One of my favorite Christmas traditions is our picture book tree. Every year I wrap up 25 Christmas themed picture books and put them in a tree-like pile in our living room. Some of the books are one we own, but most I check out for us from the library.
Then every day from the beginning of December through Christmas, my son unwraps a book and we read it together. I love this sweet Christmasy time together each morning during the lead up to Christmas Day.
When we first started this tradition, I had Mom-guilt about not purchasing a bunch of new books for my son to unwrap each year. But then I realized that using mostly library books can be a good reminder that the gift is the story itself and the experience of reading together — not the material object.
We’ve done this for several years now, and while we have some favorite titles that we read every year, I always try to find fun new titles too. Here’s our list for this year — we’ve found each of these books to be delightful!
1. Twelve Days of Christmas – by Rachel Griffin
2. A Star for Christmas – by Trisha Romance
3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas – by Dr. Seuss
4. Christmas in the Trenches – by John McCutcheon
5. Birds of Bethlehem – by Tomie de Paola
6. Pick a Pine Tree – by Patricia Toht
7. Under the Christmas Tree – by Nikki Grimes
8. The Night Before Christmas – by Clement Clarke Moore, illustrated by Raquel Jaramillo
9. Red and Lulu – Matt Tavares
10. Samurai Santa – by Rubin Pingk
11. We Three Kings – by Gennady Spirin
12. Bear’s First Christmas – by Robert Kinerk
13. When Santa Was a Baby – by Linda Bailey
14. Sleigh Bells and Snowflakes – by Linda Bronson
15. Maple and Willow’s Christmas Tree – by Lori Nichols
16. The Little Drummer Boy – by Ezra Jack Keats
17. I’ll be Home for Christmas – by Holly Hobbie
18. The Twelve Sleighs of Christmas – by Sherri Duskey Rinker
19. Apple Tree Christmas – by Trinka Noble
20. The Little Reindeer – by Nicola Killen
21. Silent Night: The Song and its Story – by Margaret Hodges
22. Baboushka and the Three Kings – by Ruth Robbins
23. Christmas in the Country – by Cynthia Rylant
24. There Was No Snow on Christmas Eve – by Pam Muñoz Ryan
25. This First Christmas Night – by Laura Godwin