Thematic Reading List: Celebrating Christmas Traditions
Traditions, some passed down through many generations, are cherished around the Christmas season. Enjoy this collection of 12 titles that provide a glimpse into Christmas traditions with some providing a unique twist.
By: Paivi Stalder
Illustrated by: Barbara Korthues
On the first night of Advent, Arty, an elf in training, jumps out of the Advent wreath demanding that Paul get him home.
|Christmas Cookies: bite-size holiday lessons
By: Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by: Jane Dyer
Vocabulary words and holiday lessons are learned by using Christmas cookies as the theme of the book.
|A Christmas Story
By: Brian Wildsmith
Rebecca, a young girl living in Nazareth, accompanies a small donkey who is searching for his mother to a stable in Bethlehem where they both witness a special event.
|The Christmas Wreath
By: James Hoffman
A parable about Santa’s elves that involves a hungry polar bear, the water world below the ice, and the miraculous transformation of a ragged, unfinished wreath.
|Dear Santa, Love, Rachel Rosenstein
By: Amanda Peet and Andrea Troyer
Illustrated by: Christine Davenier
A Jewish girl decides that she wants to celebrate Christmas, so she writes a letter to Santa.
|The First Christmas Stocking
By: Elizabeth Winthrop
Illustrated by: Bagram Ibatoulline
Grieving for her dead mother, a poor girl finds all her dreams fulfilled when, on Christmas Eve, she hangs above her hearth a stocking she has knitted.
|Jingle Bells: how the holiday classic came to be
By: John Harris
Illustrated by: Adam Gustavson
The story of how, in Savannah, Georgia, in 1857 James Lord Pierpont sat down to write a song for his congregation’s Thanksgiving program and, homesick for the cold New England weather he remembered, came up with an enduring classic.
|Joy to the World!: Christmas stories from around the globe
By: Saviour Pirotta
Illustrated by: Sheila Moxley
A collection of five folktales related to Christmas. Includes: The Brave Little Camel (Syria), Baby in the Bread (Malta), The Gourd of Plenty (Ghana), Flowers for Jesus (Mexico), and Babushka (Russia).
|The Legend of the Poinsettia
By: Tomie dePaola
When Lucida is unable to finish her gift for the Baby Jesus in time for the Christmas procession, a miracle enables her to offer the beautiful flower we now call the poinsettia.
|The Nutcracker Comes to America: how three ballet-loving brothers created a holiday tradition
By: Chris Barton
Illustrated by: Cathy Gendron
The story of the Christensen brothers, pioneers of ballet’s early days in America, and how The Nutcracker Ballet became a holiday tradition in America.
|O Christmas Tree: its history and holiday traditions
By: Jacqueline Farmer
Illustrated by: Joanne Friar
A glimpse of the history of Christmas trees, ornaments, lights, and the challenges facing tree farmers.
|A Piñata in a Pine Tree: a Latino Twelve Days of Christmas
By: Pat Mora
Illustrated by: Magaly Morales
In this adaptation of the folk song “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” friends exchange such gifts as a piñata and “cuatro luminarias.” Includes pronunciation and glossary of Spanish words. Also includes a description of Christmas foods and other holiday traditions from different Latin American countries.