Team Favourites: Twenty of the Best Christmas Books (ever!)

Our team shares a love of books. And a love of Christmas! So it seems we had a natural conversation we were waiting to share. We asked our team for their absolute, very, very (!) favourite Christmas books. Because the season goes by in a heartbeat, and with time spent rushing to school fairs and Christmas performances, getting ready for trips and wrapping gifts, we decided that these Christmas books had to be ones we would read over and over — even perhaps to our grandchildren one day. These Christmas books are a part of our family traditions!

Best Christmas books

In our home, we treasure our Christmas books and then in January, we store them away each year with all of our decorations in a safe place. Then in November, when the season is back again and in full swing, we bring out the boxes, peek inside to admire those items we haven’t seen for a year (like seeing old friends!) — special homemade ornaments, heirloom decorations, and of course tucked inside are our beautiful books. The books hold memories of lovely Christmases past. Funny, beautiful, and sweet memories.

Hopefully our twenty books below will become part of your traditions… adding to the story, the magic, and the anticipation of Christmas. Best read by the Christmas tree, with sparkly lights, curled up under blankets, and with cocoa on the side (of course!)…

The Twenty Top Christmas Books (ever!) :

  1. Richard Scary’s Best Christmas Book Ever — Great for little readers. It’s Richard Scarry, say no more! UK  and US  — Helen
  2. The Christmas Wish — Such a beautiful story and the photos are magical. UK and US  — Vanessa
  3. The Night Before Christmas — The classic poem brought to life with adorable illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa. UK  and USEsther and Courtney
  4. Olivia Helps With Christmas — The Olivia books are always a hit with my kids, especially my girls. This one is a favourite– charming and funny! UK  and US  — Courtney 
  5. The Animals’ Merry Christmas –This was given to Sara when she was one year old and it has become a family favourite! It’s just such a lovely book, with adorable illustrations. UK and US  — Esther
  6. Nutcracker — The full story by E.T.A Hoffman that inspired the ballet we all know and love. I didn’t read it until I was an adult, and then found the ways it differs from (and deepens) the ballet completely fascinating! We have two versions and love them both. UK  and US  — Shannon 
  7. The Jolly Christmas Postman — Such a fun family favourite, the kids love taking out the different letters. UK  and US  — Kate
  8. The Great Spruce — The story of one child’s love for a tree and his creative plan for sharing it with a whole city at Christmas. Especially in this age where so much feels disposable, I love this book’s message about appreciation and respect for the natural world that surrounds us. UK  and US  — Shannon
  9. The Twelve Days of Christmas –Simply stunning illustrations make it so classically beautiful. And we of course love to sing this song as we read! UK  and US  — Lara
  10. The Nutcracker — (see number six for Shannon’s thoughts) UK  and US . — Shannon 
  11. Christmas Eve at the Mellops’ — A sweet book about learning values and caring for others. Hits in many of our homes! UK  and USEsther and Lara
  12. The Christmas Book — Dick Bruna is a real favourite of mine. I love his simple illustrations and the rhyming stories. This is a lovely Christmas time book. and… This is the classic Christmas tale. Like all Bruna’s books, it’s all brought back to the absolutley essential — both in text as in illustration. A family favourite! UK  and US  — Vanessa and Esther 
  13. The Night Before Christmas — Manadatory Christmas Eve reading in our house. I love the Roger Duvoisin version for its fantastic illustrations and fun size. UK  and US  — Shannon 
  14. The Snowman  — A lovely and sweet tale that my kids adore. No text means all the imagination. We love the film too! UK  and US  — Esther and Lara 
  15. How the Grinch Stole Christmas –The classic Dr. Seuss tale – a favourite from my own childhood! UK  and US  — Shannon
  16. Mr Willowby’s Christmas Tree — Love this clever, rhyming tale of a christmas tree fit for everyone. Sharing is caring 🙂 UK  and US  — Courtney and Esther 
  17. The Polar Express — With dream-like illustrations and a message about the power of believing, this book was my absolute favorite Christmas story as a child. I still have my copy from childhood with a Christmas wish from my parents penned in the front. and… SUCH an exciting story!! My kids LOVE this book (also the big ones!) The film is great too. UK  and US  — Shannon and Esther 
  18. Christmas on Exeter Street — A sweet story about a house that gets filled to the brim on Christmas Eve (even a baby sleeping in the sink!).  UK  and US  — Courtney 
  19. The Night Before Christmas — We read this every Christmas Eve just before the kids go to bed. The illustrations in this version are really special. UK  and USKate 
  20. Stick Man — Though we read this all year round, it has a lovely Christmas twist. All my children, from eldest to youngest, enjoy it. UK  and US  — Helen

And if you haven’t already heard of it, perhaps even start a book advent calendar too! Or keep our book list handy for future gifts.

We hope you love our recommendations and we’d love to know your family favourites as well!

Lara x


Comments (6)

November 28, 2017

Great choices! Technically you’ve still got two books to add since The Night Before Christmas gets three spots on your list (albeit different editions!). So for older children (age 6 +), I recommend Matt Haig’s ‘A boy called Christmas’; it’s just magical. The audible version narrated by Stephen Fry will captivate you. And for another take on the Nativity, Brian Wildsmith’s ‘A Christmas Story’ is stunningly beautiful.

November 28, 2017

Auntie Claus is my children’s favourite of all times. Santa Claus: The World’s Number One Toy Expert is very popular with the kids I read with in school. Christmas in Noisy Village was one of my favourites as a child. And I love the illustrations of The Christmas Magic and of Jane Ray’s Nutcracker.

November 29, 2017

I loved and still love everything by Astrid Lindgren – such as “Christmas in the stable”, “The tomten”, “The tomten and the fox”, “Of course Polly can do almost everything” and “Christmas in the Noisy Village”.
They’re just the best. Ever.


December 9, 2017

One of our favorites here in California is called” Budgee Budgee Cottontail “ by Jo Mora the Rhyming text and amazing illustration bring a classic old western vibe to Christmas.

December 18, 2017

We love Animals of the Nativity by Erin Burchik : )

Kristen Holmes
December 28, 2017

Awesome list! Love the Grinch book and movie, I have to read these recommendations. Thanks for sharing

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