Monday, November 25, 2013

25 Festive Stories For Advent & Christmas GIVEAWAY!!

Curling up beside the fire with a basket filled to the brim with our favorite holiday books is one of the most treasured traditions that our family enjoys together during Advent and Christmas.  Every year, I love adding one or two new titles to our library, even though the children never tire of hearing the "old" ones over and over again.  All of the stories on our list are picture books geared toward younger children, however, don't be surprised if your older children take an interest in them too! 

This list does not include traditional tales such as The Nutcracker, the St. Nicholas Story or the biblical stories that accompany the Jesse tree.  You may find that these, and several other "obvious" selections, are missing from the list (I didn't include every book in our basket), but I hope that you find a new title that sparks your interest!

* All of the titles listed below are linked up to Amazon for ease of reference.  However, I highly encourage you to patronize your local bookshop or Catholic/Christian online retailer first, if you can! One of my favorites is Adoremus Books and Gifts.

Please be sure to sign up for our GIVEAWAY that begins today, Monday, November 25th and ends Monday, December 2nd.  
Three lucky winners will be randomly selected to win a book of their choice from the list!  I will announce the winner on Monday, so be sure to check back here to see if you are a winner!  

- 1. -
Christmas Day in the Morning  tells the story of a  young boy who is motivated by a deep love for his father to find him the very best Christmas present.

- 2. - 
The Carpenter's Gift  is a lovely story of generosity, hope and paying it forward.

- 3. -

Mr. Willoughby's Christmas Tree  is delightfully humorous, a classic book that encourages good stewardship and sharing.

- 4. -
Wild Christmas Reindeer.  Brett's beautifully illustrated story has a lot to say about the importance of treating others with respect.

- 5. -
Song of the Stars is a wonderful telling of the truth that everything on heaven and earth is created to praise the Lord.

- 6. -
Room for a Little One A perfectly sweet story of the nativity that your youngest children will especially enjoy.

- 7. -
A Certain Small Shepherd is a Christmas story set in the Appalachian mountains. It shines with themes of kindness, generosity, the treasure of family and hope in miracles.

- 8. -
A Very Merry Christmas, from the Classic Pooh series, is just what you would expect, a story of friendship, sharing and of course the traditional illustrations of characters we've all grown to love.

- 9. -

A Christmas Carol is a story many of us are familiar with, perhaps through the television events shown during the holiday season.  The story becomes even richer when read aloud to the accompaniment of the beautiful illustrations in this edition.

- 10. -
Christmas Mouse in the House Every Christmas book basket should have at least one lift-the-flap story in it! This one's text is charming and illustrations adorable.  

- 11. -
Christmas in the Big Woods The beauty of the Christmas season shines bright and pure through Laura's expressive stories which are focused on family unity and the immaterial blessings of the holidays. 

- 12. - 
This is the Stable Gentle rhyming and sweet illustrations make this depiction of the nativity a favorite that our little ones ask for over and over each year.

- 13. -
Christmas From Heaven  If you or anyone in your house enjoys history, this is the perfect Christmas story for you! 

- 14. -
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.  Last year's new addition to our basket, and easily are favorite story of the season.  Get your tissues ready, it's quite a tenderhearted tale!

- 15. -
The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long. After seeing the breathtaking illustrations, I wondered why I waited so long to purchase this little treasure based upon the traditional song of the same title.

- 16. - 
Good King Wenceslas is one of my all time favorite stories to read during Advent.  The illustrations are magnificent (boys will especially appreciate the grandeur of the king and his knights).

- 17. -
I don't think I'd be exaggerating if I said that I've read The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snitcher at least 100 times since we've added it to our collection.  The boys just love it! The illustrations are hilarious, and even I cannot hold back the giggles!

- 18. -
Bear Stays Up for Christmas is an adorable story about the joy of serving others. Kids will easily pick up on the themes of friendship, thoughtfulness, sharing, joy, sacrifice and encouragement.  

- 19. -
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree A beautiful story is made even more poignant when it's words are matched with equally beautiful illustrations. This is one of those stories, which also ranks high on our list of favorites!

- 20. -
Tonight You Are My Baby is a gentle story of the birth of Christ from Mary's perspective.  It is beautifully written with a tenderness and warmth.

- 21. -
Father and Son A Nativity Story is a tender story of St. Joseph and his overwhelming feelings toward raising the son of God.  I love hearing my husband read it to the boys every year.

- 22. -
The Gift of the Magi is a thoughtful demonstration of the exemplary virtues of generosity, sacrifice, and self-gift lovingly enacted through two individuals during the Christmas season.  Though the text will be too advanced for little ones, if they are patient listeners, the language can be simplified and explained as the story is read aloud.

