P.S. After you check out the books, be sure to check out 50+ Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season + 23+ Fun Christmas Activities For Preschool + Toddler Kids [PRINTABLE PDF!]
Oh how I love Christmas time! There's nothing quite like the frosty lights, snowy trees, and memories. One of the best parts about growing up and having kids, is getting to witness the joy of Christmas through children's eyes.
While there are tons of great Christmas books out there, here are some of our favorites, including classic Christmas books and popular picks from reddit. You're sure to find a sweet story or the perfect book to put a twinkle in their eye as they learn the classic tales (and new ones!) many of us grew up with is sure to make your heart grow three sizes this holiday season!
Best Christmas Books For Babies
The Night Before Christmas 10-Button Sound Book by Clement C. Moore
The classic “The Night Before Christmas” poem turned into the perfect Christmas book for babies and young children with cute illustration, 10 press-the-button holiday sounds and fun shaped board book pages. This is a must-have Christmas book in our house!
This board book features classic Christmas nursery rhymes with fun cutouts and shapes for babies and young toddlers to touch and feel along the way. My kids LOVE this books, the illustrations are cute, and it's just a fun way to teach them the classics all season long.
You're My Little Christmas Cookie by Nicola Edwards
Part of the “You're My Little” interactive books series, somes an adorable Christmas themed one featuring Christmas cookies, snowmen, reindeer, and more. My kids love these sweet rhyming board books which feature some interesting cut outs and raised images along the way.
Peas on Earth by Jonny Marx
This Christmas board book is great for babies through the preschool years as it's actually a counting book! The book features interesting cut outs for babies and toddlers to feel or grasp at while turning the page while taking you through a Christmas countdown and a fun play on words.
Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner
This winter themed board book asks the question: what do snowmen do at night? This beautifully illustrated book goes through a variety of winter activities and a holiday favorite!
I Love the Nutcracker (My First Sound Book) by Marion Billet
On each page of this board book is a button for your child to press and hear six of the iconic songs from the Nutcracker. It has a switch so you can turn the sound on/off if you choose (thought it only plays when you push the button). There's also a page for “hide and seek” where it asks the child to find certain images while reading the book.
I Am Max by Astrid Holm
This board book follows Max, the Grinch's pup for a day. Max tells the story of how the Grinch's heart grew and what they like to do now. It doesn't rhyme as well as the Grinch, but it is great for introducing the story of the Grinch to younger babies.
I Am Cindy-Lou Who by Tish Rabe
This board book introduces the infamous Cindy-Lou Who to young children. I don't like it as much as the I Am Max book, but it's a great option to switch things up. Cindy-Lou Who shares her experience around Christmas time after the Grinch tried to steal it.
Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck
This is not fake news! The story of the first Christmas is now available as a board book. Everyone from grandparents down to the youngest of children can feel delighted by this beautifully illustrated book with its lyrical text.
Llama Llama Jingle Bells by Anna Dewdney
The Llama Llama board books are great for babies and toddlers with their short and easy fun rhymes. The little ones will love that these books are small enough to hold and enjoy little llama and all of his friends decorating cookies, singing songs, and giving gifts.
Best Christmas Books for 2 Year Olds Toddlers And Up
Complete with beautiful illustrations, this nativity book teaches kindness and sharing and the introduction of baby Jesus on the night he was born. Animals, who are typically prey and predators, are invited into a oxen's stable for warmth and shelter on a cold winter night.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss
An absolute Christmas classic that, like the Grinch, will make your heart grow three sizes larger while reading it. A tale of the “Grinch”, an outsider, accompanied by his do “Max” who wants to ruin Christmas for the “Whos” in “Whoville”. His plan is thwarted when he runs into the adorable “Cindy Lou Who” who shows him the beauty of love and community.
This is a funny christmas book for toddlers and preschoolers working on counting. On Christmas night Santa drinks and eats all the treats left out for him, only to really really need to wee! He forgets to leave a present behind + loses his house key!
Little Blue Truck's Christmas by Alice Schertle
Little Blue Truck became a household name with its great illustrations. You and the kiddo will have tons of fun and cheer flipping through the pages as you count along with Little Blue Truck delivering Christmas trees to his animal friends.
If you love the bestselling Bear Books by Karma Wilson, you will love this Christmas one! Friends try to wake Bear for Christmas, by doing all of the Christmas-y things and ultimately learn the best part of Christmas is giving!
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
All aboard! This oldie, but goodie is all about the magic of this time of year. Join a young boy on his magical journey to the North Pole as the Polar Express to make his Christmas wish in the city atop of the world.
Pete the Cat's 12 Groovy Days of Christmas by James Dean
A groovy take on the 12 days of Christmas, complete with a foil cover, sticker sheet, and 12 holiday cards! Kids will LOVE reading this sing-songy version.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore
Probably the most classic book on this list, The Night Before Christmas will surely bring back some of your own childhood memories.
