Make Christmas Magical: Uncover the Most Festive Christmas Picture Books

Make Christmas Magical: Uncover the Most Festive Christmas Picture Books

As the whirlwind of Christmas takes over the classroom, energetic students often bubble over with holiday excitement. This year, why not channel that enthusiasm into a downtime filled with Christmas picture books? These Christmas picture books will enhance your student's appreciation of the season, so join us as we delve into the festive world of literature.

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Christmas Picture Books

The lead-up to Christmas is an exciting time for children, and getting into the season’s spirit can be even more fun with some festive picture books! 

The picture books in the list below have something for everyone. Full of cheerful illustrations, vivid stories, and heart-warming messages, they’ll encourage children to learn about the Christmas season and appreciate the joy of sharing.

The Benefits of Reading Christmas Picture Books in the Classroom

Reading children’s books about Christmas in the classroom can have several benefits for teachers and students:

Celebrates cultural traditions: Children’s books about Christmas help students learn about cultural practices associated with the holiday, such as the history of Christmas and the different ways it is celebrated worldwide.

Develops literacy skills: Reading children’s books about Christmas helps students develop literacy skills such as new vocabulary and critical thinking.

Promotes creativity: Christmas picture books often feature imaginative and festive illustrations, inspiring students to engage in creative writing and art projects.

Encourages reflection: Christmas picture books encourage students to reflect on the meaning of the holiday and what it means to them and their families, promoting personal growth and reflection.

Fosters a sense of community: Reading Christmas picture books in the classroom creates a sense of community, fostering a spirit of togetherness and shared celebration.

After reading children’s books about Christmas, you may want to give your students some background to global Christmas traditions, Father Christmas and the Nativity. has a history of Christmas, and information about the origins of Santa can be found at National Geographic.

Girl reading Christmas Picture Books

Questions to Pair with Christmas Picture Books

  • How do the characters in the book celebrate Christmas?
  • Can you find any Christmas symbols in the pictures? What do they mean?
  • How do the characters show kindness or the spirit of giving during Christmas?
  • How would the story change if it was not set during Christmas?
  • What are some Christmas traditions mentioned in the book?
  • Can you spot any common Christmas decorations in the illustrations?
  • How does the book represent the spirit of Christmas?
  • What Christmas foods do the characters eat in the book?
  • Does the story mention Santa Claus or Father Christmas? If so, how is he described or portrayed?
  • How is the Christmas tree decorated in the story?
  • Does the story mention Christmas elves, reindeer, or other festive characters? How do they contribute to the story?
  • Does the story mention any Christmas miracles or magic?
  • Are there any acts of charity or kindness that align with the Christmas spirit?
  • How does the book’s Christmas portrayal compare to your experiences?
  • Does the book mention how different cultures might celebrate Christmas?
  • Does the story reference the nativity or the religious significance of Christmas?
  • If you could add a Christmas element to the story, what would it be?
  • What does Christmas mean to the characters in the book?

Christmas Picture Books

You can celebrate the festive season with these traditional, modern, funny, magical and poignant Christmas children’s books. They cover various Christmas traditions, including the Nativity, family, Father Christmas, presents and much more!

The Best Christmas Present in the World by Michael Morpurgo

This is the first of two Christmas picture books by Michael Morpurgo. The narrator finds an old letter in a desk from soldier Jim to his wife, Connie, describing the Christmas Truce of World War I when enemies briefly celebrated Christmas together. Touched by the story, the narrator returns the letter to Connie.

The Best Christmas Present in the World illustrates themes of peace, connection, and the power of memory. The power of a letter can bring alive the memories of the past, evoking strong emotions and fostering connections.

The BIG Christmas Bake by Fiona Barker

Follows the Twelve Days of Christmas characters as they help bake a Twelfth Night cake. Every day, they contribute an ingredient or lend a helping hand to make the cake a success. 

Through their teamwork, the cake is on its way to creating a fantastic celebration for all. This book highlights the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and the joy of coming together for a shared goal.

The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore

Learn about the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod, where families exchange books on Christmas Eve and spend the night reading. 

The Christmas Flood illustrates the joy of book-giving and the togetherness it encourages during the holiday season. Teachers can use this book to celebrate the love of reading, foster appreciation for literature, and inspire students to embrace the joy of giving and receiving books.

The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy

A small, crooked fir tree left unsold at a Christmas tree shop is destined to be discarded. But when a homeless boy finds it and decides to give it a chance, their lives become intertwined. Despite their difficult circumstances, they bring warmth and joy to each other, showing that a simple act of kindness can make the world a better place. 

The Christmas Tree Eve sparks discussions of empathy, giving, and the importance of appreciating the small things in life.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

A gruff woodcarver, Jonathan Toomey, is known as “Mr. Gloomy” due to his sullen demeanour. His life takes an unexpected turn when a young widow and her son, Thomas, ask him to carve a new set of nativity figures. Reluctantly, Jonathan agrees, and as he works on the figures, Thomas shares stories of his father and their family traditions. Jonathan discovers the true meaning of Christmas through their shared experiences.

This book explores empathy, compassion, the power of kindness and support and connection during difficult times.

The Christmas Pine by Julia Donaldson

A pine describes its transformation from a humble seedling to a magnificent Christmas tree. It journeys from a forest to become the famous Christmas tree in London’s Trafalgar Square, a symbol of peace and friendship.

The Christmas Pine promotes discussions about growth and transformation, the significance of traditions, and the symbolism of the Christmas tree as a message of peace and friendship.

The Christmas Truce by Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy’s poem commemorates the unexpected truce between British and German soldiers, adversaries in the trench warfare of World War I. Despite their dire circumstances, these soldiers found common ground in No Man’s Land, sharing songs, stories, and a football game during a temporary cease-fire.

The Christmas Truce invites discussions on conflict resolution, compromise, recognizing shared humanity amid strife, empathy, peace, and the power of shifting perspectives.

The Christmas Truce: The Place Where Peace Was Found by Hilary Robinson

During World War I, soldiers from opposing sides put aside their differences to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. They sing carols, share food, play football, and exchange gifts. Despite the harsh reality of war around them, they find a moment of peace and camaraderie. 

The Christmas Truce explores unity, shared humanity, empathy, understanding, common bonds and peace.