Thursday, December 23, 2021

Christmas books we read in 2021

I just love curling up with Christmas books each December! I like to read grown-up Christmas books just for fun but I also read children's Christmas chapter books and novels for our book lists and all the picture books with my kids! 

I guess what I'm saying is, it's a good thing for your sake that I read too much! 

Grown-up books

πŸŽ„ Catching Christmas... You know romance is not my favorite thing to read about so if I give it high praise, it's a really good one! This Christian fiction was so fun! Our male protagonist is described as looking like Luke from Gilmore Girls and he completely became Luke in my mind for the whole book. I think that helps to make it so fun. Something sad happens but it still ended on a happy and hopeful note. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ The Christmas Child by Max Lucado... Short and sad-but-good. I listened to this one as an audio book in about 30 minutes. Christian fiction. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ Once Upon a Dickens Christmas: A Tale of Two Hearts... I don't normally read historical fiction from this time period but I still enjoyed this one, which was a buddy read with my mom. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ Perfectly Arranged... This is not actually a Christmas book but it takes place over Christmas and I happened to read it between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I'm counting it. I loved this story about a professional organizer and her work trip to China and all the goodness and change it brings. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„A Treasury of Christmas Miracles... a nonfiction collection of stories people have told the author about their real-life Christmas miracles. (Christian) 

Middle Grade books 
πŸŽ„ The Christmas Pig... A little boy's beloved stuffed pig is lost on Christmas Eve, a magical night, so the replacement toy takes him to a land where the aliveness of lost things goes to live... And is hunted by The Loser! Well-written and engaging but sad family dynamics and scary/disturbing descriptions of the land of the lost meant I never read this middle grade aloud to C, my five-year-old and resident pig fan. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Jingle Bells... I loved this Christmassy Horse Diaries book about a Clydesdale. Set in America but lots of talk about Norwegian Christmas traditions- would make a great addition to a Nordic Christmas unit study! (Secular) 

Leveled readers and chapter books 

πŸŽ„The Christmas Dolls... This is a fun one with that classic Christmas feel- a young girl in an orphanage needs a doll for Christmas and winds up with two defective (talking) dolls. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Christmas Stories... This is a collection of Laura Ingalls Wilder's stories ideal for a third-ish grade reading level. These are the same Christmas chapters from her full length books, just adapted to make them easier for younger readers. B and I read it together and she thoroughly adored it. She's only six but she went on to read through it by herself after we finished. (Secular)

πŸŽ„ Gus and Grandpa and the Christmas Cookies... I love this one! Gus and Grandpa have a sweet relationship and they bake dozens of Christmas cookies together before giving them to children in need. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„Marmee's Surprise... This is a simple adaptation of the Christmas portion of Little Women and my girls adored it! (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Marvin's Best Christmas Present Ever... This is a sweet story about a boy hoping to make a dearly loved gift for his parents. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Zelda and Ivy: One Christmas... I felt that one character was a bit selfish but i still liked the overall message in this one. (Secular)  
Picture books 

πŸŽ„The 12 Days of Christmas... Truthfully, I loathe this uber repetitive song/book. But my kids love it. So far I've managed to pawn its reading off on my mom every year but one! (Secular) 

πŸŽ„All About Christmas... A simple Christmas ABCs great for my four-year-old but not the older kids. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ All the Colors of Christmas... I love this one! Its a simple rhyming book with a poignant feel. It pains a lovely picture of holiday traditions, the familial meaning of Christmas, and the true meaning. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ Berenstain Bears: The Very First Christmas... The Nativity story, Berenstain Bear style. Cute but not my absolute favorite. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ Berenstain Bears and the Christmas Angel... Again, cute but not my favorite. I think these are fun for young readers to read but aren't super fun for me to read aloud. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ The Big Book of Santa... I'm not a big fan of Santa books but we love Mary Engelbreit's art so this was a fun one to look at! (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Charlie and the Christmas Kitty... My kids love this basset hound and thought this Christmas Charlie book was fun and cute. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„The Christmas Bears... Short, simple, and sweet with lovely illustrations. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Christmas in the Big Woods... We're always delighted with the Little House picture books and especially love this one. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„The Christmas Candle... Powerful and meaningful, always a favorite for my son and me. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„Country Christmas Angels... My son has been reading Tomie dePaola's 26 Fairmount Avenue series so he was happy to get to check out one of his Christmas picture books. The littlest angels are looking for a way to help Santa make Heaven's Christmas extra special. (Secular with Christian undertones) 

πŸŽ„ Corduroy's Christmas Surprise... My kids love Corduroy and I liked his focus on GIVING rather than receiving. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ God Gave Us Christmas... I love this series, although this isn't my favorite of them (God Gave Us the World is!). D adores the polar bears! (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ The Legend of the Candy Cane... I have always loved this book that brings Christian meaning to simple candy canes. A family favorite. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„ Llama Llama Jingle Bells... For the littlest readers! We'll be passing this one along to my niece now. (Secular)

πŸŽ„Merry Christmas, Old Armadillo... Armadillos are fascinating C right now because she adores pigs and read that armadillos are "like armored pigs." This was cute, about animals banding together to help bring merriment to an old armadillo. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Ming's Christmas Wish... Beautiful illustrations and a fun look at the American-Chinese culture at Christmastime. Be aware that charaters pray to a Chinese goddess at an altar for a brief moment. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree... This is a cute one, about a too-big tree that keeps getting topped and thus making a smaller tree for a smaller person/creature. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„ The Nutcracker... This version is our favorite and we forever adore this classic Christmas tale! (Secular) 

πŸŽ„A Nutty Nutcracker Christmas... I love all things Nutcracker and was very excited about this one, kind of a fractured tale from the perspective of Fritz meeting a female Nutcracker niece. It was admittedly a flop for me but I'm sure others will find it delightful! (Secular) 

πŸŽ„On Christmas Eve... Delightful prose about three young siblings and that delightful Christmas Eve feeling. Beautiful illustrations. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„The Polar Express... We love this oldie-but-goodie about a boy who takes a train straight to Santa's workshop. There's also a movie version. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„Silver Packages... A lovely story for highlighting the needs of those less fortunate in a gentle, happy-ending way. We all six loved this beautiful book. (Secular).  

πŸŽ„The Spirit of Christmas... I love her illustrations and I loved the way she kind of wove a story out of Christmas Carol lyrics here (Features secular lyrics but ends with a Christian message) 

πŸŽ„ We Were There... This one is about the unexpected creatures who attended the birth of Jesus... A rat, a spider, etc. I wasn't sure I'd like it while each creature was describing its journey but then I ended up being pretty happy with it. (Christian) 

πŸŽ„Wee Three Pigs... Basically a Christmas Three Little Pigs. Very cute, big hit. (Secular) 

πŸŽ„You are my Merry... I love Marianne Richmond's loving words and this was a short rhyming book but still managed to "give me the feels." (Secular) 

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