There are so many Christmas picture books options out there that it can be hard to decide which ones to purchase. These are our very favorites that we read over and over each year. Each of these Christmas picture books is worth owning in your own personal library!
I tend to lean slightly minimalist. With almost 5 kids, that doesn’t always happen, but the mindset and style appeals to me and I love decluttering. I hate buying knicknacks and tchotchkes, and empty space really speaks to me. Except, of course, when it comes to Christmas picture books.
I very, very rarely purchase adult books since I don’t often reread them (and nowadays almost exclusively read on my Kindle app). But children’s books are my downfall. We currently own 68 children’s Christmas books (and probably over 500 other children’s books) – yeesh! We’ve read a million more from the library.
Best Christmas Picture Books to Purchase
I were to pick only 25 Christmas picture books I absolutely must have in our personal library, then this would be the list. It’s the set I wrap each year for my kids to open one each day in December for our Christmas book advent. (It’s extra work, but the surprise and excitement each day makes it magical and worth it.) It also ensures we get around to reading each of these special books. There are toddler Christmas books and ones that your teens will still love – although I find that when it comes to Christmas picture books, they all seem to appeal to all ages (myself included).
I hope this list of Christmas picture books brings your family joy, as well! Do you have any must-read favorites not on this list? Do you do a Christmas book advent? I’d love to hear!
The Best 25 Christmas Picture Books for Your Home
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey – This list isn’t in order, but this is maybe my #1 favorite Christmas picture book. Such a tender story. While it has religious overtones, the focus is on kindness, inclusion, and generosity of spirit.
- Christmas Day in the Morning – Well, that one may be my favorite right alongside this one. Another beautiful winner about how a simple act of service built feelings of love between a father and son.
- Bear Stays Up for Christmas – All the bear books are cute, but there’s just something so charming and heartwarming about the friendships in this Christmas picture book.
- Room for a Little One – A classic and sweet little Christmas story for toddlers with animals inviting in the newborn Savior. Perfect as a toddler Christmas book.
- Dream Snow – Eric Carle meets Christmas magic. I love the translucent snow pages. Plus, my kids love that little music button at the end.
- The Polar Express – How could this NOT be on the list? Classic Christmas picture book and illustrations that are the epitome of Christmas magic. Someone gifted us the 30th anniversary edition last year and it has beautiful full-page bleed (instead of the white border from previous versions).
- The Snowy Day – A couple years ago, the Postal Service came out with some stamps honoring this book. I love them almost as much as the book itself. It’s not technically a Christmas picture book, but I love the cozy, wintry feel of it. I also love that it was the first Caldecott winner with an African American main character.
- Olive the Other Reindeer – I love this charming tale about a dog named Olive who thinks the tune “All of the other reindeer” is referring to her.
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree – Another heartwarming Christmas picture book. I love the family relationships in this one.
- Bunny Slopes – This one is just pure winter fun with sledding and sliding galore. It also has some interactive elements that make it perfect to add to your set of toddler Christmas books.
- The Night Before Christmas – There are so so many versions of this story out there, but my very favorite is the Robert Sabuda pop-up one. All his books are beautiful, but this one is a particular winner.
- The Trees of the Dancing Goats – This is a newer addition to our Christmas picture book list. It’s a warm story about Jewish and Christian neighbors who celebrate their holidays together.
- Christmas Farm – I love this one that shows the growth process of a Christmas tree, as well as a sweet intergenerational friendship. And my kids love the age of a Christmas tree guide at the end!
- Every Man Heart Lay Down – Told in the idiom of Liberians who have recently learned English, this gorgeous Christmas picture book beautifully translates the nativity story into song-like verse.
- Samurai Santa – Who knew ninjas and Christmas were a match made in heaven? Another great one to add to your stack of Christmas books for toddlers.
- Red and Lulu – We all fell hard a couple years ago for this beautiful book about the Rockefeller Tree. It features a sweet friendship between a pair of birds and feels old-timey and classic, even though it’s a newer book. Matt Tavares just came out with another Christmas picture book and we’re all anxiously awaiting its arrival to our home.
- Once Upon a Northern Night – The illustrations and poetry in this one are just stunning. A still, calm, beautiful holiday picture book.
- Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree – A classic for a reason. With themes of sharing, generosity, and conservation, it subtly invites some reflection.
- Stable in Bethlehem – Our oldest received this Christmas book for toddlers as gift from the church nursery when he was 2 and it’s always warmed my heart. Countdown books are always fun, and this is a perfectly sweet nativity version for the youngest book-lovers.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas – Some Seuss books are a little goofy for me, but I just love this one. A quintessential Christmas picture book.
- Walk This World at Christmastime – I love any book that touches on holiday traditions in different cultures. This one features illustrations and flaps that are beautiful and fascinating. It’s a perfect Christmas picture book for sitting and perusing on those long December afternoons.
- A Christmas Carol – Another tale with too many versions to count, but I love this particular children’s Christmas book adaptation of the classic. It has a rich story and illustrations, and while it’s a tad on the longer side, it’s still doable as a bedtime story.
- Mouse’s Christmas Gift – A little church mouse manages to save the Christmas Even service. Sweet and tender, this Christmas picture book will charm even the youngest of readers.
- This Is the Stable – A short and sweet retelling of the nativity story. I love the meter of this one.
- Nutcracker. I’m putting this one last because I kept debating which version to include in this list and I just couldn’t decide. So here are three that I love – pick your favorite(s)!
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NOT READY TO PURCHASE CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS QUITE YET? PIN THIS POST FOR LATER!