Beautiful Christ-Centered Christmas Picture Books for Children

by Josée

Many years ago I started a new Advent tradition with my children. On each day leading up for Christmas, throughout the month of December, we read a beautiful Christmas picture book together. When we started this tradition I had a handful of Christmas books in our home library. However, over the last decade I’ve slowly collected a robust library of beautiful Christmas books to share with my children. In fact, we make it a tradition that on the Feast of St. Nicholas, on December 6th, each of my children receives a new Christmas book to add to our collection.

This books list highlights our most favourite Christmas books that have a Christian theme. However, if you’re looking for a list of heartwarming Christmas books that have positive messages but are not religious then check out my list of Heartwarming Christmas Picture Books for Children.

Post Updated: November 2023

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt

Little Angela feels sorry for the baby Jesus. Doesn’t he feel cold in his Christmas crib? Angela takes matters in her own hands and brings baby Jesus home to warm up. A sweet story about kindness, honesty, and family.

From the author of Angela’s Ashes.

Bambinelli Sunday: A Christmas Blessing by Amy Welborn

Alessandro lives in Naples, Italy with his grandfather who makes small figures for the presepe (Nativity scene). But Alessandro is lonely, he misses his parents who went to another country for work. Grandfather Alessandro encourages Alessandro to make his own baby Jesus for Bambinelli Sunday, an Italian Christmas tradition. A heart-warming story about hope, family and joy.

Christmas Is Coming! by Tama Fortner

Christmas is the day we celebrate the greatest gift of all: Jesus! This gift came from God and he planned it a long time ago. Adam and Eve knew, the prophets knew, Joseph and Mary knew, the angels knew, cousin Elizabeth knew, the shepherds knew, the wise men knew and we know too… Christmas is Coming!

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren

“Who invented Christmas?” Little Cub asks Mama Bear. To answer this question, Mama Bear brings Little Cub on a polar adventure to find God and discover how God gave them Christmas. A lovely story to help younger children understand the true meaning of Christmas.

The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

Based on the popular Christmas carol, this beautifully illustrated book is written by the same author as The Snowy Day.

Merry Christmas, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola

Everyone in the little town of Calabria is preparing for Christmas, including Strega Nona (Grandma Witch) and her bumbling helper Big Anthony. The house must be cleaned and the cooking and baking must be done for the great Christmas feast – but no magic at Christmastime! A story about true Christmas magic and kindness.

Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson

In a big house lives a wee mouse named Mortimer. Little Mortimer doesn’t like his hole because it’s too cold, too cramp and too creepy. But one day Mortimer makes a big discover, a house just his size! Mortimer find strange statues inside and drags them out one by one. But each night, to Mortimer’s confusion, the statues return, and then one night he overhears a special Christmas story.

Nativity by Cynthia Rylant

A retelling of the nativity story as told in the King James Bible accompanied by simple but bold style of art.

Saint Nicholas the Giftgiver by Ned Bustard

Who is Saint Nicholas and why all the presents? A story about the truth and legends surrounding Saint Nicholas that’s rooted in the greatest gift giver and His son Jesus. Brilliantly illustrated by hand carved block prints. (new 2021!)

Santa’s Favorite Story: Santa Tells the Story of the First Christmas by Hisako Aoki

The woodland animals discover Santa Claus napping in the woods. Is Santa too tired for Christmas this year? But Santa reassures the animals by telling them a story of the first Christmas when the Christ Child was born. A sweetly illustrated story about the real meaning of Christmas.

Silent Night by Lara Hawthorne

A beautifully illustrated story based on the much loved carol Silent Night.

Sounding Joy by Ellie Holcomb (Author) and Laura Ramos (Illustrator)

What does joy sound like? This book explores the sounds of joy leading up to the joy of the sounds of angles heralding the birth of Jesus. There’s also music that accompanies this book which you can listen to here.

Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones

The world was about to change forever and all of creation is singing a song of joy at the coming of baby Jesus. A lovely story for young children about the celebration and excitement of Jesus’ birth.

