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Christmas Book Tradition


One of our favorite holiday traditions is to read a Christmas book every night. We start the day after Thanksgiving and read one picture book. We wrap the books in gift wrap, so we never quite know what book that night we will be reading. We now have sooooo many book, (more then the nights), so I take the extra books and put them in a basket. We will usually pick one of those to read to. We always read the same book of Christmas eve "A Christmas Story". So we know what book this is, I have the girls turn around the paper and wrap that book with the back side of the paper. Even though the girls are getting older, they love this and can not wait to pull out the book and wrap them. Here is a list of (not all) but some our favorites. One of our favorites and not well known book is The Christmas Carp by Rita Torqvist

"The days before Christmas, Grandpa buys a Christmas tree, and Thomas buys a carp (a traditional Czechoslovakian Christmas dinner main course) which he name Peppo. Peppo swims in the bathtub while Thomas feeds him cookies and pretends he is a whale. But as Christmas dinner draws near, Thomas grows very sad. He wants to Keep Peppo for a pet. "

0849958830 A Child’s Christmas At Saint Nicolas Circle by Thomas Kinkade

074121623x_1 The Secret Santa Of Old Stanington by Mark Kimball Moulton

0741208660_1 The Visit by Mark Kimball Moulton

Polarjkt_1 The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg


Hw799_1 The Year Of The Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

0863153720_2 Peter and Lottas Christmas by Elsa Beskow

Hw766 Alabaster Song by Max Lucado

Hw74 The Christmas Cat

Beckys1 Becky’s Christmas

Cover_corgivilleb Corgiville Christmas

Hw75 Dolls Christmas all by Tasha Tudor

111_1The Last Straw by Fredrick H Thury

Hw72_2 The Christmas Carp by Rita Torqvist

Hw79 Santa Comes To The Little House

Snow Angel by Debbie Boone

Christmas On An Island by Gale Gibson

Hw7Lucy’s Christmas by Donald Hall

Babar Babar Fathers Christmas by Jean De Brunhoff

Cnd The Candy Makers Gift by David & Helen Haidle

Gifchristorywildsmith A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith

A Christmas Card For Mr. McFizz by Obren Bakich

Hw77 The Sugar Child by Monique De Varennes

Kit The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot

Appl_1 Apple Tree Christmas by Trinka Hakes Noble

Boy The Boy Of The Bells by Carly Simon


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Leigh Ann

What a fabulous tradition. When we pull out our books tomorrow I think we will wrap them up. I have a wonderful old picnic basket that is trimmed in red and green for my Christmas books.

This year we've added Tasha Tudor's The Night Before Christmas, Jan Brett's Reindeer, and Olive.

My husband's favorite is Cranberry Christmas. He and his family would always make the cookies in the book. He wants to do that this year with the kids.

Cheers! LA


So many beautiful books. Your daughters are very lucky. I picked up a copy of James Herriot's Chistmas Day Kitten at the thrift store last week for $2. It's such a lovely book isn't it. Beautiful illstrations.


Wow! So many Christmas books, so little time...heh... Thanks for sharing these! Blessings, Debra


Thank you so much for your comprehensive list of Christmas books. You have quite the collection!
I love your idea of gift wrapping and opening one up each day...I don't have enough Christmas books to do that, but it is a tradition that is worth starting. I have ordered a number of these books from the library thanks to your list!
Great idea!


Oh, I just LOVE the idea of wrapping up each story!! Thank you so much for the list of books, I'm planning a trip to our library this week!


Clarice, this was a tradition at our house during Advent -- reading Christmas stories each night before bedtime. However, I was not as clever as you and didn't wrap the books in paper. You bring such creativity and surprise in your methods!

Susan P.

Clarice, that is probably one of the sweetest Christmas traditions I have ever heard of. I don't have any "little ones" around my home but I am going to read a few of those "treasures" to myself:)


What a lovely tradition! I may have to start this with my little girl.


What a lovely tradition.
I used to buy all kinds of childrens books for my son and now do so for our grand angels!


"Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year."

Ralph Waldo Emerson.


I have always loved this tradition of yours :)

My all time favorite Christmas book doesn't appear to be on your list. It's "The Littlest Angel." Our copy is illustrated by Paul Micich and I cannot recommend it highly enough. The ethereal quality of the illustrations add such beauty to this already beautiful story. I work so hard every year at *not* crying by the end ;)


What a cool tradition. Christmas stories are the best. :) I'll have to look for some of those books you listed.
Take care!



I love this tradition.

I have fished for carp before. They are an aggressive fish, and fun to catch, similar to a bass, and grow to become very big fish.
They are not a real good fish to eat though. Some people say if you soak their meat in milk first, but I have actually never eaten one, just love to catch them.
Lovely story, and again, you are a great MOM!


I see some books that I used to read to my kids. What a great tradition, Clarice!


What a wonderful tradition!
Becky's Christmas is my favorite Christmas book and I check it out of the library every year and read it at least a couple of times during the season.
Have a nice weekend!


Thank you for this!

I've been looking for a 'new' Christmas tradition to start for my grandson.

I will be wrapping books for Christmas! He won't realize this for a couple of years, but that will be our advent tradition.

(that is, if this grandma can remember it...)


What a lovely family tradition.


Thanks for the list of books Clarice, we have some but the others I will search out:-)


Dear Clarice,
I have just returned from a romantic weekend in Prague given to and enjoyed with me by my dear husband. We did much of our Christmas shopping in the market, and visited St. Nicholas's Church and the Old Palace from which King Wencelas "looked out on the Feast of Steven". However we were unable to find Christmas books there (in English or otherwise) that were of Czech origin. THANK YOU for your recommendation of The Christmas Carp, which looks perfect. I too shall be enjoying advent with my 3 dc unwrapping a story each night, and this will be a lovely addition to our family collection. Thanks again, Mrs. Holter-Hovind.

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