Story, by Thomas S. Monson
A story of how young Tommy learns that it is better to give than to receive.
10. A Christ Centered Christmas: Seven Traditions to Lead Us Closer to the Savior, by Emily Belle Freeman
If you are looking to build your celebration around the birth of the Savior, this is a great place to start. You will get to know Mary, Joseph, The Angel, The Shepherd, The Wise Men, The Lamb, and The Christ Child better through scripture and simple traditions that will lead you closer to Christ.
What are your favorite Christmas books?