I'm a wife to my "Mr. Right". A momma of five. A maker of slow food and simple living. A collector of memories, a keeper of books, and a champion for books that make memories. An addict who likes my half-and-half with a splash of coffee. A fractured pot transformed by the One Who makes broken things beautiful. I heart homeschooling, brake for libraries, and am glad you're here with me on the journey! Be sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. Or, follow along with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google +, Youtube, or Pinterest.

20+ Christmas Chapter Books to Read Together

chapter book and Christmas blanket

The crackling of a cozy fire swathed with red and green stockings, the warmth of an oversized cup of cocoa, the comfort of your children nestled beside you--it's a picture torn right from the pages of a Norman Rockwell calendar. The only thing missing is a book placed gently in the center, captivating the listeners and drawing them closer together through the experience of a shared story. But not just any book, mind you. A book that conveys the sentiments of the season. A book draped with the wonder of winter. A book that echos the joy of Christmas.

Seldom does this scene actually play out in most homes, even during the holidays. Most read-aloud times are anything but serene. But with the help of a well-chosen book, they can all be memorable.

If you are looking for just the right story to enjoy together through the holiday season, look no further. Here is a list of 20+ books to enjoy this Christmas.

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20+ Christmas Chapter Books to Read Together #christmasbooks #kidlit #readaloud #rar

101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith

Admittedly, this is not necessarily a book about Christmas, but for the most part, the entire story takes place during the holiday season. I was originally a bit skeptical when I first picked this one up, assuming that the plot would be quite a bit different from the Disney animated classic and that we'd all end up disappointed. But I could not have been more wrong. Despite a few differences in the basic storyline from the cartoon adaptation, the book is delightful and fun, especially when read-aloud with a British accent!

All Creation Waits by Gayle Boss

This narrative non-fiction is like a gentle walk through the woods. The author peels back the underbrush to reveal the animals of nature and what God has designed them to do during the season of Advent. With the help of lyrical prose, she introduces a reader to skunks, porcupines, foxes, deer, and so many other woodland creatures. This book makes a great addition to a December Morning Basket.  

Please note: There are a couple mentions of animals mating in the book which may or may not be appropriate for all readers. 

A Tree for Peter by Kate Seredy

In A Tree for Peter, an entire town gets transformed through the kind gift of a stranger. This is the perfect Christmas read-aloud for 5-8-year-olds, filled with positive messages and pay-it-forward themes.

Christmas with Anne by L.M. Montgomery

This collection of Christmas-themed short stories features a few favorites from the Anne of Green Gables series including "Matthew Insists on Puffed Sleeves," as well as several previously unpublished or lesser-known Montgomery tales.

I Saw Three Ships by Elizabeth Goudge

After the death of her parents, Polly Flowerdew finds herself living with her two unmarried aunts who approach Christmas with much more trepidation than Polly is used to. The little girl hopes that despite her aunt's fears, she'll still get to see the three ships of the Magi docked in the harbor, carrying special gifts of the season. 

This short, illustrated chapter book reads like a Dickens' novel. 

Nancy and Plum by Betty MacDonald

Originally published in 1952, this book has a very Pollyanna or Little Princess feel to it--orphaned children, mistreated by the headmistress of a boarding school. It is a delightful old story about two sisters determined to make better lives for themselves and is loosely based on stories that the author made up and told to her own sister when she was a little girl. 

Storybooks for Advent by Arnold Ytreeide

This is a series of four Advent stories each featuring a fictional child from Biblical times who crosses paths with the characters of the Nativity. To be honest, my kids and I don't love these books but we know that they are long-time Christmas favorites in many homes and so I'm including them here. For us, they feel similar to most Christian fiction trade paperbacks--a very predictable plot with a thinly veiled moral lesson on every page. 

The one redeeming quality about this series is that they are all interconnected. When you read one, you are introduced to a few of the characters of another. 

The 24 Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle

Since her mom is pregnant and due any day, Vicky Austin is afraid that the family's long-standing Christmas traditions will be forgotten when the baby finally comes. Some might call this a very long picture book. At less than 50 pages, it makes for the perfect Christmas read-aloud for young children.

Please note: This is a prequel to L'Engles' Austin Family series. 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

When the horrible Herdman children join the cast of the church's annual Christmas play, the entire congregation holds their breath, especially the other children. Everyone is confident that the whole thing will end in disaster. But after weeks of one epic catastrophe after another, the day of the pageant finally arrives, and the audience learns a valuable lesson about what it means to stand in awe at the manger of a Savior.  

Please note: The first chapter of this book is rather tough to get through as it paints a vivid picture of the Herdman kids. I had to do a bit of editing on the fly as I read it aloud. However, the book is well worth the investment of time. Even years after our initial reading, my kids continue to request that I pull this one off the shelf and declare that it's one of their most favorite books we've ever enjoyed together. 

The Bird's Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin

Surprisingly, this sentimental Dickens-esque classic from 1887 contains easy-to-understand language. The sickly Carol Bird who shares a birthday with Jesus decides to spend her final days on earth ministering to the Ruggle children, a group of down-and-out kids next door. 

This story is morally heavy-handed at times--happy endings for all--and is best suited for younger kids. 

The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Savage Carlson

When the homeless, old French bachelor Armand meets a widow and her children, he has no idea how much they will all grow to need and love each other. Reading this short book is like taking a walking trip around Paris while never leaving the couch. 

