Holiday Books and Our Family Tradition


Years ago, when my first daughter was born, I was so focused on creating holiday traditions that she would love and would create the holiday magic my parents had made for me growing up. It may be because I am a teacher, but my favorite holiday tradition revolves around books, and it is something that my girls so look forward to every year when December rolls around.

I wrap 24 holiday and winter-inspired books to put under the tree. Each night in December, leading up to Christmas, we take turns picking one book, unwrapping it, and reading it together by the tree. T’was the Night Before Christmas is always left for Christmas Eve to conclude our month of magic before Santa comes.  

Now, by no means am I buying 24 new books each year! I am unsure how one would find the time or the means to do that. I started with the books we already had and the ones we received as gifts. We repeat our favorites year to year, but I trade out 3-4 books each year for something new, more age-appropriate, and fun. Sometime in November, I go to my favorite local bookstore, Turning the Page, in Monroe to find my new titles for our holiday library.  

I have listed my favorite titles from years past and those that we will be reading by the tree this year, and I hope you, too, can enjoy some of these festive reads with your little ones. 

My family’s favorites from years past:

  1. Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares
  2. Dasher by Matt Tavares
  3. The Broken Ornament by Tony DiTerlizzi
  4. Cocoa’s Cranky Christmas by Thomas Nelson
  5. How to Catch an Elf by Adam Wallace

The new additions to our holiday library:

  1. A Very Mercy Christmas by Kate DiCamillo (this is part of the Mercy Watson book collection)
  2. Piney the Lonesome Pine by Jane West Bakerink
  3. The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser
  4. The Nutcracker by Usborne Musical Books (this one has an on/off switch for the music, which is simply genius!)
  5. The Christmas Book Flood by Emily Kilgore (I am most excited about this book this year)

If your family loves books and the holiday season, this tradition is a wonderful one to start! To see the excitement each night in my girl’s eyes is worth it all for me! My husband and I find ourselves equally excited to see which story they will choose and spend that time together each night enjoying a holiday story.  

Happy Holidays & Happy Reading!

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Nancy is mom to 3 girls (2016, 2018 and 2022) and lives in Trumbull with her husband Tom, daughters and black lab Norman. Originally from Farmington, CT, Nancy met her husband while living in Baltimore after college. In 2014 Nancy moved back to her home state of Connecticut, living in West Hartford, Norwalk and finally settling in Trumbull. Nancy is a full time high school teacher who loves to make the most of her time outside the classroom. Cape Cod, family dinners and a fresh manicure are some of Nancy’s favorite things.


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