- 23. - 
Who is Coming to Our House? is a perfect story for Advent.  I added it to our basket a few years ago (read about it here!) and has been read dozens of times since then.

- 24. -
Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo is a precious of a little girl whose heart is awakened to the needs of the less fortunate, and the measures she takes to extend kindness to them.  

- 25. - 
Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect  was one of the first books I bought for our library many years ago. It encourages discussion on why Christ came into the world and how we can model His self-donating love to others.


  1. I love so many of these books but don't have a few of them. Thanks for the suggestions!

  2. We have a Christmas book basket too- I love your list, we have several of them and a few others we love you don't have. There is a few on your list I would love to add:)

    Book baskets and candles in the fireplace make this mama happy, especially with all the littles snuggled around to listen!

  3. Great ideas to share with my girls.

  4. #19 is my favorite Christmas picture book ever. I would be very delighted to win God King Wenceslas. I've had my eye on that one for a while.

    1. It's one of my faves too. In fact, ours is a soft-cover edition and the front cover has been taped back on several times from wear and tear. You will love Good King Wenceslas!

  5. Oooh! I don't know... I just don't know. lol! Some of these books are my very favorites and I would love to give them as gifts (I can NOT read Jonathon Toomey without crying) but there are other new ones that I would like to introduce to my kids. Father and Son looks wonderful!

  6. Okay, so I'm so excited to see your list...just this week one of my friends posted an idea on FB that I'm going to start this year with our kids and your list will help. The idea was to gift wrap 25 books (both new and old) and place them under the tree. Each night, the kids pick one story to unwrap and then we will sit and read it together as a family. I plan to start getting my stories together so we can start Dec. 1st and I think I will purchase a few new books from your list to add to the tree!!! The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is one we don't have and I think we'd like to add this year so if I'm lucky enough to win that would be my pick! God Bless and GREAT list, thanks for sharing!

    1. Shari - The MIracle of Jonathan Toomey is a WONDERFUL book. You will love it! What a great idea to wrap up the books and lay them under the tree. Such a wonderful gift for your children! :)

  7. So many good books and so many I'd love to read!

  8. This gets me excited to start pulling our favorites off the shelves and get them all dusted off and ready for the season! Would love to add to our "library." :)

  9. What a great list (pinning)!
    Would be so excited to add either Mary's or Joseph's story to our library.
    I happen to know that St Nicholas is bringing Christmas in the Big Woods to our oldest, glad to know it is a good one.

  10. It's so hard to decide from among these choices! I've heard of a few but most are new to me. I think I'd go with Good King Wenceslas, but I'm thinking that I need to buy a number of these and need to prioritize so I don't go overboard!

  11. Good King Wen. sounds great. I love good illustrations.

  12. We're mildly obsessed with Karma Wilson's books, so I'd love to win the Bear Stays Up for Christmas!

    1. p.s. This is such a great list - thank you for posting it! I'll definitely be referencing it for ideas this season. (Oh, and I found your blog through my mother-in-law, Laura @ String of Pearls!)

  13. 12. This Is the Stable is the book I would be excited to have

  14. Followingn on google plus... Stephanie O

  15. The Christmas Cookie Sprinkle Snatcher

  16. I'd go with Good King Wenceslas or Gift of the Magi, but my girls loved the Christmas in the Big Woods.

  17. Oh, how fun! It's hard to pick just one, but perhaps the Kate DiCamillo book would be my favorite. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

  18. The gift of the magi looks beautiful!

  19. The Christmas Miracle looks so good!

  20. It is hard to choose! They all look good, but I think I would like the Bear Stays UP, or Father and Son.

  21. I don't's so hard to pick! I'd have to say the Gift of the Magi looks beautiful though :-)

  22. There are so many wonderful stories listed here. The book "Why Christmas Trees aren't Perfect?" sounds like a great book to engage all seven of my kiddos during a story time.

  23. The book "Tonight you are my baby" looks like it may make me teary eyed! These are great! I haven't seen most of these and will certainly be adding them to my wish list.

  24. So many wonderful books! I would love to win one! Setting out our basket of books this evening, can't wait!

  25. My 4yo loves books, we will have to get started on our Christmas collection.

  26. I used to live Christmas In The Big Woods... classic. :)

  27. I used to live Christmas In The Big Woods... classic. :)

  28. Some of our favorites are listed!

  29. Susan! You listed so many of our favorites here... and some new-to-us books! So I am adding them to our list - our new tradition is to buy TWO copies (enough for each kiddo) of a favorite Christmas book and gift it to the children under the tree, not wrapped, so they can begin building their very own Christmas Book library for when they move out! I am adding several from your post to the next few years ideas! :)

  30. What a fabulous list, Susan! We don't even have half of the books you listed, but they're on my Wish List for our basket.


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