The Last Holiday Concert by Andrew Clements

Fans of Frindle will enjoy this Christmas-themed Clements offering. Hart Evens, the most popular kid in school, goofs off in Mr. Meinert's music class one too many times. In response, Mr. Meinert decides that teaching the class is just simply not worth it. With the holiday concert fast approaching, though, the kids have to rally to save face and in the end, learn a valuable lesson about how difficult Mr. Meinert's job really is. He, in turn, grows to appreciate teaching once again. 

The Little House Christmas Treasury by Laura Ingalls Wilder

In this beautifully illustrated anthology, readers get to experience the simplicity and wonder of a prairie Christmas. The publisher has compiled Christmas and winter excerpts from each title of the Little House series to create a memorable walk-through of Laura's life.  

Please note: Readers who are unfamiliar with the original Little House series might find this compilation confusing as it jumps around from story to story and begins mid-action. For those who have read Wilder's. books, however, this anthology is a wonderful blend of literary nostalgia and Christmas delight.

The Secret of the Hidden Scrolls: The King is Born by M.J. Thomas

While I don't normally read the books in a trade paperback series out loud, but instead save them for read alones that my kids can enjoy on their own, seasonal books are a rare exception. This is the seventh in the Secret of the Hidden Scrolls series and follows the time-traveling adventures of 21st century Peter, Mary, and their dog Hank as they head to a manger to meet the King of all Kings. 

The True Gift by Patricia MacLachlan

Admittedly, this story is not as delightful as MacLachlan's Sarah, Plain and Tall series, but it's still worth a read. When Liam and his older sister Lily spend Christmas on their grandparent's farm, they learn that Rosie the donkey has been given back to her original owner, leaving her pasture mate White Cow to spend the holidays all alone. Desperate to find some companionship for White Cow, the children must sacrifice their own time, energy, and resources to provide a Christmas no one will ever forget. 

Please note: I had to do a bit of editing on the fly as I read this one aloud in order to avoid some crude language. 

The Vanderbeeker's of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

While not necessarily an overt Christmas story, most of the book takes place in the days preceding December 25th. When their landlord decides not to renew the lease on the Vanderbeeker's beloved brownstone, the four children decide to do whatever it takes to save their home just in time for Christmas. Little do they know that their curmudgeonly old neighbor will not only save the day but will become a treasured part of their family. Penderwick and Melendy Family fans will enjoy this sibling misadventure. 

Please note: There are a couple of fake swear words in the book as well as a few scenes of an 8th-grade crush. I did have to do a bit of editing on the fly as I read aloud. 

The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams

This timeless classic about a toy rabbit who longs to be real has been captivating children each Christmas since 1922. Like The 24 Days Before Christmas, this is a long picture book that will delight 4 to 8-year-olds. 

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

We read this book years ago and enjoyed its Swiss setting along with its powerful messages about sacrificial love and forgiveness. Since it has 26 chapters, it pairs nicely with an Advent countdown tradition. 

Seconded only to the Nativity story of Luke 2, the titles listed here are among my most favorite Christmas-themed chapter books to read aloud to my kids. From heart-warming classics to humorous contemporary novels, there's a book in this collection to fit every taste and many that will surely create treasured holiday memories for you and yours.

Looking for more lists like this?

Once a month I email a book list to the members of the Biblio-files. Additionally, each quarter, I send out a printable themed booklist just like this one. Every title on each list has been personally read and vetted by me and has been compiled by age range in order to help you navigate the library with your kids. In addition, I also include a few books that you should be aware of--books that contain explicit language, sexual agenda, graphic violence, etc. so that you can make an educated decision when/if your kids should ever be interested in reading any of them. What's more, members are invited to join me in a private Facebook group where we help each other find just the right books for our kids. We'd love to have you join us!

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  1. The link for "I Saw Three Ships" is taking me to the Amazon page for "The Last Holiday Concert."

    1. Ugh! Thank you for pointing that out. Got it fixed.

  2. I have a question on The Last Holiday Concert. We are nearing the end of that one, but are sorely disappointed! The rude language, the public school environment of popularity stuff, inappropriate talk and behavior amongst the kids (the kid who wants to Elvis primarily) and the forcing the humanistic idea of "all religions are equally right" propoganda - struggling with it. How did you approach all of that? I feel as homeschoolers we are definitely not the target audience, which isn't a deal breaker overall, but all I'm getting from this is "this is why you don't go to public school..."
    Are Andrew Clements other books similar?

    1. I agree, the book can lean towards the crude and rude. Most of that can be edited out on the fly. Regarding the behavior of the kids and the themes of the book, I actually think they make for great talking points with my kids. That said, my kids are tweens and teens and need to begin developing a Biblical world view in the midst of the world that we live in, not the world I wish that we live in. I don't know that I'd read it aloud to younger ones.
      Yes, Clements books tend to all be similarly written.

    2. We have 3rd and 6th graders, both girls and never been in public school, so maybe we will just let Clements go. I have done a lot of editing with this one, but it definitely is more steeped in worldliness than I'd prefer. I can see older kids having some more advantages of discussion on it to see their peers' education and world, but we aren't there at all.

  3. Thank you for this! I look forward to reading some of these with my girls.