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Favorite Holiday Books

I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite holiday books today!  I’ve shared them before, but I love them so much they’re worth sharing twice.  :)  Reading Thanksgiving and Christmas books with my kids is definitely one of my favorite parts of this season.  They get so excited when I pull them out every year.  I get excited too!  Nothing better than snuggling with my kids in bed and reading a fun book together.  It’s part of our nightly routine and one of my favorite parts of the day.  This time of year reading together feels especially special.  Hmm.  Especially special.  Did I just say that?  I like it.  :)  Holiday books also make great gifts this time of year!
Thanks for Thanksgiving is our all time favorite Thanksgiving book.  Kole and I have been reading this every night all month.  He loves it.  It’s a great book to start a fun discussion about all we are grateful for.
Love this book’s simplicity and gorgeous illustrations.
I’ve been thinking about a fun way to display our Christmas books in the new house.  In my previous house I always put them in a basket in front of the fireplace.  I always think about wrapping them individually each year (a fun idea I’ve seen on several blogs) so my kids can open one to read each night.  But then I think about how much time (and wrapping paper!) that will take and I never do it.  Much easier to toss them all in a basket!  :)  These have been our all time favorites for years!

Fancy Nancy – Splendiferous Christmas written by Jane O’ Connor – if you have little girls I’m sure you know all about Fancy Nancy! This Christmas book is just as “fancy” and fun as the rest of the series.

Olivia Helps with Christmas written by Ian Falconer – I LOVE the Olivia books. They are hilarious! Olivia the pig is a crack up and these books are humorous for kids and for adults.

The Elf on the Shelf written by Carol V. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell – This is the book that came with our Elf and was our new Christmas book and tradition we started several years ago. Some of you asked where you can get the elf. Aside from the North Pole, I have also seen him hanging out at Barnes and Noble, Hallmark and Pottery Barn Kids. :)

Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect written by Richard H. Schneider – One of my all time favorites. This story really illustrates Christs’ love for all of us and the true meaning of Christmas. I tear up at the end every time I read it and have to explain to my girls that I’m not sad – my tears are happy tears.

Santa Mouse written by Michael Brown – favorite Christmas book from my childhood. Santa Mouse is Santa’s tiny helper and he too visits each house on Christmas Eve. The story ends saying “And so this Christmas, if you please, beneath the tree that’s in your house, why don’t you leave a piece of cheese? You know who’ll thank you? Santa Mouse!” We always left cheese out for Santa Mouse with Santa’s cookies and milk when I was a little girl. Now my little ones do the same.

(cookies and cheese from Christmas 2009 along with letters and pictures for Santa)

A Christmas Dress for Ellen retold by Thomas S. Monson – a gift from my mom. We especially love this book because it reminds us of my grandma Ellen who Ellie was named after. The illustrations are beautiful.

I Believe In Santa Claus written by Diane G. Adamson – I gave this book as a gift to friends and neighbors a few years ago. It’s a special story that shows similarities between Santa and Jesus (he wears red, he loves little children, he wants us to be good, etc.) It’s so simple and shares such a powerful message. I love it and it is now the book we read each Christmas Eve.

The Tale of Three Trees retold by Angela Elwell Hunt – Another special book that illustrates God’s love.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey written by Susan Wojciechowski – darling story – it’s a bit long though so I always just tell it to my girls instead of reading it. :)

Christmas Oranges retold by Linda Bethers – same as above – darling story that is a bit long to read so I summarize. Another book with beautiful illustrations.

Frosty the Snowman retold by Annie North Bedford – gotta have the classics!

Rudolph Look and Find – my girls LOVE hidden picture books and we are total suckers for anything Rudolph.

Merry Christmas Big Hungry Bear! written by Don and Audrey Wood – This book is just as fun as the original The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear. One of my girls’ favorites!

The Night Before Christmasone by Jan Brett and one by Mary Engelbreit – We have two versions because I love the illustrations in both of these!

Favorite Christmas Stories Rand McNally & Company – another fun book from my childhood.

Look Alikes Christmas by Joan Steiner – hidden pictures – my girls love hidden picture books and the illustrations in this are so colorful and fun.

Dick and Jane A Christmas Story – Ellie’s loves this book because she can read it herself. :)

Bear Stays Up for Christmas written by Karma Wilson – a cute rhyming story that is my little Addison’s favorite.

Santa Mouse Where Are You? Part two of the original Santa Mouse.

And then just a few of the classics. We love little golden book stories and we are huge fans of Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books.

The Story of Christmas by Patricia A. Pingry – a little board book that does a great job explaining the reason we celebrate Christmas.

Those are some of the books we love and are enjoying this time of year!  Do your kids have a favorite holiday book I need to add to our list?  Do tell!

