Our Favorite Christmas Picture Books

Reading this post from Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas and this post from Charlotte at Waltzing Matilda has made me realize that I really, really, really want our family to have 24 Advent/Christmas picture books that we love. Books that are pretty to look at and fun and/or edifying to read. Books that I will wrap up in pretty paper on a year when I don't have a one week old baby. But, we got our advent boxes down on Sunday, and I realized that we really DO NOT have twenty four books worth having. We have a bunch of Christmas and Advent books. Most of them the kids like, but some really drive me crazy, some are more commercial than I'd like, and some just don't make any sense. (Seriously, what is that book about? I don't know.) We have read-aloud chapter books that I love, and I wrote about those here, but our picture book collection needs some work. So, I've ordered some books that other bloggers have recommended to add to the little gifts St. Nicholas will leave in the kids' shoes on December 6th, and when we pack up the Christmas boxes on January 6th, some of the books in our stash now aren't going to make it back in there. It's not ALL bad though. I do love some of our picture books, and a few aren't on the other lists I've seen on other blogs. So, here are our five favorites.
Haley raves about this one, and rightly so. The illustrations are lovely and the story has a haunting timelessness to it that seems perfect for Advent. It's also a lovely way to introduce children to some of the beautiful titles traditionally given to Our Lady.
The Little Fir Tree
It's by Margaret Wise Brown, of Goodnight Moon, so you know children are going to love the rhythm of the prose. But this book also has beautiful pictures and a charming story of a little boy who cannot come to the outdoors, so they bring the outdoors to him. Not a religious story, but still sweet.
The Miracle of St. Nicholas
I ordered this book thinking it would be a story about St. Nicholas. It isn't. But we still really love it. It's a very unique story of how the townspeople of a village in Russia preserved all of their Christmas traditions despite the threats of the communist regime, and how one little boy inspires them to bring them out into the open again.
Wenceslas : The Eternal Christmas Story
Good King Wenceslas is a favorite Christmas carol at our house, (especially the Bing Crosby version!) but I don't like it when books are just an illustrated version of a song.
This book has really interesting, really beautiful illustrations and actually tells the story of the saintly king and his page.
My boys LOVE Richard Scarry books. Cars and Trucks and Things That Go is pretty must Frankie's favorite thing in the world right now. All of Richard Scarry's books have such a whimsy to them, without being smart alecky or sassy. The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is no exception. We follow Mr. Frumble as all of his best efforts to help people at Christmastime just end up making things worse. (Mr. Frumble was doing it before Jack Skellington made it cool!)
So . . . What books do YOU think I should add to our collection?