Countdown to Christmas Book List

This year we decided to do a countdown to Christmas during the Advent season by unwrapping a Christmas book every night and reading it as a family. We put some tea or cocoa on before bedtime and let our son pick a book from the basket nestled under the Christmas tree.. This is something he always looks forward to when the end of the night nears. Cuddled in bed or on the couch together amidst the glow of the Christmas tree, we read! It has been a sweet little tradition I think we’ll do every year as we anticipate the coming of Christmas day. As you read further, I’ll touch on what an Advent countdown is, where to find your collection of Christmas themed books + how to prepare, and my countdown to Christmas book list for this year!

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Countdown to Christmas Book List

What is an Advent Countdown?

The season of Advent in the Christian calendar is all about the anticipation of the “coming of Christ” or Christmas. For the 24 (or 12) days leading up to Christmas you fill each day with a small reminder to helps us not only keep track of the passing days, but maintain our focus on the joyous day that is Christmas.

This can be done in many ways! Some light candles, create a calendar with fun holiday activities for the family to enjoy each day, or fill some type of felt wall hanging calendar with a small treat or toy for each day. I personally loved the idea of doing an Advent book countdown because our son is very much in a reading stage right now and it’s something we can do as a family every night.

Where to get books for your Advent Countdown to Christmas Book List

I started collecting holiday/winter themed books in November to prepare for this from a number of different resources. Some came straight out of our book basket, the thrift store, borrowed from the library, and purchased off of amazon. While some buy a new set of 24 Christmas Books every year, it can be pricey. I personally love the idea of slowly building a collection of gently used/new holiday themed books through the years while also checking some out from the library or borrowing from friends and family to keep things fresh! As the holidays come and go each year, these books will be ones we tuck away 11 months out of the year and pull out only when December rolls around again.

How To Prepare for the Magic of Your Advent Book Countdown:

  • Collect 24 or 12 titles.
  • Wrap each book in a fun way! I opted for a mix of tissue paper to keep things simple with some cute Christmas wrapping for a little holiday cheer. Some people will number their books in a certain order while others pick at random.
  • Stash your books in a basket, bin or nestled under the tree.

And that’s it, you’re ready!

Here is our list of Winter/Christmas books to help you create your own tradition of an Advent Book Countdown. Helpful links are attached if you want to add them to your Christmas collection.

Countdown to Christmas Book List: Christian Based Children’s Books

God Gave Us Christmas

A book exploring the big question, “Who gave us Christmas.” Mama Bears 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.

The Christmas Baby

This is a beautiful retelling of the Nativity story that celebrates the timeless joy of Christmas and of welcoming a new baby into the world, Jesus!

Good News! It’s Christmas!

Whimsical illustrations pair with skillful rhyme as you follow Mary and Joseph on their adventure to becoming parents to God’s own son. From the donkey and animals in the stable, to the angels and Heavenly hosts, this story is a celebration of the good news that came down to earth as Christ entered into our broken world to become its Savior. 

The Christmas Promise

A captivating retelling of the Christmas story, showing how God kept his promise to send a new King, a rescuing King, a forever King!

Donkey Who Carried a King

The biblical teaching that Jesus was the Suffering Servant who carried the sins of His people when He went to the cross is vividly brought home to children in The Donkey Who Carried a King, the latest children’s book from respected theologian, author, and educator Dr. R.C. Sproul.

Countdown to Christmas Book List: Winter and Nature Based Children’s Books

The Snowy Day

The magic and wonder of winter’s first snowfall is perfectly captured in Ezra Jack Keat’s Caldecott Medal-winning picture book. This celebrated classic has been shared by generations of readers and listeners, a must-have for every child’s bookshelf and a perfect gift for the holiday season.

Construction Site on Christmas Night

Created for lovers of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, this adorable holiday picture book shows Excavator, Bulldozer, Crane, Dump Truck and Cement Mixer building a new home for fire engines. As they finish their big, important job, they get their own Christmas surprises.

The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history.

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

A cute and cozy bedtime story following a child and his grandmother through a winter landscape to explore how the Earth goes to sleep for winter.

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter

Join a brother and sister as they explore nature and take a stroll through their twinkling town, greeting all the signs of the coming season.