Happy Reading everyone!
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xoxo, Erin
Join the Conversation

16 thoughts on “Favorite Holiday Books

  1. Wow, these books look brill:). Even tho I haven’t got any children I really want to buy some of these books for myself.

    I like how you include books that are both fun & also ones on the true meaning, such as the one that is read by our beloved prophet.

    I really enjoy The Friend magazine at this time of year, in fact I often save the December ones so that I can read them again every December. (I’ve especially enjoyed Matt & Mandy this year about how they moved house etc)

    I think wrapping the books up & opening them every day sounds so fun, in fact I might even do that:)

    I hope you & your family are settling into your new house/home ok.

    Have a lovely Thansgiving on Thursday. By the way, do you go shopping on Black Friday? I’ve heard that it’s chaotic. I think I’d just rather pay regular prices than all that!

  2. This reminds me…will you be doing your Favorite Things party this year? That is one of my favorite posts of yours. It’s always good to get tried and true ideas.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. I been seeing a lot of the shelf elf and was thinking about purchasing for my kids they are 6 and 8 but was wondering if it was meant more for kids younger?

  4. I love this list and can’t wait to see if my local library has some of these. You can buy Elf on the Shelf at Amazon now too. And it’s Prime.

  5. Oh so fun this time of year! I did buy that Thanks for Thanksgiving book on your recommendation last year and added it to our collection, but we haven’t read it yet this month!

    For the past two years, I wrap the books and put them in a basket and will be wrapping mine today so this post is timely. My kids get very excited about this tradition, but yes, it can take me 60-90 minutes depending on how fast I go and the wrapping part is not something I enjoy doing.

    I was also thinking yesterday that it is so fun to have all these traditions when the kids are little but there also can be too much of a good thing – I think it was last year at our house with the books, the elf, the couple wall calender countdowns we have, etc and etc – it can be too much.

    Hoping to see your mudroom soon – I’m dying!!!

  6. If you like Bear Stays Up, be sure to check out Bear Says Thanks! It’s a Thanksgiving book with the same characters. My son just bought that book at Book Fair and I’ve only read it once so far, but it’s cute too!

  7. Great list Erin! I ordered I Believe in Santa and The Night Before Christmas (M.E.). I have seen your list before and have added to our collection each year. I’ve also put the books away during the year so my kids are so excited when they come out at Halloween, Thanksgiving then Christmas. It’s a tradition that I hope they will always remember and someday do with their own families! Thanks for the list and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  8. Thanks Julie! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! I don’t know if I’ll brave Black Friday or not. I usually prefer staying in my pj’s all day eating leftover turkey sandwiches. :)

    Hi Michelle! My friend isn’t doing her favorite things party (bummer!) but I’m still going to post some of my favorites. :)

    Anonymous – my girls LOVE the elf on the shelf (they are 7 and 9). I don’t go all out like some do with the elf getting into things. I just hide him somewhere different each night and they get to find him. It’s honestly one of their favorite things in December.

    I totally agree Lynnsey! The whole month can become too much. I think it’s important to pick and choose what’s really important and fun for your family and stick with that. Mudroom coming in December. :)

    Thanks Jess! I’ll check it out!

  9. I love your list! I found Santa Mouse at Barnes and Noble in St George last year after Christmas for a GREAT deal. I can’t wait to read it to my kids this year! My favorite growing up was “Jolly Old Santa Claus” (you can find it on Amazon). But the version I grew up with is now $99! Christmas books are something so sentimental that kids will always associate those warm fuzzy Christmas memories with. I have to recreate that reading by the tree picture with my kids!

  10. Have you ever read The Legend of the candy cane?It’s one of my kids favorite christmas books but they are a little out grown for it now.Also Polar Express is another favorite

  11. I think books are precious. Christmas ones are my favorite. I love your list of books.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! If your mom is out, please tell her I said hi!

    Much love to you Erin.

  12. Thanks TIffany! I totally agree. You’ll love Santa Mouse! Cutest story!

    Thanks Hilda – same here! I cry every time! :)

    I will look into those Amy!

    Cathy – I’ll tell my mom hi! You are a sweetheart. Have a great holiday!

  13. I recently discovered your blog and love reading through your posts! One of my absolute favorite holiday childhood books is The Christmas Bear by Henrietta and Paul Stickland. The pictures are incredible and very detailed! I first discovered this book in 3rd grade…my teacher set out holiday books in a basket like you do with your kids! I loved this book so much that I needed a copy for myself and on Christmas morning found that Santa had brought it for me! :) I still love looking through it each year. If you haven’t seen this book yet I highly recommend it!

    1. Thank you so much Hannah! I’ve never heard of that book before! I’m checking it out for sure. Thank you for the suggestion! And so nice to “meet” you. :) xo

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