We love Christmas and Advent at Redeemed Reader, and we’ve reviewed lots of related resources over the years.
Advent begins on December 1, and the Christmas season extends through the first week of January. Are you one of those families who likes to open a “new” book each day of Advent? Perhaps you plan more focused spiritual readings. Either way, you’ll find plenty of inspiration and ideas below. Stock up on some new literary gems that will help you and your family celebrate Christmas and Advent!
note: We’re still in the process of updating the internal links in the older reviews (they all got messed up in our 2016 hack); please be patient when you run across a link that isn’t working and do let us know! As always, titles below are linked to RR reviews!
Christian Christmas Resources
These are resources that are specifically Christian: devotionals, directly about the Nativity, or otherwise overtly Christian.
- Christmas Carols for a Kid’s Heart (book + CD of Christmas carols to sing and learn)
- *Christmas is Here by Lauren Castillo (picture book; the Nativity; uses biblical text)
- The Christmas Promise by Allison Mitchell (picture book; the Nativity)
- The Christmas Story by Robert Sabuda (pop-up book; the Nativity)
- Our Very Own Christmas Story by Annette Lange (lovely, sweet picture book about an imaginative journey to Bethlehem)
- The Story of Christmas (Advent set with small pop-out books)
- The Story of Christmas (“Carry me” set with puzzles; good for young children)
- The Christmas Story: From the Gospel According to St. Luke, King James Edition illustrated by James Bernardin (picture book with biblical text and well done illustrations)
- Jesus is Most Special by Sally Lloyd-Jones (picture book that helps children tell the Christmas story)
- Christmas, A Book of Stories Old and New, edited by Alice Dalgliesh (family read aloud; short stories beginning with the Nativity)
- Jotham’s Journey and others by Arnold Ytreeide (family Advent read aloud; good for elementary aged kids)
- Truth in the Tinsel (family Advent devotionals/activities; good for young children)
- Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (picture book-style but designed for family Advent reading; good for all ages)
- The Wonder of the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp (based on Unwrapping the Greatest Gift; good for families with younger children)
- *Voices of Christmas by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Eric Velasquez (picture book, but good for middle grades)
- Behold the Lamb of God: An Advent Narrative by Russ Ramsey (daily readings, good for teens and adults)
- The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent by John Piper (teens and adults)
- Every Valley by Albert Blackwell (devotional readings based on The Messiah; teens and adults)
- The Handel’s Messiah Family Advent Reader by Donna Payne (good for ages 8 and up!)
- Come Let Us Adore Him by Paul David Tripp (daily Advent devotional; teens and adults)
Classic Christmas Resources
These are the tried-and-true, wouldn’t-be-Christmas-without-it, sort of titles. If you’re looking for a good version of a familiar favorite, check out this list!
- The Night Before Christmas, illus. by Holly Hobbie (picture book; lovely!)
- The Twelve Days of Christmas illustrated by Susan Jeffers (picture book)
- Mary Engelbreit’s Nutcracker (lengthy picture book with cheerful illustrations; good for elementary)
- The Nutcracker illustrated by Maurice Sendak (picture book, but lengthy; good for middle grades)
- The Nutcracker Comes to America by Chris Barton (picture book nonfiction about this famous ballet)
- The Toymaker’s Apprentice by Sherri Smith (middle grades retelling of The Nutcracker)
- A Christmas Carol illustrated by Quentin Blake
- A Christmas Carol illustrated by P.J. Lynch (no review, but this one is highly recommended!)
Other Christmas Resources
These aren’t “anti-Christian” resources; they simply aren’t designed to be as devotional or directly related to the biblical account of Christmas. And some are just for fun titles.
- The Coloring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas (crafty fun for your kids to make and send to loved ones)
- Dream Snow by Eric Carle (picture book)
- The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Barbara Cooney (picture book; very sweet)
- Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening illustrated by Susan Jeffers (picture book)
- Little Santa by Jon Agee (picture book)
- Little Rabbit’s Christmas (picture book)
- The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski (picture book but good for middle grades, too)
- The Invention of Lefse by Larry Woiwode (a lovely Norwegian story)
- A Shiloh Christmas by Naylor (Ages 10-12 realistic fiction)
- A Certain Small Shepherd by Rebecca Caudill (Family read aloud; older title)
- This Way to Christmas by Ruth Sawyer (Family read aloud; older title)
- The Lost Angel by Elizabeth Goudge (family read aloud; short stories)
- A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy (family read aloud; older title)
Reflections on Christmas and Advent
- A Christmas Carol Watch Along Guide: Emily reflects on A Christmas Carol and offers discussion questions
- Thoughts on A Christmas Carol: Reading and Watching: Janie reflects on this Christmas classic
- “Just Believe“: Janie reflects on this idea in A Boy Called Christmas
- Twelfth Night: Betsy reflects on seeing the true Christmas story in this “Christmas” play
What are your family favorites? What are your Christmas book traditions? Tell us in the comments!