December begins hibernation season for us Indy Homeschoolers. The cold weather and the busy holiday weekends mean that during the week we like to spend a lot of time curled up on the couch, drinking cocoa and reading books together. As the boys get older, it can be harder to find picture books we all enjoy. Luckily Christmas offers us a plethora of options. Here are our top picks for Christmas books to cuddle up around the fire with.

Night before xmasThe Polar Express

This timeless Christmas story makes me tear up a little every time I read it to my boys. I love the calm, dream-like tone and fun message. It’s a great book to curl up with on a cold night with children of all ages.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas: Or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas

I’m pretty sure I bought this book before I even had children. I love the pencil drawings in this particular version of the classic poem we all know and love. I try to avoid the big cliches, but I have to pull this out every Christmas Eve and force the kids to listen before bed.

The Twelve Days of Christmas Dogs

When my kids were toddlers, this was their favorite. Oh my goodness, we had to read it probably ten times a day. And believe you me, it is not the easiest one to read aloud! But it is so much fun. A cute, funny take on the Twelve Days of Christmas, all kids will love this book.

The Nutcracker

There are SO MANY versions of The Nutcracker, it’s pretty tough to narrow it down to one favorite. I think as a picture book this is my favorite. I love the illustrations in this book, so full of color and beauty. This is a great introduction to the story. If you are looking for the real story that first inspired it all, I like this version I found for less than $2 on Kindle last year.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

We are a house divided when it comes to Seuss. Myself and the Little Man love the good Doctor, while the husband and Big Boy don’t really “get” the jibberty-jabber and artistic use of language. Because of this, I was a little unsure of adding it to the list, but it IS a classic, and it is one I pull out every year (whether the Big One likes it or not). I love the message of this book. We all have a Grinch. As we get older, a lot of us become a Grinch. I like the idea that in the end there is good in everyone and even the grinchiest can find some peace and serve the roast beast.

Llama Llama Holiday Drama

I’ve gone back and forth about adding Llama Llama. This book would not entertain my children now that they are well into elementary age, but as preschoolers it was THE BEST. I love reading all the Llama Llama books, they’re lyrical and fun to really act out. Little kids love them and can totally relate. However, while the other books are more timeless and can easily be read to any age child, I think Llama Llama is best left with the younger set.

Does your family have a favorite holiday book? Or favorite picture book in general? What is the go-to read-aloud in your house?