Red and Lulu

By Matt Tavares

Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months. Once a year the people who live nearby string lights on the tree and sing: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Fortunately, it’s the season for miracles. 3-7 years

Christmas From Heaven: The True Story of the Berlin Candy Bombers

By Tom Brokaw, Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett

This is the story of the humble beginnings of what became a beacon of hope to a war-torn country. Gail Halvorsen, a young pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps was assigned as a cargo pilot to the Berlin Airlift, in which U.S. forces flew much needed supplies into Soviet-blockaded Berlin. Lt. Halvorsen offers gum to the German children gathered outside the Tempelhof Air Base. He knows they have very little and decides he will bomb Berlin with candy. 5 and up

The Christmas Truce: A True Story of World War I

By Aaron Shepard

Christmas Day, 1914, My dear sister Janet, It is 2:00 in the morning and most of our men are asleep in their dugouts — yet I could not sleep myself before writing to you of the wonderful events of Christmas Eve. In truth, what happened seems almost like a fairy tale, and if I hadn’t been through it myself, I would scarce believe it. Just imagine: While you and the family sang carols before the fire there in London, I did the same with enemy soldiers here on the battlefields of France! 9-12 years

The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree

By David Rubel, Illustrated by Jim LaMarche

The story opens in Depression-era New York City. Eight-year-old Henry and his father are selling Christmas trees. They give a tree to the construction workers building Rockefeller Center. Through the kindness of the construction workers and neighbors, Henry gets his wish for a home to replace his family’s shack. He plants a pinecone from the first Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. It becomes a Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center when Henry is an old man. After Christmas, the tree’s wood is used to build a home for a family in need. 5-9 years

An Invisible Thread Christmas Story

By Laura Schroff and Alex Tresniowski

Illustrated by Barry Root

Laura Schroff tells the story of the first Christmas that she and Maurice, a boy she met on the street asking for change, spent together. She shares how Maurice gave her a small white bear, and as she later learns, the one thing he had that he could truly call his own, to show her how grateful he was for their friendship. 4-8 years

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey

By Susan Wojciechowki, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch

Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle. 6-9 years

The Family Under the Bridge

By Natalie Savage Carlson

Armand, an old Parisian living on the streets of Paris, relishes his solitary life. He begged and did odd jobs for money to keep himself warm and fed, and he liked his carefree life. Then one day just before Christmas, a struggling mother and her three children walked into his life. Though he tried to ignore their troubles, Armand soon found himself caring for the family and sharing his unusual home with them. It did not take Armand very long to realize that he had a ready-made family; one that he loved with all his heart, and one for whom he would have to find a better home than under the bridge.  8-12 years

Gifts of the Heart

By Patricia Polacco

Richie and Trisha want to buy Christmas gifts for their family, but they don’t have enough money. Enter Kay Lamity, a new housekeeper…but is that all she is? She comes into their lives like a whirlwind, brimming with positive energy and a can-do attitude. Kay not only straightens them out when it comes to whether or not Santa Claus is real, she teaches them something about gifts: the just-good-enough kind that come from the pocketbook and the unforgettable kind that come from the heart. Because of Kay, Trisha and Richie and their family have a Christmas morning they will never forget. 5-8 years

My favorite Christmas book, A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote. A beautiful book to share with children.

For some holiday fun, desserts paired with classic Christmas books at:

The book descriptions used are primarily from the publishers.

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