Animals in Winter

This book introduces children to basic science ideas as part of discussions about the seasons and animals.

Over and Under the Snow

Over the snow, the world is hushed and white. But under the snow lies a secret world of squirrels and snow hares, bears and bullfrogs, and many other animals making their winter home under the snow. This beloved nonfiction picture book reveals the tunnels and caves formed beneath the snow but over the ground, where many kinds of animals live through the winter, safe and warm, awake and busy, but hidden beneath the snow. 

A Thing Called Snow

Fox and Hare were born in the spring, but the seasons are changing and they hear snow is on the way. “What is snow like?” they ask all the forest animals, and each gives a different answer.

Mice Skating

For most field mice, winter means burrowing down and snuggling in. But not for Lucy! She loves snow crunching under her paws and wearing a fluffy wool hat. And most of all, Lucy loves to skate, and she’s just ACHING to show off her new skill with her friends. After all, a winter wonderland is twice as nice when you have friends to enjoy it with. But the other mice just don’t understand—and after a disastrous indoor snowball fight, it looks as if they never will. Can Lucy find a way to make the other mice come out and “mice skate” too?

Winter Wishes

Some gifts are too big to tie with a bow–like well-wishes for a loved one that only seem to grow! A follow-up to M.H. Clark and Cécile Metzger’s best-selling book More Than a Little, this illustrated gift book is a way to celebrate the wonders of winter and your heartfelt desire for a dear friend to experience them all. Featuring an adorable polar bear and penguin duo, it’s filled with heartwarming rhymes to share the magic of the holidays with a friend who has a sparkle all of their own.

Countdown to Christmas Book List: Christmas Based Children’s Books

The Night Before Christmas

An enchanting Christmas story that has brought Santa Claus to life for generations. This is a fun one to save for the night before Christmas!

The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains

A poignant Christmas tale about a tree who loved trains, and a little boy who loved them, too. Author Annie Silvestro and Illustrator Paulo Zakimi bring such a lovely Christmas tale to life your little one will love.

The Snowman

Although a wordless story, this classic is a winter favorite for us! A little boy rushes out into the wintry day to build a snowman, which comes alive in his dreams that night.

The Nutcracker

Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical Christmas Eve adventure. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously illustrated holiday classic by Susan Jeffers.

The Polar Express

Through the dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a barren desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the huge city standing alone at the top of the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish!

An Orange for Frankie

The Stowell family is abuzz with holiday excitement, and Frankie, the youngest boy, is the most excited of all. But there’s a cloud over the joyous season: Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, and Pa hasn’t returned yet from his trip to Lansing. He promised to bring back the oranges for the mantelpiece. Every year there are nine of them nestled among the evergreens, one for each of the children. But this year, heavy snows might mean no oranges . . . and, worse, no Pa!

Pick a Pine Tree

Part of the magic of the Christmas season stems from the traditions that families and friends take part in every year: hanging up stockings; putting lights in the windows; and, one of the most important of all, picking out and taking home the Christmas tree.

The Tree That’s Meant to Be

A small, crookled fir tree is left all alone after the others near it in the forest are chosen by families as Christmas to bring home. But when the forest animals gather around the lonely little tree to cheer it up and celebrate the season, it finds the warmth of the holidays in the heart of a cold, snowy forest.

Little Red Sleigh

The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa’s big red sleigh! But all her life, she’s been told she’s too small, she’s too young, she can’t fly, and she certainly can’t meet Santa.

The Giving Snowman

On a snowy night, Snowman lends a helping hand to Bird, Rabbit, Farmer, and Traveler when they are in need. The next day when the sun comes out and melts Snowman, Bird, Rabbit, Farmer, and Traveler work together as a team to rebuild Snowman.
The Giving Snowman is a book about kindness and gratitude. Children can learn through the story that giving to others is a virtue that connects all of us and makes our lives more beautiful.

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up—by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents of all!

We hope this list of beloved holiday books inspire you to create your own Christmas traditions this Advent season! Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

Looking for content to help you prepare for the magic of the holidays with your toddler? Get inspired with some gift ideas for the Best Montessori Toys for Toddlers 1-3 Years HERE.

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