The Top Shelf: Christmas Eve Reads

By Barbara Danza, Epoch Times
December 24, 2011 Updated: October 8, 2018

Before getting them “nested all snug in their beds” on Christmas Eve, what better way to settle young ones down for a “long winter’s nap” than with a well chosen book or two about the holiday at hand. Some suggestions for this special bedtime ritual:

The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg

The+PolarExpressCover
"The Polar Express" (Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin)

A classic for over 25 years since it was first published, The Polar Expresstells the tale of the enchanted Christmas Eve train ride a little boy takes to the North Pole to meet Santa and accept a special gift. Bursting with Christmas magic, The Polar Expres brings the wonder of the season to all those who “truly believe.”

Where, Oh Where, Is Santa Claus? by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Ivan Bates

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"Where, Oh Where, Is Santa Claus?" (Courtesy of Harcourt Children's Books)

Where, Oh Where, Is Santa Claus? brings us to the North Pole where Santa is missing on Christmas Eve! Will his furry friends find him in time? A light-hearted romp, little ones will giggle with glee over the search for Santa. At bedtime follow this one up with a softer choice to ensure a silent night.

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey, by Susan Wojciechowski, illustrated by P. J. Lynch

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"The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey" (Courtesy of Candlewick Press)

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey is a beautiful, heart-warming tale of a local woodcarver widower who lives in solitude and seeming sadness until a young boy and his widow mother commission a carving that leads to, well, a miracle. A book that encompasses the true meaning of Christmas in a way that will touch your heart, this is a must read for any age. At 40 pages in length, you may want to allot extra time or break it up over two sittings for young children.

The First Christmas: A Changing-Picture Book, by Sophy Williams

A soft retelling of the Nativity, The First Christmas: A Changing-Picture Book is a beautifully illustrated summary of the fundamental meaning of Christmas that would provide the perfect basis for bedtime on this special night.

And of course …

The Night Before Christmas, illustrated by Ted Rand

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"The Night Before Christmas" (Courtesy of North-South Books)

The requisite for the evening, The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore has been published countless times. North-South Books offers a sturdy board book version of the classic, incorporating the lovely and traditional illustrations of Ted Rand, for all ages to enjoy year after year.

Follow Barbara on Twitter: @barbaradanza
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