I really, really, really love the idea of starting the holiday tradition of a Holiday Book Advent Calendar where you read a new holiday-themed book every night, but my babies are still too young to sit still to read a bedtime book (well, too young to have both babies sit quietly for 10 minutes before bed, I could maybe do one at a time, but with both babies they just rile each other up!) and buying 24 holiday-themed books all at once is very hard on the budget plus a bit unnecessary at the moment since I could read the same book every night and they wouldn’t care. Instead, I’m going to slowly build our holiday book library with age appropriate books for the kiddos and I wanted to share a few of my favorite finds. We already have a few of the books on this list, I’ll be adding a few more in the next week, and then we’ll get a few more next year, and the next, etc. You can see which one’s we will likely add in the future in my post on Beautifully Illustrated Holiday Books here.
We’re not religious but I figure our kids will learn about the Christian religion just growing up in our house since I was raised in private schools and my husband went to church every Sunday as a kid, so there aren’t any Christian books on this list, but I did include several Hanukkah books because I want my kids to learn about other religions and I figure I’ll learn about Hanukkah right along with them.
My babies are hard on their books, so they only get to independently play with board books (the books with paper pages stay on out-of-reach shelves and we only look at those with adult supervision) and I’ve indicated which books are board books in parentheses below.
Now, you won’t find any Llama Llama, Little Blue Truck, or any of Susan Boynton’s books here. If YOU like those books, great, they’re cute and fun books, but I’m simply not a fan of the artwork. Instead, I’ve rounded up 20 beautifully illustrated Holiday Books for Babies and Toddlers!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! // What can I say? This is a classic! There is also a great board book version for babies as The Grinch’s Great Big Flap Book, or the I Am Max board board, or the I Am Cindy-Lou Who board book.
Sad Santa // Perfect for all those hipster babies!
The Nutcracker // (Board book) I love all the Baby Lit books! We own this one already and Wren is a big fan!
A Christmas Carol // (Board book) Again, we love all the Baby Lit books! I don’t have this one yet, but I’m sure it’s great!
S is for Santa: A Christmas Alphabet // (Board book) We love these Baby Lit Alphabet books! We own this one and Hank loves looking at the midcentury modern style illustrations.
The ABCs of Christmas // (Board board) Another Christmas alphabet book, I’ll be ordering this one in the next week and I’m curious what this book chose to represent the letter “K” since the S is for Santa book was a bit lazy with the letter K.
The 12 Days of Christmas // (Board board) This one is fun to sing as you read and is super cute.
The 12 Days of Christmas // Another version of the 12 days of Christmas, but with 70s style art. Not pictured above, sorry, I forgot to include it in the collage.
When Santa Was a Baby // (Board board) We’re big fans of this book! Wren was just laughing at the illustrations this morning as I read it to her.
The Day Santa Stopped Believing in Harold // How cute does this look? This one isn’t a board book, so I probably won’t get this one until next year, but I can’t wait to read it to the kids as a bedtime book next year.
The Night Before Christmas // (Board board) I bought this one already. It’s a classic! There is both a larger size and a smaller size and eventually we will graduate to …
Roger Duvoisin’s The Night Before Christmas // Roger Duvoisin’s books are all beautiful! We have several of this vintage books, and I didn’t know he had a Christmas book! This book a very long, tall book and is just gorgeous on the inside!
Meet the Latkes // This is a super fun book about Hanukkah!
My First Jewish Baby Book // (Board board) An alphabet book for Hanukkah with very modern, simple drawings.
D is for Dreidel: A Hanukkah Alphabet // (Board board) And another alphabet book for Hanukkah, but with more midcentury modern style illustrations. We really like the S is for Santa version and I’m sure they one is great as well!
Daddy Christmas and Hanukkah Mama // For anyone who celebrates both Hanukkah and Christmas, this looks like a great book explaining both holidays.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer // I totally forgot to add this book to my collage. This is a reproduction of the original book and it is beautifully illustrated!
The Lost Christmas // This book looks like it would be a lot of fun for a 2-4 year old, kind of like a Where’s Waldo of Christmas.
If your kiddos are a bit older, you can also check out my list of Beautifully Illustrated Holiday Books here!
Still looking for some gift ideas? Be sure to check out my other gift guides: