For many families, including ours, Christmas is a religious holiday. Celebrations go beyond Santa and Rudolph to focus on the biblical account of the birth of Jesus and what that means for us today. Our family has always tried to balance the secular elements of Christmas with the religious significance of the holiday, and books have been a huge part of our tradition.
These are the books we pull out every holiday season (and often other times during the year) to remind us of why we celebrate Christmas. I hope they bless your family as much as they’ve blessed ours!
21 Christmas Books With a Christian Theme
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The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado — Joshua is sad because he is different than the other lambs. One night, a special baby is born in his barn, and Joshua is reminded that God has a place for everyone.
The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola — This classic book tells the story of the Nativity from a bird’s eye view — literally! This book is great for young and old readers alike.
Drummer Boy by Loren Long — One day, a faithful drummer boy gets knocked into the trash, sending him on an amazing journey. All the while the continues to play his drum for others, until at last he can play for the newborn King.
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown — This book was first published in the 1950s, and it’s just as powerful today. This simple rhyming tale tells the story of the Nativity in a way that is easy for even the youngest child to understand.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski — Grab your tissue! This beautifully illustrated book is a tear jerker. Jonathan Toomey is never smiles, but one Christmas a special miracle shows him the amazing power of love.
The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg — A candy cane is more than a delicious treat! Readers learn the spiritual meaning of this iconic candy along with a little girl named Lucy in this beautiful book.
The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats — Ezra Jack Keats is best known for The Snowy Day, but this lovely book is also a classic. Follow the story of a young drummer who travels to Bethlehem to play his drum for the newborn Savior.
The Legend of St.Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Daley Mackall — The figure we know as Santa Claus comes from the story of St. Nicholas, a man who was inspired to do good for others by the love of Christ. This book is a great way to share his story with your family.
The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson — I loved reading this Golden Book about the story of Christ’s birth, and I was so excited to find that it’s still being published today.
Christmas in the Manger by Nola Buck — Even the tiniest hands can enjoy this board book about the birth of Christ! A simple story told by the animals in the stable.
God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergen — A little bear cub asks his mother, “Who invented Christmas?” This leads to a gentle retelling of how Christmas is a gift to us from God.
This is the Stable by Cynthia Cotten — This poetic story tells about the amazing things that are happening at a small stable in Bethlehem. This is the perfect read-aloud you’ll come back to every year.
Room for a Little One: A Christmas Tale by Martin Waddell — In this gorgeous book, a friendly ox invites many animals to spend the night in his barn. One of those animals is a donkey, carrying a young couple who is expecting a very special baby.
Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer — After the birth of Jesus, three wise men brought him special gifts. This story is told from the perspective of the camels who carried them to the young king, and one camel named Humphrey gives a special gift of his own.
Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson — A little mouse moves the figures out of a Nativity scene so he can move in. When he hears the story of Christmas and who the baby in the manger is, he decides to restore the nativity because of the great love of Jesus.
Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki — Who better to tell the story of the first Christmas than Santa Claus? Santa shares with the forest animals why Christmas will come even if he doesn’t deliver the presents.
Who is Coming to Our House? by Joseph Slate — Another adorable board book about how the animals in the stable prepare for baby Jesus’s arrival.
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham — On a cold winter night, a little boy hears the story of Christmas for the first time while waiting out a snow storm. This book has a lovely story and absolutely gorgeous illustrations.
Itsy Bitsy Christmas: You’re Never Too Little for His Love by Max Lucado — Little children will love this story about God’s love! Two little mice think they are too little to matter to God, but when they find the newborn King they learn a valuable lesson about His love.
Happy Birthday Jesus by Michelle Medlock Adams — Everyone loves birthdays, and even the youngest children can understand celebrating the birthday of Jesus. This bright and fun book is a joy to share with your family.
What is Christmas? by Michelle Medlock Adams — Perfect for kids under 5, this book explains in very basic terms, the story of Christmas. It’s paired with adorable, kid-friendly illustrations.
For more excellent Christmas reads, be sure to follow our Christmas board on Pinterest: