If you find yourself on the road this holiday season with kids in the back seat, you will want to have some books on board to entertain them along the way. Here are some of our favorite Christmas books for kids to get everyone in the holiday spirit as you travel to and from your destination.
There’s nothing quite like sharing the perfect Christmas stories for kids as you travel in the car. They are a captive audience, and sharing books with family is one of the most memorable experiences. Choose some of these holiday books for toddlers, kids, and teens, and bring them along on your next road trip.
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Best Christmas Books for Kids
Best Holiday Books for a Family Road Trip
Over the years, we have enjoyed finding holiday books to read as we traveled to visit relatives. Here are some of the books our children have enjoyed the most, from toddler books to books teens will love. At the end of the day, the best part is sharing these books as a family and embracing the holiday season together.
We love this retelling of a classic tale by our favorite author, Jan Brett. In this book, the Gingerbread Baby is looking for friends. When the Gingerbread Baby finds a bakery, he dances and prances in front of a sugar cookie girl, trying to make friends. But she just stares and doesn't speak, just like all the other sweet treats he tries to meet.
Have you ever wondered what snowmen do for Christmas? Well, now you can find out! This companion to Snowmen at Night depicts all the best parts of the holiday, from icy treats to a snowman Kris Kringle. Told in the same bouncy verse as the original, Snowmen at Christmas is perfect for a snowy evening read-aloud.
It's December 24th, and the old farmer settles down for a winter's nap, wondering how Christmas can come when there is no snow! In a dream he imagines a snowstorm coming and covering him and his animals—named One, Two, Three, Four and Five—in a snowy blanket.
But when the farmer awakens, he finds that it has really snowed outside, and now he remembers something! Putting on his red suit, he goes outside, puts some gifts under the tree for his animals, and then magic happens.
In Mexico, the poinsettia is called flor de la Nochebuena or flower of the Holy Night. At Christmastime, the flower blooms and flourishes, with their exquisite red stars lighting up the countryside. This Mexican legend tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child.
Long ago, a brave little girl named Anja wanted to be one of Santa's elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday. When she finishes, she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa.
Among the beautiful firs and pines at the Christmas tree lot is a little hunched tree that is missing several branches. Still, no tree is more filled with the spirit of Christmas. As the weeks go by, many others are chosen but the little tree keeps up its hope of finding the perfect family. On Christmas Eve, now the last tree in the lot, a special visitor (Ho, Ho, Ho!) might just give the little tree what it wants most of all.
Since it was first published anonymously in 1823, The Night Before Christmas has enchanted children with the story of St. Nicholas. Many families read the poem every year, and now they have a beautiful hardcover edition to treasure. The cherished poem, faithfully reproduced here, is accompanied by Charles Santore’s stunning illustrations.
This is the classic tale of an old-fashioned steam train that takes children to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to meet the red-suited gentleman himself and to see him off on his annual sleigh ride. One of our all time favorites.
Can Flat Stanley save Christmas?
Santa Claus is not his usual, jolly self. In fact, he's in a terrible mood. He doesn't believe that children appreciate Christmas anymore. This year, he has decided that he is not going to deliver any Christmas presents!
Luckily, his daughter, Sarah Claus, knows who to call for help. The Lambchop family! But can they convince Santa that there are still good children in the world? Just leave it up to Stanley.
From Ethiopian fringed umbrellas and star-shaped Filipino parol lanterns to candlelit Swedish St. Lucia crowns, Christmas Around the World brings together Christmas traditions from twelve different lands, like decorations on a splendid tree.
Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. When the Herdmans show up at church for free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.
It is no surprise that Little Women was loosely based on Louisa May Alcott’s own life. In fact, Alcott drew from her own personality to create a heroine unlike any seen before: Jo, willful, headstrong, and undoubtedly the backbone of the March family. Follow the sisters from innocent adolescence to sage adulthood, with all the joy and sorrow of life in between, and fall in love with them and this endearing story.
What would happen if Santa fell to Earth? This is a quirky, funny, and ultimately heartwarming book. Scared by a storm, Twinklestar, the least reliable reindeer, bolts--causing Santa and his sleigh to crash-land. And even though Santa has dropped into a friendly neighborhood, he's not safe. Jeremiah Goblynch, the ruthless new leader of the Council of Yuleland, is determined to put an end to children's wishes. As the last REAL St. Nick around, only Santa stands between Goblynch and his grinch-like plan. With the help and hope of kids Charlotte and Ben, Santa must face Goblynch and his Nutcracker goons to save Christmas!
Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or painting. The letters were from Father Christmas.
They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house, and many more. Enjoy this holiday classic with your children.
Kirsten is a family travel expert who has been traveling with kids for over 20 years. She is also the content creator behind Groups Are A Trip, a site for planning trips with extended family and friends.