As soon as the calendar turns to December, my boys are ready to count down to Christmas. I love the countdown, too, and what better way to do it than with books?
I took 24 of our favorite Christmas books and put them together into a “book advent calendar” of sorts, so you can read a great holiday book every day leading up to the big day. I’ve even created a printable calendar so you can mark off each day as you complete it.
If you’d like a faith-based Christmas book countdown, check out this list.
24 Days of Christmas Books
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss — It’s just not Christmas without this classic story of a grumpy Grinch whose heart was changed by the power of love. Read the book before you watch the special on television!
The Littlest Christmas Tree by R.A. Herman — The Littlest Christmas Tree watches as all the other trees at the tree stand find homes. All the little tree wants is to find a home of its own. Eventually, on Christmas Eve, its wish comes true.
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Don Daily — The beautiful book walks readers through the classic carol with gorgeous illustrations. You’ll find yourself singing along as you read!
The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert — Anja wants nothing more than to be one of Santa’s elves. She puts on her skis and heads to the North Pole to do just that, with the help of some kind winter animals. You will love this gorgeous book!
How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace — This funny rhyming story is told by an elf who says kids have given up on catching Santa, so they’re trying to catch him instead! The elf explains all the ways he will allude the children and slip away back to the North Pole.
How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky — How did Santa get to be Santa? What did he do before he was Santa? Learn about how Santa tried (and failed) at several different jobs before finding the perfect job that made use of his talents.
The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll — Everyone in Mouseville loves Christmas and Christmas trees. Two friends, Clayton the city mouse and Desmond the country mouse, team up to find the biggest Christmas tree Mouseville has ever seen!
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg — This childhood favorite of mine has endured for over 30 years because of it’s gorgeous illustrations and magical story. This story will stick with your little ones for the rest of their lives.
Dream Snow by Eric Carle — As a farmer gets ready for bed on Christmas Eve, he wonders, will Christmas will come even if there isn’t any snow? He falls asleep and has a marvelous dream about snow blanketing him and his farm animals. When he wakes up, he’s amazed by what he sees.
Home for Christmas by Jan Brett — Rollo is a wild little troll who never does what his parents ask him to do. He gets so upset about having to do his chores that he runs away from home and tries living with various animals in the forest. He soon realizes that there’s truly no place like home.
Snowmen at Christmas by Caralyn Buehner — What do snowmen do for Christmas? Turns out, they have all kinds of fun in the snow while us humans are sleeping. Kids of all ages will love this rhyming story.
The All-I’ll-Ever-Want Christmas Doll by Patricia C. McKissack — Set during the Depression, this book follows the story of Nella, who is hoping Santa will bring her a Baby Betty doll. But when the doll comes, she realizes that it’s not much fun when she doesn’t share her gift with her sisters.
SantaKid by James Patterson — Warrie Ransom has purchased Christmas and changed the name to Exmas. Suddenly, all of the holiday festivities have stopped, and even Santa’s elves have stopped making toys. It’s up to Santa’s daughter, Chrissie, to save the day by believing in something bigger than herself.
Rory the Dinosaur Needs a Christmas Tree by Liz Climo — Rory the Dinosaur lives in a warm climate, which means finding a Christmas tree is difficult. Can Rory get into the holiday spirit even without winter weather or evergreen trees?
Santa’s Sleigh is on its Way to My House by Eric James — Who can possibly sleep when they know Santa is on the way? This fun rhyming book also comes in over 100 location specific editions, like Santa’s Sleigh is on its Way to Indiana.
Merry Christmas, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt — Do you have a child who’s always asking “what if?” Then this is the book for you! Stinky Face is very worried about all of the things that could possibly keep Christmas from coming. Thankfully, he has an understanding mom who is able to take away all of his fears.
Santa’s Underwear by Marty Rhodes Figley — This book is sure to have your little ones giggling. Santa can’t find his old, holey, lucky underwear that he wears every Christmas Eve. He tries several other pairs, but none of them are quite right. His reindeer help him out with a special gift that ensures a merry Christmas for everyone!
Santa’s Eleven Months Off by Mike Reiss — Sure, Santa is busy in December, but what does he do the rest of the year. This hilarious rhyming book takes readers through each month of the year to see what the Big Man is up to. He tries out lots of other things, but Christmas is what he does best.
Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray — Wilma is tired of growing flowers, but she’s not sure what she should plant next. That’s when she realizes she has all that she needs to grow Christmas trees. With the help of her young neighbor, Parker, she nurtures her trees and watches them grow into beautiful symbols of the holiday season.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold by Maureen Fergus — Harold seemed almost too good to be true: he sent Santa letters, left out cookies, and even left carrots for the reindeer. Could Harold be a real child? Santa is having a hard time believing in Harold. This book is a fun twist on an old idea.
Stowaway in a Sleigh by Roger Mader — Slipper is a curious cat, so when a strange man with furry boots shows up in her home, she has to investigate. She soon finds herself somewhere she didn’t expect: Santa’s sleigh!
The Little Reindeer by Nicola Killen — In this beautiful book, a little girl follows a jingling sound until she meets a lost reindeer. They become friends, and the reindeer takes the girl on an adventure she will never forget. You have to see this gorgeously illustrated book for yourself!
Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares — Red and Lulu are two cardinals who make their home in a very special tree. It’s a lovely home, and once a year their tree is decorated with lights as people gather around to sing and celebrate. One day, the two birds are separated, and it seems like they’ll never be brought back together again. Luckily, the Christmas season is a season of miracles!
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore — Christmas Eve just isn’t complete without this classic story. I love this version, gorgeously illustrated by Charles Santore.