If you'd prefer a little twist on the classic, then check out The Berenstain Bears' Night Before Christmas. It's basically the same poem from the classic tale, but with an added bonus of an intro and ending of the parent bears as they read the classic tale to their cubs.
The Sweet Smell of Christmas by Patricia M. Scarry
An adorable story with six Christmas-y scents that sensory toddlers will love! This is also one of our favorite Christmas books for 2 year olds who have a hard time sitting still for a story or don't love books as it gives them a chance to interact with the story.
How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace
Will you finally catch an elf this Christmas Eve? Who knows? But what you will know is how entertained everyone reading this book will be by the amazing rhymes in this book.
Gingerbread Mouse by Katy Bratun
A sweet Christmas story about finding a special place to call home after the little Mouse's house is crushed by a tree branch. We love this sweet book as it teaches perseverance, resourcefulness, determination, and hope for kids going through challenging times.
The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan Berenstain
It wouldn't be a holiday season if the Berenstain Bears weren't part of it. In this version the brother and sister can’t wait for all of the presents they’ll open on Christmas. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of paying it forward and giving to others.
Peef the Christmas Bear by Tom Hegg
Peef the Christmas Bear gives Pinocchio vibes, but much sweeter and teaches the real value of Christmas for kids who are very focused on getting, and that's to spread love and happiness. Santa makes a Christmas teddy bear that comes to life with one wish: to bring a child happiness and be loved.
Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker
A Christmas twist on the popular Goodnight, Goodnight Construction site book with an important less on the important of hard work and joy that comes with giving. This is a great Christmas book for 2 year olds and up with the rhyming text and fun construction and car imagery.
Olivia Helps with Christmas by Ian Falconer
Olivia Helps With Christmas is a fun board book showing how even young kids can help, and just how much there is to do, during Christmas.
While this is a board book, making it a great Christmas book for babies, it is on the longer side with some bigger concepts and more muted illustrations. We love this Christmas book for 2 year olds to 5 year olds, but would also get it with a baby as something to grow into and just a more fun read for mom and dad.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by P.J. Lynch
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.
Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas by Jane O'Connor
We love Fancy Nancy books for young readers expanding their vocabulary; and because they are fun reads. This is a great book for fans of Eloise at Christmastime and Olivia Helps with Christmas, Fancy Nancy is a child helping with the festivities – when things go a little astray. It's the perfect mix of suspense, caring, and understanding just how much goes into a splendiferous Christmas!
Dasher: How A Brave Little Doe Changed Christmas Forever by Matt Tavares
Dasher is an adventurous young reindeer with a wish in her heart. She spends her days with her family under the hot sun in a traveling circus, but she longs for a different life — one where there is snow beneath her hooves and the North Star above her head. One day, when the opportunity arises, Dasher seizes her destiny and takes off in pursuit of the life she wants to live. It’s not long before she meets a nice man in a red suit with a horse-drawn sleigh — a man named Santa. And soon, with the help of a powerful Christmas wish, nothing will be the same.
Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson
Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up—by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents of all!
The Littlest Reindeer by Brandi Dougherty
Dot may be the littlest reindeer in the North Pole, but she has a big desire to help Santa pull his sleigh! But Dot just can't seem to fly the right way, no matter how hard she runs, leaps, and kicks. Will Dot learn to fly, or is the littlest reindeer just too little?
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Rick Bunsen
One of the best underdog stories this holiday season. All of the other reindeer make fun of Rudolph and won't let him play in their reindeer games because he's different. But when Christmas is almost canceled because of a huge snowstorm, Rudolph comes to the rescue with his wonderful shiny red nose.
Red and LuLu by Matt Tavares
Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles.
Santa's Underwear by Marty Rhodes Figley
Not to be confused with Captain Underpants, but will still give the kids a chuckle. It's Christmas Eve and Santa is busy getting gussied up for the big night. But when he goes to put on his warm, cozy (holey, ragged) Christmas underwear, they're nowhere to be found! With undies for every occasion, he tries on the rest of his collection. But nothing is quite right. Just when he's about to give up he find a surprise from his considerate team of reindeer. Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!
The Little Reindeer (Little Animal) by Nicola Killen
The illustrations aren't the only thing that makes this book a holiday treasure. The story itself is a charming, heartwarming story about a little girl who hears the jingling of bells. In her bravery of venturing into the woods to find out what's making the sound, she discovers a reindeer's collar left behind in the tree branches. What happens next is a friendship who's story you wish didn't have to end just yet. This book is a magical, nighttime winter wonderland adventure. Perfect for bedtime reading.
The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Goddin and Barbara Cooney
Ivy, Holly, and Mr. and Mrs. Jones all have one Christmas wish. Ivy, an orphan, wishes for a real home and sets out in search of the grandmother she's sure she can find. Holly, a doll, wishes for a child to bring her to life. And the Joneses wish more than anything for a son or daughter to share their holiday. Can all three wishes come true? This festive tale is perfectly complemented by beloved Barbara Cooney's luminous illustrations, filled with the warm glow of the Christmas spirit.
