The Fourth Wiseman - I’ve linked my favorite illustrated version of this one!
The Story of Holly and Ivy - This is just the cutest little story about a little girl and doll that I loved as a child and may or may not have/definitely did cry while reading as an adult.
Letters from Father Christmas - This is a non negotiable. Everyone needs this. Be sure to get a copy with Tolkein’s original letters and illustrations.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever My mother used to read this to us every year after family worship and we laughed uproariously every. single. darn. time.
The Gift of the Magi Another one that we read every year at Christmas eve. My mom always cries. And we always tease her about it. And now I do the same.
Mr. Willoughby’s Christmas Tree - silly story about a too tall Christmas tree and its ever-shrinking top - the girls get a laugh :)
The Tale of Three Trees - it’s just great. And I get teary-eyed in the nice happy way.
Christmas Day in the Morning - A really sweet story with beautiful illustrations. Resonates more with 5 and up in my experience.
The First Christmas by Enid Blyton - Tells the story of that first Christmas through the lens of Mary and Joseph. I do have a gripe I gotta get outta the way: page 13, Mary expresses sadness and is a little complain-y about the journey. We don’t know they were sad or how she reacted to the task - but we do know it was hard. Mary was a very impressive woman, so while I’m sure we can all think “well YEAH I’d be pretty bummed, too!” we don’t know that was her take… Ok, I’m done now. It’s a cool book. Ha!
Christmas in the Barn by Margaret Wise Brown - The girls have always been fans of The Big Red Barn by MWB, so this was an instant favorite. Honestly anything with optional animal sounds (any page with animals) goes over big.
Christmas Bonus - the girls were shocked that we were limited to FIVE books and since it’s Christmas I thought I’d squeeze in two more:
Ellie’s Bonus Pick: The Nutcracker by The New York City Ballet, Illustrated by Valeria Docampo
Saoirse’s Bonus Pick: How the Grinch Stole Christmas - chalk it up to my amazing voice work. ;)
Ayrton’s Bonus Pick: The Animals on Christmas Eve - This is a Little Golden Book with a counting element, and the sing-songy rhyme of it is fun with the littles. I have the warm and fuzzies about reading this to them when they’re 0-3. <3
I like this bonus idea, I’m gonna give more too!
6. The Legend of the Candy Cane - this version in particular has my favorite illustrations.
7. The Christmas Kitten by James Harriet - straight up adorable. James Harriet in general is always tremendous but this one is especially great.
8. Peter Spier’s Christmas - One of my favorite illustrators of all time and this is one of his best. The one I linked is $$$ but keep an eye out on eBay or used bookstores because it’s amazing.
9. Last one,. Getting too excited around here. The Doll’s Christmas by Tasha Tudor. another perfect little girl book. Though warning the dollhouse in the illustrations is may spark lessons about coveting… Fair warning.
10. Ok actually I have no chill and also OCD and couldn’t end on 9 instead of 10. Petunia’s Christmas by Roger Duvoisin. Trust me gonna be a favorite.