The best Christmas books to read with children

If the endless to-do lists are at risk of turning you into the Grinch this Christmas; snuggle up with your kids and give one of these festive reads a try – warm fuzzy feelings guaranteed*

*Unless you are, of course, a Grinch

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"Christmas on Exeter Street reminds me of Christmas at my mum's house -  the whole family piles into the house, sleeping anywhere there is space. Often there are unexpected guests too."

"We read it every year and my kids are 11 and 15!"

"The Jolly Christmas Postman is a total MUST! The book is filled with Christmas letters to fairy tale characters, in little envelopes. The Wolf, now rehabilitated, sends a 'Beware' game to Little Red Riding Hood and Humpty Dumpty has a get well soon jigsaw (of himself). It's lovely - and really good fun for the reader, too."

"I loved it as a child and have passed on that love to the next generation."


"I read Alfie's Christmas by Shirley Hughes - it's a newish release, but I find all Shirley Hughes' illustrations nostalgic."

"Nobody does cosy like Shirley Hughes!"

"Angel Mae and the Christmas Baby is a cracker, especially around Christmas."

"For Reception and up, when they are doing nativity plays and so on, Shirley Hughes' Angel Mae is very sweet."


"Harvey Slumfenburger's Christmas Present isn't a nativity story but we love it so much. It's all about Father Christmas getting home with the reindeer and realising he's forgotten to deliver one last present.  So he sets off again and, with various people's help, he gets to Harvey's house to deliver the present. It's by John Burningham and is THE BEST Christmas book ever."

"For slightly older children, The Story of Holly and Ivy is lovely. It's about a little orphan girl, a doll who thinks no one is going to buy her, and a childless couple. All get a perfect Christmas. It gives me the feels every time."


"Dear Father Christmas is one of my favourites, I often read it to the kids in my class at Christmas. At the end of the story the child is sent a holographic ticket for a ride on the sleigh. One year, a little boy came over to me when I'd finished reading and asked, with a mystified look on his face, "How did Santa get the magic into that book?" It is one of the moments in teaching that will always stay with me."

"My favourite is Room for a Little One, which is the nativity from the point of view of animals who all need a bed for the night - and the donkey is the last to arrive. It always makes me snivel pathetically."


"A grumpy Father Christmas for once, hooray! We all love the illustrations and snuggle on the bed to narrate them. My own paperback edition got so shabby from being read all through the year that I got a new one two Christmases ago from a secret admirer!"

"We read The Night before Christmas every Christmas Eve to my two, freshly bathed and in their brand new pyjamas, with bright eyes excited for Santa coming! Some traditions never die."

Liked this? Try these:

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7 lesser known Roald Dahl books



Last updated: 5 months ago