Christmas Books for Children

Christmas is a time for classics. It is time for grandpa’s famous eggnog and grandma’s annual pecan pie. It’s time for favorite Christmas carols around the old piano and movie marathons of White Christmas and Holiday Inn.

And it’s also time for our own family’s tradition of pulling out our favorite Christmas picture books and piling on the couch for some Advent-themed reading while the lights on the tree twinkle and shine.

Today I wanted to share some of our favorites. Some are retellings of the biblical story of Jesus’ birth while others are completely fictional, but all are worth reading this Christmas season.

Do you have a favorite Christmas story?

Nativity Stories

Who Was Born This Special Day? By Eve Bunting

The Jesse Tree by Geraldine McCaughrean

Father and Son: A Nativity Story by Geraldine McCaughrean

One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham

Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Stable in Bethlehem by Joy N. Hulme

Jacob’s Gift by Max Lucado

Mary by Brian Wildsmith

The Little Spider by Sigmund Brouwer

The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

Silent Night: It’s Story and Song by Margaret Hodges

Silent Night Illustrated by Susan Jeffers

Legends

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola

The Remarkable Christmas of the Cobber’s Sons told by Ruth Sawyer

Brigid’s Cloak by Bryce Milligan

Saint Francis and the Christmas Donkey by Robert Byrd

The Legend of Saint Nicholas by Anselm Grün

Santa Who? By Gail Gibbons

Saint Nicholas by Ann Tompert

Fictional Fun

The Little Fir Tree by Margaret Wise Brown

Peter Spier’s Christmas

The Day Before Christmas by Eve Bunting

Hannah’s Bookmobile Christmas by Sally Derby

The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg

Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo

The Christmas Wish by Lori Evert

Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble

The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman

Cranberry Christmas by Wende and Harry Devlin

The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

A Christmas Tree for Pyn by Oliver Dunrea

Christmas Farm by Mary Lyn Ray

The Carpenter’s Gift by David Rubel

Bear’s First Christmas by Robert Kinerk

Holly Claus: The Christmas Princess by Brittney Ryan

If you are interested in more children's picture books for each holiday of the year like Valentine's Day and Easter, sign up to subscribe to my blog and you will receive my ebook, Celebrate! Holiday Picture Books for Children. It is a ten-page resource of picture books for many of the major holidays around the year. Whether you're a homeschooling family that wants to add books about a holiday's origins to your curriculum, or you just want a fun book to read, this is the resource for you. You can print it off and throw it into your bag when you go to the library or reference when you're in search for the perfect book on Amazon.

To get your own copy, just subscribe using the form below. It's that easy! You will receive a confirmation email in your inbox. Once you confirm your subscription, you will then receive a second email that will contain the link to the free download.

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Creative Play for Toddlers {A Gift Guide}

I love seeing my kids play creatively. Kids do it so naturally, and yet they really do need us to foster it sometimes by taking away the screens and handing them cardboard, blocks, or paper and crayons.

I've been amazed at how quickly Ava has learned to navigate our iPad which we only purchased this year. She can skillfully find her way to "her" apps and become mesmerized for a long time if I let her.  

As a homeschooling family, our mornings have been more of a challenge to keep Ava busy, creative, and occupied while we accomplish some school tasks. Now that she no longer takes morning naps, I've rearranged our routine so that the subjects that need concentration are done during her afternoon nap time, which has helped. However, she is an active little lady who loves getting into make-up, the trash, and coloring on the table if I'm not mindful of her. I have to resist the temptation of always taking the easy way out and handing her an iPad or turning on Netflix.

So I was delighted to partner with Baby Cubby to try some of their toddler toys that encourage creative play. Both Josh and I were impressed with the quality of these toys as well as the mission of the company. The toys we received are durable, well made, and encourage open-ended play that engages the imagination while practicing various skills.

Today I'm excited to highlight the toys Ava has been enjoying the past few weeks and hopefully give you some ideas for any toddlers you have to buy Christmas gifts for in the upcoming weeks! 

PlanToys My First Camera

Ava is loving this adorable wooden camera! It has a little button to push and when you look through the lens it is a kaleidoscope! It is the perfect toy for car rides. I also love PlayToys' mission to create sustainable, eco-friendly toys.

pipSquigz by Fat Brain Toys

These toys are so fun that my 9 year-old boys like playing with them too!

