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  • Writer's pictureMara Shanahan

Our Favorite Nature-Themed Christmas Books

The Winter Solstice is coming next week, and Christmas will be right behind it, as always. The two are linked so inextricably in my mind, bringing literally the promise of new light and the return of the sun. I love to study the seasons with my son, taking note of the changes in the world around us and celebrating them. The return of the sun is what will keep us going through the still dark and a cold months ahead.

Celebrating the return of the sun while also drawing inward and celebrating home and family are some of the things I mention in my Welcoming and Celebrating the Winter Solstice post. Check it out for ideas to celebrate the season!

Of course, we also love to celebrate with books! Below is a list of our favorite books about the Christmas season for all ages, from picture books to chapter book read-alouds, that we can read over and over again and are beautiful additions to any library.

Also take a look at my Our Favorite Winter Themed Nature Study Books post for more books specific to celebrating Winter!


Night Tree, by Eve Bunting

This calm and enchanting story is of a family and their yearly tradition of heading out to the woods near town on Christmas Eve to find "their tree" to decorate it with edible ornaments for the local wildlife. They then sit and enjoy hot chocolate and sing Christmas carols before leaving the woods to allow the animals to come forward and enjoy their feast.

The Message of the Birds, by Kate Westerlund

This delightfully told and illustrated story is of the birds telling and passing on to one another the story of the birth of Christ, and eventually passing it on to the children of the world. "Let there be Peace on Earth!"

Christmas Farm, by Mary Lyn Ray

This warm tale is of a woman and her backyard farmland that she decides to convert into a Christmas Tree farm. With the help of her young neighbor, together they tend the land for years before finally opening up shop for the Christmas season.

Dream Snow, by Eric Carle

This classic for the younger ones tells a tale of a farmer that falls asleep one evening and dreams of the snow covering his farm and animals. He wakes to realize that it really did snow and that he almost forgot it was Christmas!

Santa's Favorite Story, by Hisako Aoki

This beautiful watercolor-illustrated story is about Santa falling asleep in the woods while on a hike, and the local wildlife finding him there. Concerned that Christmas will not come if Santa doesn't get back in time, the animals are told by Santa the story of the real meaning of Christmas. The story continues with the animals helping Santa get ready for the big day!

The Christmas Wish, by Lori Evert

This is the story of little Anja, who wants to become an elf for Santa more than anything else. She journeys to the North Pole, with the aid of several wild animals who become her friends, where she finally gets to meet and fly with Santa in his sleigh. The story is illustrated by captivating photographs that truly bring the reader to the scene.

O Christmas Tree - Its History and Holiday Traditions, by Jacqueline Farmer

This informative book tells the tales of the history of the usage of evergreen decorations during winter celebrations in several world cultures, and the history of the Christmas Tree itself, right up into the modern era. Including a section on different types of fir trees commonly used today for most Christmas trees, as well as lots of other fun facts!

Woodland Christmas - Twelve Days of Christmas in the North Woods, illustrated by Frances Tyrrell

This delightfully illustrated publication is the classic song, Twelve Days of Christmas, accompanied by watercolor representations of northern wildlife to represent each subject of the day.

Collecting books at Christmastime is one of my favorite things to do, and I've added to our home library for years, with at least a few books a year. These are just some of our favorites. I'd love to know if you have any recommendations! Share your favorite books in the comments! Happy Christmas!


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