Doesn't it seem like all the grown-ups are complaining about how busy and stressful life is during the holiday season?  Everyone is rushing about to family_readingand fro---baking, shopping, decorating, sending cards, attending special events...  Why not take a break from all the madness and read a book together as a family?  Make it a part of your holiday traditions.  Below are a few of my favorite Christmas books, perfect for sharing together.

 The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski
The widow McDowell and her seven-year-old son Thomas ask the gruff Jonathan Toomey, the best wood-carver in the valley, to carve the figures for a Christmas creche.

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck
On Christmas Eve a man recalls the holiday many years ago when he gave his father, a struggling farmer, a most-appreciated gift by rising extra early to do his father's biggest chore---the milking.

Night Tree by Eve Bunting
A family makes its annual pilgrimage to decorate an evergreen with food for the forest animals at Christmastime.

The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco
During a scarlet fever epidemic one winter near Union City, Michigan, the grandparents in a Jewish family help make Christmas special for their ailing Christian neighbors by making their own Hanukkah miracle.  Based on a memory from the author's childhood.

Christmas in the Country by Cynthia Rylant
In this nostalgic story, a girl reflects on Christmas at her grandparents' home in the country, with its fresh-cut tree, handmade ornaments, gifts from Santa, and special church services.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
This book's young narrator, whose mother is saddled with directing the church's annual Christmas pageant, becomes newly aware of the season's true meaning after the horrible Herdmans, a family of truly terrifying brats, bully themselves into the major roles of the pageant.  This chapter book is a perfect holiday read aloud filled with humor and heart.