They are BPA-free silicone rattles that can be chewed and played with individually or suctioned together into one toy. The toys also suction to flat surfaces so you can secure them to table tops, high chairs, or even the wall! Ava loves to try to pull it off of the wall and thinks it's hilarious. We took them with us on a recent trip and they entertained her during the car ride.

Tegu 6-Piece Pocket Pouch Prism

Another travel-friendly toy which comes in a convenient pouch, these blocks are so much fun! Again, my older kids enjoy them too, so they have a long life-span. These beautifully colored blocks magnetize to each other to create unique patterns and are less frustrating for the younger set.

Plan Toys Happy Puppy

Ava loves this little wooden pull-toy puppy. It has felt-like ears and is easy to pull and it wags it's tail. She takes it in and out of the house and kisses it while saying "Awwww." Once again, this toy is beautifully made and could easily become an heirloom toy.

And since Ava loves to destroy my make-up any chance she gets, I have Little Cosmetics Essentials Toy Make-up on my list for her in the future. Then she can pretend all she wants without making a mess!

With toys at various price points, Baby Cubby provides beautiful, creative, well-made toys that you won't find at your local Target. We were sincerely pleased with each item. All opinions and images are my own.

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This post was sponsored by Baby Cubby. Baby Cubby is made up of a team of parents who are passionate about encouraging and inspiring parents about how important their role is. They do this by finding the best and safest baby gear and providing it to parents in a fun shopping experience. 

They also offer free shipping nationwide for orders over $49 and price match (even Amazon!) and actively engage with parents via social media and their cubby community blog to discuss some of those hard topics of parenting. You can receive 10% off your first order by signing up for their newsletter.

To find out more about Baby Cubby, check out: http://www.babycubby.com/about-us/

Celebrate Advent with Sacred Holidays

Less chaos, More Jesus. Would that be awesome this Christmas?

I think so. Even as I type this post I'm shocked by the fact that in 18 days, Advent begins.

18 days!?! 

This autumn season is going by like a swish of the leaves.

Every year I like to have some Advent themed book or study to go through. In previous years I read Ann Voskamp's The Greatest Gift and last year I used She Reads Truth's study.

This year I had the joy to participate in writing for Sacred Holidays' Advent study, He Is: The Attributes of God. They have studies designed specifically for women, families, teen girls, and men (I contributed to the family study). Each study focuses on the same attribute each day, allowing friends, co-workers, churches, families, and communities to gather around The One we are celebrating at Christmas--Jesus!

If you are looking for an Advent-specific devotional this year, I recommend previewing these studies over at Sacred Holidays' shop.

And to guarantee the study arrives for Advent, you must order before November17th!

Don't forget to use the promo code WELCOMEBACK to get 10% off your order.

I hope you'll join me in studying God's character this Advent season.

Gratitude Fills

Does anyone else struggle with materialism the most during this season of thankfulness? Ironic, isn't it? I wrote this article last week for For the Family and I wonder if any of you find this season a similar temptation?

They’re filling my mailbox. Holiday catalogs bursting with items I suddenly find myself unable to live without. I flip through glossy pages displaying cozy pillows on soft leather couches. I eye my own worn slipcovered couch with aversion. Ironically, the cover of the latest catalog to be stuffed into my mailbox proclaims in classy cursive script: “Give thanks!”

I feel like I could give thanks better if my house looked as nice as those between Pottery Barn’s pages.

I am an artist at my core. I appreciate beauty, the perfectly arranged mantel, and the play between textures and colors. I love to nurture beauty in my everyday life with cut flowers and lit candles.

However, there is an ugly side to my love of beauty, order, and organization.

Materialism and discontentment.

Read the rest of my article over at For the Family...

Community and Reconciliation

Despite my website being "down" I've still be sharing stories.

The first was a deeply personal story that I wrote for Grace Table's series called The Hospitality of Reconciliation. Grace Table is a beautiful website I hope you will check out if you are unfamiliar with it.

My story was called The Bitter and the Sweet and offers the hope of healing in family relationships. It is a reminder that "perhaps it's never too late to bind up old wounds. To start the work of healing them. To not let past generations of bitterness become our own. There will be scars, but maybe that's okay too."

Image source: Grace Table

Image source: Grace Table

The second story was for For the Family and is about my attempt to create community in my own back yard. So many of us crave more connection with other people but don't know where to find it. The thing is, we will often find others desire the same thing we do, it just takes someone taking the initiative to do the inviting.

Creating Community Right Where You Are is about how I learned to take the initiative and not wait for perfect.

What ways do you find yourself creating community? I'd love to hear!

Image source: For the Family

Image source: For the Family