We’re just a couple days away from my favorite holiday of the year, and you can be sure that at this time of year I’ll be engaged in my favorite hobby as well: reading.
Combining the Christmas holiday plus good books is a little version of heaven for me, and add in eggnog and the smell of pine trees and I’m as good as done.
This year, I’ve picked seven great Christmas books for kids that should be on any parent’s bookshelf. Some of them, as you’ll find, are just as great for adults as they are for children. (When it comes to littles, who’s doing the reading, after all?)
Can you think of any great must-haves that I’ve missed?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas 1 of 7
No list of great Christmas books for kids (or adults) would be complete without How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This book, more than any other, defines Christmas for me, and will define it for my kids. Anyone - young or old - can spend hours reading again and again the hilarious, well illustrated antics of one particular Christmas naysayer... the Grinch;)
The Polar Express 2 of 7
As a child, I clung to The Polar Express for the story. After all, what child wouldn't want to take an old-fashioned steam train up North to meet Santa himself over the Christmas holiday? As an adult, though, I'm drawn to this book for the illustrations, which are surely half the reason that this book has sold more then 6 million copies in 2 decades. Buy this, treasure it, read it to your kids, and pass it on.
A Christmas Carol 3 of 7
Think A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens isn't an obvious choice for kids on Christmas? Think again. This version - perfect for kids - shares the quintessential story that serves as the backbone for much of holiday nostalgia in the Western world. A book to keep on the shelf, year in and year out.
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving 4 of 7
As a child, I was obsessed with the Berenstain Bears, and regularly could sit down and read 5 or 10 at a sitting. (True story: I even had the Berenstain Bears Tree House. Think a doll house — but for brother bear, sister bear, and clan.) This Christmas edition, The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving, is a perfect holiday book to teach kids about the true importance of Christmas: being thankful for what we have and giving to others when we can. I love this one, and your kids will, too.
The Night Before Christmas 5 of 7
'Twas the night before Christmas... and you know the rest;) The Night Before Christmas isn't just a 1949 poem, but a book as well. This illustrated gem is a great way to teach your kids the classic poem, and let older ones who already know it recite along. A must-have for any good Christmas bookshelf.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree 6 of 7
Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, by Robert Barry, is not a particularly well-known or spectacularly illustrated book, and so doesn't make many Christmas lists. But it holds true enjoyment inside. The unlikely hero, Mr. Willowby, a funny little mustachioed man, begins a quest to get rid of the top of his tree — it's too tall, you see — that leads him to interact with many of his neighbors and friends to learn about true Christmas spirit. This simple book is well worth a read.
The Best Christmas Songs 7 of 7
Christmas just isn't Christmas without the music, and kids know this better than us adults to. Whether you've got little tiny ones just learning to string a few words together, or near adolescents, everyone loves to sing, and any good book of Christmas songs will give you a rundown of the favorites while also introducing a few new ones. This book, The Best Christmas Songs, is just such a suggestion.