15 Books That Share the REAL Meaning of Christmas

By Polly Conner

“In a culture that uses this season to get children to dream about how their lives would be made better by possessing a certain material thing, where Christmas has been reduced to a shopper’s nightmare and a retailer’s dream, it is vital to draw the wonder of our children away from the next great toy and toward the wonder of the coming of our great Lord and Savior, Jesus.” -Paul David Tripp in *Come Let Us Adore Him

Keeping Christ’s birth at the center of Christmas does not happen accidentally. We have to continue to retell the story and cast the vision on why we celebrate. Why we give gifts. Why we hang lights. If we don’t continually remind ourselves and our children of these things, we will easily be swept away with the busyness of the season and feel left empty when it’s all over.

Kids’ hearts respond to stories in a special way. Through stories, they can understand deeper truths and the implications of these truths. This is why I have made it a priority to read stories like the ones listed below to my kids throughout the Christmas season. In fact, we have made it a tradition to read one a night during the Advent season. My kids love it!

If you’re hoping to find a collection of books and stories to help point your kids’ hearts in the right direction at Christmas time, look no further. I’ve rounded up 15 Meaningful Christmas Books that your family can enjoy together. 

Be sure to check out our 15+ Advent Resources for the Whole Family, in addition, to the book list below.

15 Books the Share the Real Meaning of Christmas

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Song of the Stars

A favorite in both of our families. The long-awaited child had arrived! Creation cried out in celebration, but only a few people heard. Only a few joined nature’s chorus, a song in praise of the newborn King.

Humphrey’s First Christmas

My kids LOVE this one. We’ve all heard the story of the three wise men who brought their gifts to Baby Jesus. But what about the camels who carried them? Here is the story of Humphrey the camel and his long, cold journey to Bethlehem.

Room for a Little One

In this wonderfully rhythmic book, the animals welcome baby Jesus to their stable. It’s such a sweet, warm story.

God Gave Us Christmas

As Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear begins to wonder… “Who invented Christmas?” Mama’s answer only leads to more questions like “Is God more important than Santa?” So she and Little Cub head off on a polar expedition to find God and to see how he gave them Christmas.

Christmas in the Manger

The gentle beauty of the story of the first Christmas is now available as a board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.

Who is Coming to Our House?

A modern Christmas classic about how the animals prepare a cozy welcome for the baby Jesus.

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger

Such a sweet message in this book. A small mouse continually tries to push out the nativity figures so he can sleep in the stable…until he learns just who those figures are.

A Birthday Party for Jesus

This book is a heartwarming reminder to children that Christmas isn’t about Santa or asking for presents; it’s about celebrating Jesus’s birthday. This inviting, full-color, illustrated picture book tells a story of forest animals preparing for a big and exciting event.

The Joy of Giving

Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.

Tonight You are My Baby

“Tomorrow you will be King. But tonight you are my baby.” The miracle of Christmas began with a mother holding her child, filled with boundless love. Now the warmth and spirit of the first Christmas come alive in this Nativity retelling, perfect for mothers to share with their own little ones.

J is for Jesus

Everyone loves a candy cane-but it’s easy to overlook the meaning of this familiar Christmas tradition in all the hustle and bustle of the season. This sweet story reminds little ones that the candy cane represents Jesus’ birth and the gospel message too.

The True Gift: A Christmas Story 

In this short chapter book, a brother and sister learn to show humble compassion to a lonely cow instead of focusing on the festivities and gifts of Christmas.

Amazing Christmas Extravaganza (look at the used book prices)

A super fun read-aloud story. It reminds us, with the help of some rather absurdly over-the-top illustrations, that going “over the top” with your holiday zeal can sometimes take you away from the whole POINT of the holiday. Kids really like the illustrations in this one.

This Is the Stable

Excellent for younger readers, this repetitive and cumulative story explores the people and places in the Nativity story.

The Little Drummer Boy

A procession travels to Bethlehem, bringing gifts for the newborn baby Jesus. The little drummer boy comes along, although he is too poor to bring a present fit for a king. Instead, he plays a song on his drum for the Christ Child. Within the little drummer boy’s seemingly simple gift lies the true spirit of Christmas.

Good News of Great Joy! Advent Devotional

Your family may also enjoy our short, very doable Advent Devotional for families with children ages 2-11. Download and print it right now.

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  1. Mary Ann D. says:

    I am really surprised that you did not included “The Littlest Angel”. It is such a beautiful story that I read to my daughter every year. She still loves it at age 26. I always give a copy to anyone with small children or grandchildren,