My Top 10 Favorite Holiday Books (and why you should buy more!)


I am in love with picture books, and I find any reason to justify a purchase. Honestly, I think I am a writer and a teacher because it’s a calling that simply requires book purchases.

If you love books, too, today is your lucky day. This post will give you everything you need to sanction a new book’s entry into your life.

Way back in 1998, I created a family tradition that’s still going strong in 2018.

Each year, I buy a new Christmas picture book. We open it on Christmas Eve. Then, everyone who is with us writes a little note on the inside cover. Here’s the inside cover of our second book - before I even had a family of my own - from 1997.


It’s kinda like a literary guest book for every Christmas.

I love seeing the handwriting of everyone in our family - even if a lot of it isn’t readable! Sonia, my sister-in-law - and the one with the best handwriting, wrote “it will be fun to have little ones at our celebration” next year. She was one month away from delivering my twin nieces who will turn 21 this January!

When I finally found a husband and we had a baby girl, our tradition changed a bit. We started opening the book on the first weekend of December when we decorated our Christmas tree. All through December, as our collection grew, I’d read books to Anna, and it certainly got us in the holiday spirit.

I found a basket to hold the collection and used my trusty glue gun to attach parts of an old and broken garland for some holiday glam.

My daughter knows that she’ll inherit this basket of books when she has a family of her own so the tradition can continue…or we can recycle books and just keep adding notes and signatures on family favorites.

Speaking of favorites, here’s a list of our top ten favorite Christmas picture books.


This is my daughter’s favorite.

It’s Dream Snow by Eric Carle. The last page has a sound button so you can hear the magical sound of dream snow. (Pictures below to show.)


Essential reading.

Illustrations are amazing!


I know it’s the same book, but…

…this one has amazing paper-cut and popup illustrations…and you can never have too much Night Before Christmas!


And all the Who down in Who-ville…

…were singing without any presents at all!


We gave this to Anna when…

…she started to doubt Santa was real.


Anna came home from the hospital..

…on Christmas Eve so this is the first book in her official collection. DK Books rule for young ones!


Anything by Jan Brett is good…

…for the holidays! I like The Mitten, too.


For those holidays when you need…

…super silly and fun. Bake cookies to go along with this one.


A classic I couldn’t resist…

…it’s the Hallmark movie of picture book short stories.


This is the first book…

…that started the tradition. It’s for older kids and I picked it before I had a kid of my own, but I love the illustrations, and its quirky essence about Christmas magic.

I’ve got lots more holiday books, but these are my short list favorites, and I wanted to leave room for you to suggest your essential holiday titles, too. Please let me know in the comments.

Tonight, I look forward to snuggling with my 16-year-old and reading one of her favorites - probably Dream Snow!

Yes, Virginia, there are teenagers who still love listening to books being read aloud.

Always writing,