It’s another busy Christmas Eve for Santa and his elves up at the North Pole. Lists have been checked, the Santa-nav has the right addresses plugged in, a new reindeer is joining the team, and a huge blizzard has Santa and his team very lost. This is a great book for its funny jokes, whimsical font stylings, and subtle nods to other Christmas classics (Rudolph, anyone?). There are other versions of this story, such as Santa is Coming to Brooklyn or Santa is Coming to Scotland, but this is the version my family owns and has a special spot in my heart.
5. The Christmas Bell by Rolf Krenzer
This Christmas story follows a shepherd’s daughter named Rachel, and what happens when she finds a special bell. Rachel finds it on the streets near her home, and a wise woman tells her to keep it for a special occasion. When her father comes home from tending to the sheep, claiming to have seen angels telling him the Son of God is born, Rachel knows this is the special occasion she waited for. The Christmas Bell is a beautiful and simple story about the true meaning of Christmas.
4. Tonight You Are My Baby by Jeannine Q. Norris
Tonight You Are My Baby is one of my mom’s favorite Christmastime books. Told through the eyes of Mary, she tells of how very much she loves her son. The story is filled with beautiful illustrations and I am particularly fond of the poetic flow of Mary’s words. This makes a good bedtime story for young kids, as my siblings and I can tell you.
3. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren
This has always been one of my favorite children’s books, regardless of the Christmas theme. When Little Cub wonders what Christmas is all about, Mama takes her on a journey to show her. They marvel at the beauty of nature, and the beauty of the holiday. Little Cub asks pressing questions, for example, “Who invented Christmas?” and “Is God more important than Santa?” Mama answers all of her questions with admirable patience, and soon Little Cub discovers that Jesus is the best Christmas present of all.
2. Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
Taking a break from the more serious Christmas reads, Olivia Helps with Christmas is the inspiringly humorous tale of how Olivia does just that- help with Christmas in any way possible. While her efforts are often more hindrance than help, Olivia’s heart is always in the right place and her intention is always to give her family the best Christmas ever. A personal favorite scene of mine is when Olivia finds a miniature tree to decorate the table… using the top of the actual Christmas tree.
1. Advent Storybook by Antonie Schneider
Here’s a book that has a story for every day of December- a hardcover Advent calendar, so to speak. Benjamin Bear is incredibly eager for Christmas to come, so to make the wait more bearable his mother tells him a story every night, in preparation for Christmas Day. My favorite story is “The Angel,” which is about an angel with one wing and how the angel finds its way to Bethlehem. The stories all have one thing in common: they follow a little bear (not unlike Benjamin) as he journeys far and wide, following the light of a star.