Advent celebrations frequently turn into another shopping feast, but in our family we like to keep it simple. We read a Christmas book together every night, leading up to the holiday. The following ten books have made my kids very happy. We read them in December only and then we put them in a box and store them in the garage till next year. We also like to fill our Advent with holiday activities, events, crafts and parties, as opposed to gifts and candy.

The links in this post are to my store, where your purchase would allow me to keep writing this blog, so your support is greatly appreciated!


                                             the spirit of christmas

The Spirit of Christmas by Nancy Tillman


The New York Times-bestselling author and artist has created a special, beautiful book that families will want to share year after year. Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents.  Spending Christmas with those we love is the best gift of all, however. In my opinion, there is no Christmas without this simple and wonderful book.


Little Fairy's ChristmasLittle Fairy’s Christmas by Daniela Drescher 

In this heartwarming Christmas story, Faith-the fairy gets lost and cold, while animals help her, demonstrating the Christmas spirit. The illustrations are spectacular and the story is beautiful and kind.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree-The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston  

This book presents a beautiful story of the holiday season. The illustrations are spectacular and the simple story is heartwarming and real.

annie and the wild animalsAnnie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett

In this imagination-igniting story, Annie’s cat, Taffy, disappears and she is lonely. She looks for a friendly, furry pet near the woods, but a giant moose, a grumpy bear and others show up to eat her corn cakes until they are all gone. They leave, and to Annie’s surprise, out of the woods comes Taffy with her three new kittens.

legend of the christmas stockingThe Legend of The Christmas Stocking by Rick Osborne and James Griffin

This wonderful Christmas tale, set in the late 1800s, shares the touching story of a young boy named Peter, who sells newspapers to help his family while his father is away at sea. This story teaches such a wonderful lesson in kindness and generosity, it makes me cry every time I read it!

christmas day in the morningChristmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

From “Author of nearly a hundred books for children and adults, and winner of both the Pulitzer and Nobel prizes, Pearl S. Buck has captured the spirit of Christmas in this elegant, heartwarming story about a boy’s gift of love. Originally published in 1955, this classic story is now being issued, for the first time ever, as a picture book with glorious full-color art by acclaimed artist Mark Buehner.” Rob wants to get his father something special for Christmas this year, but it’s already Christmas Eve, and he doesn’t have much money. Suddenly, he thinks of the best gift of all…


the twelve days of christams by jan brettThe Twelve Days of Christmas by Jan Brett

In this book,  illustrated by Jan Brett, all the splendid images of The Twelve Days of Christmas song come joyously alive. Kids can sit for hours, looking at these illustrations! Look closely and you’ll see not only the extravagant gifts given by a suitor to his lady, but a love story, a family’s busy Christmas preparations, “Merry Christmas” in eleven languages, and a veritable menagerie of charming creatures.

Jan Brett's Snowy TreasuryJan Brett’s Snowy Treasury 

Four of Jan Brett’s bestsellers are combined in this gorgeous treasury. These “snowy” books set in irresistible winter landscapes are a must for a holiday season. The book includes four of Jan Brett’s bestselling titles: Gingerbread BabyThe MittenThe Hat and The Three Snow Bears, set in Switzerland, the Ukraine, Denmark and the Arctic, respectively.

A Wish to Be a Christmas TreeA Wish To Be a Christmas Tree by Colleen Monroe

With delightful illustrations by wildlife artist Michael Monroe and enchanting text from Colleen Monroe, the birds, deer and squirrel of this story help make overgrown pine’s wish to become a Christmas tree come true. The poetry is beautiful, the illustrations are great.

who's that knocking on christmas eveWho’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett

From “Jan Brett creates an original Christmas story full of warmth and magic. Featuring beautiful borders, intricate illustrations, and a stunning display of the Northern Lights, Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve? will rightfully take its place among Jan’s Christmas favorites with the whole family.”

In this book, each gorgeous illustration is presented as a triptych: the middle panel represents the text, and the side panels present what is happening with the other characters. This is a good book for learning about Scandinavia,  but it  also evokes the Arctic in general. The premise is that each Christmas the trolls come and eat Kyri’s Christmas feast. This year a boy on his way to Oslo with his ice bear will help chase the trolls away!


About Dr. Anastasia

Dr. Anastasia Halldin holds a Ph.D in holistic nutrition. She is a homeschooling mother of four boys and a girl. Dr. Anastasia starred on a yoga TV show. She also produced and appeared in thirteen yoga DVDs. Dr. Anastasia speaks four languages and loves doing crafts with her children. She adores sharing her easy healthy family recipes with other mothers.
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