I thought I would compile a list of picture books (and a bonus chapter book or two) that will help you and your family celebrate the real meaning of Christmas.
I just copied the Amazon summaries, since I thought they were pretty good. I added my age recommendations which were sometimes different than the “experts” suggested. But I am thinking of homeschooled children as I make my recommendations.
“Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all-the most magical gift of the season-is when we spend Christmas with those we love.
Once again, this New York Times-bestselling author and artist has created a special, beautiful book that families will want to share year after year. (And readers will want to look for the Spirit of Christmas image that Nancy Tillman has hidden on every page!)” I would recommend this for ages 4-8.
“Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. The moving, lyrical tale, gloriously illustrated by P.J. Lynch, has been widely hailed as a true Christmas classic.” I recommend this for ages 6-12 years.
“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. Along the way, they find signs that God is at work all around them. Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns about the very first Christmas and discovers that…
Jesus is the best present of all.
This enchanting tale provides the perfect opportunity to help young children celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and to discover how very much God loves them.” I recommend this for ages 4-8.
‘Twas the evening of Christmas, when all through the town,
Every inn was so crowded, no room could be found.
Tired Mary and Joseph, who went door to door,
At last found a place on a small stable floor.
For over 200 years, families have gathered on Christmas Eve to hear the much loved words of Dr. Clement C. Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. This year, families can gather together to share the real Christmas story–the story of Jesus’ birth. ‘Twas the Evening of Christmas echoes the familiar language and rhythm of Dr. Clements’ poetry, but instead of focusing on Santa, it focuses on the baby Jesus, who is, after all, the true hero of Christmas. All families will delight in this simple retelling of the most famous story ever told. With a cover that comes alive with foil and sculpted embossing, this book is sure to become a Christmas classic. I would recommend this for ages 4-8.
This story “uniquely teaches the Christmas story to your children by starting at creation and sharing that Jesus has always been present and that God has always had a plan for Christmas. Bible verses and Jesus Calling devotions are on every spread of this beautifully illustrated book with foil and glitter on the cover.” I would recommend this one for ages 4-10.
“A snowy night, a warm cabin, and a boy who hears the Christmas story told for the first time―beginning with Creation and ending with the Resurrection
A classic Christmas picture book, One Wintry Night tells the story of a mountain boy who is injured in a snowstorm and seeks refuge in a cabin. While he waits out the storm, the woman who lives there tells him the Christmas story. In a magnificent blend of a contemporary setting with the history of God’s redeeming love, Ruth Graham created a wonderful and unique version of the Christmas story. Breathtakingly illustrated by renowned artist Richard Jesse Watson, One Wintry Night is the perfect gift for the young and the young-at-heart that will fascinate both those who have heard the Bible story many times and those who know only a few details.” I would recommend this story for ages 6-12.
“Little Polly Flowerdew lives with her two maiden aunts, and she is absolutely sure that something special is going to happen this Christmas. She leaves her bedroom window open on Christmas Eve, just in case the three wise men decide to come visit. When she wakes up on Christmas morning, more than one miracle seems to have taken place.
A moving, lyrical, and endearing chapter book, celebrating the magic as well as the mystery of Christmas by Elizabeth Goudge, mistress of the art of storytelling. Charmingly illustrated with ink drawings by Margot Tomes, it is a perfect Christmas read-aloud for young children and parents looking for something slightly sentimental and bracingly wholesome.” I love Elizabeth Goudge’s writing! I would recommend this book for ages 8-12.
2016 ECPA Christian Book Award winner!
“Based on the overwhelming success of The Greatest Gift, Ann Voskamp has expanded her presentation of the timeless Advent tradition of the Jesse Tree so families can celebrate together. Each day, families can read the provided Scripture passage (in connection with the original book), engage with a specially written devotion to help children of all ages understand the Advent theme for the day, and participate in suggested activities to apply the theme.
This special edition is beautifully illustrated. It can serve as a precious guide to help recapture the sacredness of the Advent season and to help the entire family understand and celebrate the epic pageantry of humankind from Adam to the Messiah.” Ages 3-adult. I recommend this as a read-aloud for the whole family together.
FIRST EDITION, HARDCOVER. ILLUSTRATED. FAMILY BOOKSHELF EDITION “Among the many legends that have to do with Christmas Eve, there is one that says on that night lost things are found again…” I enjoyed this story.
One of the Amazon reviewers said this about it, “Mom got this book out every Christmas and I read it every year. When I moved to my own home, I hunted down copies of this book for me and all my sisters. It’s a short, sweet story with a varied cast of interwoven characters. A book that gives you a warm holiday glow.”
For such a short story, there were quite a few characters who were each affected by a stranger who took the time to interact with each of them. I think your family will enjoy this story. Recommended for ages 10-adult.
You may need to search for this to find it at a decent price, but it’s worth looking for.