The Nutcracker in Harlem by T.E. McMorrow
This jazz-inspired reinvention of The Nutcracker is a worthy tribute to the dreamlike wonder and magic of the Christmas season.
In this original retelling, set in New York City during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, one little girl finds her voice as a musician thanks to her enchanting adventures with a magical toy.
Frosty the Snowman by Diane Muldrow
Everyone's favorite snowman with a magic hat, a button nose, and eyes made out of coal comes to life on Christmas every year. Based on the beloved 1969 television special, this Little Golden Book retells the whole magical story of Frosty the Snowman.
The Jolly Christmas Postman by Allan Ahlburg
This gorgeously illustrated, full-color classic celebrates a time before email with an interactive picture book full of real letters to read aloud. The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King's men. Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other–and reimagine best-loved tales together.
A fun adaptation of a classic Christmas carol but also an introduction to many elements of holiday celebrations for families across the U.S. and Latin America. Everyone can sing along with the 12 days of Christmas while learning some Spanish along the way.
Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht
Traditions are such an important part of the holiday season, from hanging stockings to hanging lights, but one of the most important is picking out the right tree and decorating it. Join along in choosing the right pine tree, unpacking the boxes and decorating it to transform it into a Christmas Tree.
How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith
This is actually an advent story with twenty four and a half chapters, making it a great option for older toddlers all the way up to 10 years old. The opening of the book shows you how to read the book (a chapter a day leading up to Christmas). It follows a mouse named Winston who finds a lost letter on Christmas Eve as he tries to get it to Santa Claus. It's a great lesson on patience, making good choices, and Christmas miracles.
There's also a sequel Christmas advent book, How Winston Came Home For Christmas.
The Vanderbeerkers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser
Set in Harlem introduces the endearing biracial Vanderbeeker family. Twins Isa and Jessie, along with siblings Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney (ranging from ages four-and-three-quarters to 12), plus a dog, a cat, a bunny, and their parents, all live together in a brownstone on 141st Street. Unfortunately, cantankerous landlord Mr. Biederman refuses to renew the lease. They have the five days before Christmas to change his mind or they will have to move out of the only home they have ever known. Each child has a plan and a distinct personality to match; the neighbors and friends all do, too.
This is a longer book with more complex concepts, but a great pick for older toddlers, preschoolers, through elementrary school aged.
MORE TODDLER ACTIVITIES!
Christmas/Winter Toddler Activities:
- $1 Indoor Holiday Activities For Toddlers
- Christmas Activities For Preschool + Toddler Kids [PRINTABLE PDF!]
- Montessori Christmas Tree
- Christmas Sensory Art Stamping
- Holiday Montessori Glue + Paste Box
- Best Selling Christmas Books For Babies & Young Children
- 50+ Best Christmas Movies To Watch This Holiday Season
Toddler Gift Guides + Shopping Tips:
- Non-Toy Gifts For 2 year old to 6 year old
- Montessori Baby Toys For 0-6 Months
- Montessori Gift Ideas 6-12 Months
- Montessori Gift Guide For 1 Year Old to 2 Year Olds
- Ultimate Gift Guide Of Montessori Toys For 2 to 3 Year Olds
- Montessori + Waldorf Gifts For 3 to 4 Year Olds | Birthdays + Christmas Gift Ideas!
- 5 Money Saving Apps You Need To Download Before Black Friday & Christmas
- 39 Money Saving Hacks You Need This Christmas Season
- Felt Christmas Trees For Toddlers
- Christmas Goodie Bag Ideas For Toddlers + Kids
General Toddler Activities:
- How To Make Oobleck
- How To Make Colored Pasta For Sensory Play | Easy Rainbow Spaghetti Recipe
- How To Make Foam | EASY SENSORY PLAY BUBBLE FOAM RECIPE
- How To Make Playdough
- 5 Ways To Use Grapes For Sensory Play With Toddlers: Taste Safe, Edible, Food Activities I Do With My 15 Month Old
- 7 At Home Toddler Activities With Household Items You Already Own
More Seasonal Activities:
- The BEST Easter Activities for Toddlers: Simple, Indoor, At Home [+FREE PRINTABLE!]
- 17 Fall Activities For Kids + Busy Toddlers
- No Mess Fall Toddler Activities You NEED To Try At Home
- Halloween Activities For Toddlers: Sensory Learning
- 21 Free Printable Halloween Color Pages + Activities For Kids
- 100 Halloween Books For Kids [For Babies, Young and Older Children!]
- The Ultimate List of Halloween Movies [100+ from Scary to Not-So-Scary!]
- The Ultimate List Of 59 Halloween TV Shows From Not-So-Scary To Scary [+ Where To Stream]
- 97 Thanksgiving Children’s Books For The Whole Family To Read
Originally published 12/2/19; Updated 11/20/23