We have a tradition in my family that involves wrapping books about Christmas and putting them under the tree.
The kids get to unwrap one each night and we read it as a family. They all are about Christmas, but my favorite ones to put under the tree also seem to have the same theme: giving. It’s probably because that is really the entire point of the season, right? My boys like them as well, and it always seems to inspire them to get into the spirit of giving and being kind to others.
In that spirit, I would like to share some of our favorite children’s Christmas books about giving and compassion:
Bear Stays up for Christmas by Karna Wilson
Bears typically snooze through the winter, but this particular Bear’s friends want him to join in on the Christmas fun. They are on a mission to keep him awake so he shares in the spirit of Christmas. Bear realizes that the best part of Christmas is not putting up the tree, or singing the songs, it’s the giving to his friends.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
This is a classic that I’m sure most of us know. The Grinch abhors all things holly and jolly and plots to steal Christmas from the citizens of Whoville. But with the help of a special little girl, the Grinch realizes that to give is better than to take and that Christmas is more than the lights and decorations.
I got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison
This book follows a little girl as she heads through her day with her mother and all of the holiday sights and sounds that she encounters. As she goes through the day, she spreads the joy of giving. Once she finally gets to Santa, she asks for the kindest Christmas wish ever- that everyone experiences joy and love. The book helps children learn that the spirit of Christmas is actually in them and in being kind.
Little Robin’s Christmas by Jan Tearnley
Little Robin is preparing for the cold winter to come by making sure his warm clothes are ready to go. He preps each one of his knitted vests, carefully. However, Little Robin begins to realize that not everyone in the forest has clothes as warm as his. He gives his vests away, one by one until he is left with none and is now the cold one in the forest. However, his giving heart rewards him when a special someone shows kindness to him in return.
The Christmas Eve Tree by Delia Huddy
This story is about a little tree that no one wanted. However, a homeless boy sees the tree at the tree shop and the shopkeeper gives it to him. He takes the little tree to where he stays and shows that joy can be found where you make it. Please note that this story does open up the topic of homelessness to children, so be aware of that before reading if it’s not something you are ready to have conversations about with your children. The book also features a beautiful pop-up scene and gorgeous illustrations.
The Christmas Fox by Anik McGrory
A tale of how the animals came together, one by one, to share gifts with a baby born in a barn on a cold, winter night. The little fox believes that his gift is not as good as the other animal’s practical gifts but soon realizes that the true spirit of giving means that it comes from the heart.
The Legend of St. Nicholas: A Story of Christmas Giving by Dandi Daley Mackall
This book really focuses on the story of the original St. Nicholas and how he lived as someone who was a giver and was joyful about it. We also really like that the book shares how those around the world have different Christmas traditions.
Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
Every year Mr. Willowby gets excited to put up his Christmas tree, but this year there was a problem- it’s too big! The solution is to cut off the top of the tree, which is then passed to the other forest animals. By giving the tree to others and sharing it with each other, the little tree brings joy to all those in the forest.
The Broken Ornament by Tony Di. Terlizzi
Jack accidentally breaks an old ornament that is treasured by his mother during his desire to make Christmas bigger and more amazing. He quickly realizes that maybe he has a lot to learn about the real meaning of Christmas. He goes on a journey to fix the ornament that he broke and learns about the power of giving.
The Silver Christmas Tree by Robert Honor
A heartwarming story about a little boy who seems to be losing his belief in Santa, but finds the true meaning of Christmas. When his mom can’t get the silver Christmas tree she was hoping for, Charlie begins to dig deep into his giving Christmas spirit and helps his mom get that tree.
Secret Santas and the Twelve Days of Christmas Giving by Courtney Petruzzelli
This book is one of our favorites because not only does it have a story about giving, it’s filled with things to do for 12 days that embody giving to others! Our boys get so excited to do the gift drop-offs and activities to a different family each year. Their ultimate favorite part is giving that family a copy of this book on our final day of doing it. We were excited to see an updated printing of the book and plan to buy a new copy this year!
These are books that are offered in the sturdy board book format. Due to the thicker pages, these books are great for little hands to hold and play with! If you plan on having books out for your younger children (think 4 or younger) and want to ensure durability, these are ones you will want to check out!
Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle
Follow Little Blue Truck as he delivers Christmas trees to his friends and actively engages in the spirit of giving! He makes sure that each of his friends get the tree that is just right for them. The final page is a wonderful surprise that will dazzle the kids! This is still a favorite of my boys (who are 8 and almost 6), and they giggle in anticipation for the end of the story!
Elmer’s Christmas by David McKee
It was to the delight of my sons when we found that there was also a Christmas story involving Elmer! Elmer works with the other elephants to get ready for Papa Red’s visit, and through those acts, they all get into the spirit of giving.
Dream Snow by Eric Carle
Follow along with a Santa-looking man as he trudges through the snow with his large bag of gifts. You that he is a farmer who just wants to give to his animal friends on a cold, Christmas night. Eric Carle’s illustrations are always beautiful, and this one definitely does not disappoint.
All of these books will be wonderful additions to anyone’s Christmas book collection.
Are there any childrens’ Christmas books about giving that I missed and are your family’s favorites? Please share!
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