The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola

The birds of Bethlehem retell the nativity story from their perspective. In the morning the birds discuss the strange things they observed: a long line of people, no room at the inn, angels in the sky, shepherds and a miracle!

The Christmas Light Claudia Cangilla McAdam

It’s a cold night in Bethlehem. The daughter of the innkeeper decides to bring fire to a young couple staying in her family’s stable next door but when she encounters the newborn Jesus her heart is forever changed.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski

Jonathan Toomey seldom smiled and never laughed. He was a wood carver and lived alone in his workshop. Jonathan wasn’t always this way but after he lost his wife and baby a great sadness came over him. One December morning a widow and her son knock on his door to commission a nativity set. And so unfolds a tender heart-warming story of kindness and hope.

The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

A little lamb named Joshua feels sad and alone. He doesn’t have a mom or dad and his leg is crippled. One day the shepherds bring the sheep to a new pasture and leave Joshua behind in a stable in Bethlehem. He feels sad but soon discovers there’s someone else in the stable. A story of hope and trust in God’s great plan.

The Grumpy Old Ox by Anthony DeStefano

A rhyming story about a grumpy old ox that is bitter and blind and his miraculous and heart changing encounter with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in the stable. A lovely book about he true meaning of Christmas and the transformative power of God’s love.

The Legend of Old Befana: An Italian Christmas Story by Tomie dePaola

An Italian folk tale about Old Befana, a cranky old lady that is always sweeping. In the middle of the night Old Befana is surprised by a burst of light, a brilliant star in the eastern sky, but she shutters the windows and grumbles in bed. The next day Old Befana sees a glorious procession and meets three kings on their way to Bethlehem and decides to follow them in a never ending search for the Baby King.

The Legend of the Candy Cane by Lori Walburg

A stranger comes into town and moves into an old building. Nobody knows who he is or what he was doing. But one small brave girl knocks at the door and offers the man help. She soon discovers the man’s true identity and learns about the legend of the candy cane, a very special Christmas candy. A story about generosity and the miracle of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection.

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

This Mexican legend, retold by Tomie dePaola, tells how the poinsettia came to be. Lucinda lives in the mountains of Mexico with her family. One day Mama and Lucinda are asked to make a special blanket for the Baby Jesus in the Christmas procession. But Mama becomes sick and Lucinda can’t finish the blanket. A story about miracles and Christmas joy.

The Light of Christmas Morning Susan Joy Bellavance

This Christmas story is about a heartwarming family tradition keeps Jesus at the center of the Christmas celebrations. (new 2021!)

The Newborn Child by Jackie Morris

A lovely retelling of the nativity story from Mary’s perspective. This picture books was previously titled Little One We Knew You’d Come and has been re-published with new text by Jackie Morris.

The Story of Christmas by Jane Ray

This retelling of the nativity story from the Gospels of Matthew and Luke is richly illustrated by Jane Ray. A beautiful book that brings the Christmas story to life and remains one of our family’s Christmas day favourites.

The Spider Who Saved Christmas by Raymond Arroyo

Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus flee Bethlehem by night for Egypt. Along the way they find rest and refuge in a dark cave inhabited by a great spider named Nephila. As the family sleeps, Nephila repairs her web with the help of her children creating a miracle that will save baby Jesus.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston

A tender story set in the Appalachian mountains in 1918. Mama and Ruthie are waiting for Papa to return from the war but he is delayed. Mama and Ruthie must find a way to cut down a Christmas tree for the village church and make a special angel costume for the Christmas play. This beautifully illustrated story is about sacrifice, family and hope.

Waiting for Christmas: A Story about the Advent Calendar by Kathleen Long Bostrom

How many days until Christmas? Gerhard can hardly wait for Christmas so his mother bakes him an advent cookie calendar to count down the days. A lovely book about preparing for Christmas and an interesting look into what inspired Gerhard Lang to incent the first printed Advent calendar. 

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