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My Favorite Advent Books for Families

Updated: Mar 11

The season of Advent is the time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. It is also a time of great anticipation and joy. Books are a great way to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus and build a sense of great anticipation.

We kept our favorite Advent books in a box in the attic all year long. On the first Sunday of Advent, I would bring in the books and place them in a basket in the living room. The kids were always so excited to see these books that had been stored away! They would “ooh” and “aah” and yell, “I remember this one”, or “I love this one” with total delight! Each child would grab their favorite and for the next couple of hours, there would be complete silence as they looked through the books.

There were some that we read aloud. There were some that we read together as a family. There were some that they read on their own. Some were particularly Christian and some were just really sweet and fun.

Today I am sharing some of my favorite books that we used with our children during the season of Advent:

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

This is probably my favorite. I read this book to my children every year and, even though I know what's coming, I always start crying when I get to the end. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is about the Herdman siblings who are“the worst kids in the history of the world” and how they take over the annual Christmas pageant. It is hilarious but it is also so profound. I always tried to time reading it so that it ended right before Christmas Eve. That way my children's hearts were really open to the true meaning of Christmas.

Saint Nicholas - The Real Story of the Christmas Legend

Saint Nicholas was a real person. He was a bishop who faithfully served God and committed his life to spread the gospel and serving the poor. This book has beautiful images and helped us to educate our children on who "Santa Claus" really was.

The Legend of the Candy Cane

A sweet board book explaining the importance of the birth of Jesus and the Christian roots of how the candy cane was created.

The Sweet Smell of Christmas

Right now this book is half off!

My sister and I had this book when we grew up and we LOVED it! She bought the book for my children when they were little to carry on the tradition. It's a scratch-and-sniff book following Little Bear as he enjoys the sweet smells of Christmas.

One Snowy Night

This is such a sweet story about a little hedgehog who is caught unprepared by a chilly winter wind. My children loved feeling the velvety red hat on every page!

Great Joy

This is a Newberry winner and tells the story of an organ grinder and a monkey who appear outside of a little girl's window right before Christmas. It's a beautiful story about kindness and generosity.

Lucia Saint of Light

Saint Lucia was a real person whose life and legacy shine as a light of faith, hope, and compassion in the dark. Lucia, Saint of Light introduces young readers to both her life and the Advent festival celebrated in her name.


A legend describes how, at midnight on Christmas Eve, all creatures are granted the power of speech for one hour. In this beautifully illustrated book, poets imagine what responses they might offer. The poems represent a diverse group of animals, but all come together with one singular purpose: celebrating the joy of the miraculous event.

The Legend of the Poinsettia

I love anything by Tomie dePaola. He is a Newberry and Caldecott-winning author. In this beautifully illustrated book, he tells how the poinsettia came to be, through a little girl's unselfish gift to the Christ Child.

The Night of Las Posadas

Another wonderful book by Tomie dePaola. In this book, he tells of Las Posadas, the Mexican tradition in which Mary and Joseph go from door to door seeking shelter at the inn on Christmas Eve.

All is Bright: When God Came Down One Silent Night

This is a precious board book where we follow Mary and Joseph in a rhyming story built around the lyrics of Silent Night and we discover how the baby born in the manger changed the world.

What are your favorite books that help you to celebrate Advent in your home?

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