In July, I put together my list of Top 50 Picture Books, and I purposely left holiday books off the list, because they definitely deserve some undivided attention. But the time has come. Tis the season to read holiday books around a cozy fire! A couple of notes before we dive in to the list:

-We only own one Hanukkah book, and I’ll be honest, it’s not a particularly good one. So I didn’t include any Hanukkah titles, but I’d love to hear your recommendations. Same goes for Kwanzaa. Or Winter Solstice. Or whatever it is you like to celebrate this time of year.

-Some of these books are good for older readers (even grown ups) and some for the littlest listeners. Some are religious and sentimental, others are completely secular. But altogether, I think they make a really good collection.

-I didn’t include much in the way of “character books” like Eloise at Christmastime or Richard Scarry’s Best Christmas Ever, even though some are really good, because there are literally dozens and dozens. But if your kids have a favorite character or author, why not get the related holiday book?

-Lastly, I’m sure you have favorites that didn’t make my list — I may not even know about them! I hope you’ll include any of your picks in the comments.

Design Mom’s Top 20 Christmas Books, in alphabetical order:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

A Child’s Christmas in Wales (If you can find this one as an audio book, you will especially love it!)

The Christmas Alphabet (Actually, all of Robert Sabuda’s Christmas Popups are excellent.)

A Christmas Carol (You can also try the Young Readers Edition or the Picture Book Edition)

Christmas Day in the Morning

 

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

Corgiville Christmas

Dream Snow

Every Man Heart Lay Down

The Gift of the Magi

 

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

The Night Before Christmas (There are lots of versions of this story. My favorites have vintage illustrations.)

The Nutcracker (There are dozens of versions of this famous story too. You can pick one that you think your kids will especially like.)

Olive, the Other Reindeer

The Polar Express (I’m not a fan of the movie, but I adore the book. It’s even a Caldecott winner!)

 

Santa Calls

The Little Match Girl (I’m not gonna lie. This one will break your heart every single time.)

The Snowy Day (Not holiday related, but a great winter time book that we like to keep with the Christmas titles!)

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Who is Coming to Our House?

 

P.S. — The jury’s still out on whether or not they’ll make my official list, but for 2011, three titles we’re trying are An Orange for Frankie, The Christmas Bus, and Flicka, Ricka, Dicka & Their New Skates.