Christmas is a season that can be hard to navigate when you want to keep the spirit of Christ, the “reason for the season”, as the focal point for your family. While finding stories and gifts focusing on Santa is easy to do come November, it can be difficult to find quality books and toys to teach your children about the true joy of Christmas.
Books can be expensive, especially when you are only reading them for a short period of time each year. I try to find books whose stories can be tweaked a little to fit the younger crowd’s attention span and then continue to evolve and adapt as they grow older to become beloved stories.
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I’m in a number of Catholic mom groups and they always have amazing suggestions for books focusing on the true message and spirit of Christmas including and beyond the nativity story. And I’ve been loving checking them out. I’ve compiled a list of my favorites below, as well as links to other blog posts with more books to choose from.
We try to focus as much as possible on Advent and reserve the Christmas celebration for Christmas Eve. I ordered this book this year on the recommendation of some friends and I’m excited to see how it is.
This book has gorgeous images and I love it because it isn’t a story I had heard before but is so fun and very much in line with the spirit of Christmas.
Gorgeous images. It’s a little long story-wise but the way it is written makes it very easy to shorten as you read it aloud, which makes it a story we can read regardless of how old our children get and it will still be a new yet known story.
This one is another with beautiful illustrations but what I love most about it is the way it grows with your children and gives you an opportunity to introduce them to, and later delve into, the symbols of Christ and Mary.
I love stories that tell the Christmas story from different perspectives. This book is new to me this year but looks like a wonderful story of what Christmas is really all about. And you can get it for a pretty great price on Amazon.
This is another new one for us this year. I think it will be great to read with V since she is at an age where she will be able to relate to Angela and wanting to care for the baby Jesus.
Our diocese threw a really nice St. Nicholas Day party last year and this was one of the stories our bishop read to the children. Since we don’t “do” Santa, we try to talk about St. Nicholas enough that V understands the connection between St. Nicholas and Santa. The colors are gorgeous.
This one I haven’t actually read yet but I just ordered it after finding it post-Christmas last year. It looks like a great story to reinforce the meaning of Christmas and caring for others.
St. Joseph board books are classics for Catholic families. This is no different and since it’s a board book, it’s a great option for your Mass busy bags.
This was the first Christmas book we bought V three years ago so it has a high sentimental value but it’s such a classic and a great first introduction to the nativity story.
V has started to really get into reading so we’re trying to incorporate reading longer picture books to stretch her attention span and start introducing her to chapter books. We decided to start with the Little House picture books and they have a Christmas one we will be sure to read during this season.
Anything Tomie dePaola
Tomie de Paolo is one of my favorite authors/artists and I love his books. Any of his Christmas books would be great. Some of them you have to watch their price as they can get up pretty pricey, but you can sometimes find them for a steal at used bookstores (or I just picked up this one at our parish’s bazaar for a quarter!). I’ve either read or heard good things about The First Christmas Pop-Up, The Night of Las Posadas, Joy to the World, The Friendly Beasts.