12 Christmas Books that Celebrate Gifts from the Heart

I am linking up with Carla from Comprehension Connection for Thematic Thursday.  In light of all that's going on in the world lately, she decided to do a positive theme:  Celebrating Gifts from the Heart.  Since the holidays are coming up, here are 12 great Christmas themed read alouds that teach the themes of kindness, helpfulness, friendship, and/or generosity!  (Click any of this book images to find them on Amazon.)
This is a sweet story of a large tree in the forest that gets passed over year after year when people come to cut down their Christmas tree because he is too big.  He is sad because all he wants is to be a Christmas tree.  They all decide to bring him gifts from the forest and use them to decorate the tree one night to show how thankful they are for him.
Bear's friends decide that they are not going to let him sleep through Christmas again this year so they wake him up and promise to keep him busy so he can stay awake.  Bear and his friends get a tree, decorate it, make food, sing songs, and hang stockings while Bear struggles to stay awake.  Eventually, all the friends fall asleep and Bear stays up making Christmas presents.  They all celebrate in the morning thankful for friendship and giving before Bear falls asleep.
In this story, a family has a tradition of going out each Christmas Eve and decorating a special tree.  The tree is decorated with things that are edible, such as popcorn, sunflower seeds, and cranberries.  They leave the food on the tree knowing that the animals of the forest will be able to enjoy eating it for Christmas!
Anja wishes to be one of Santa's elves so she heads out to find him after leaving a note for her family.  Along the way, she receives help from animals in the forest who help her.  I'm not sure of the ending as I've never read it, but  it seems to be quite popular and the photographs in the previews are absolutely beautiful!
Along with all the wonderfulness contained in every Jan Brett book, this one teaches about being kind.  Teeka is in charge of training the reindeer for Santa in preparation for Christmas.  Having spent the rest of the year roaming, the reindeer are a mess and Teeka spends most of her time yelling at them which only makes things worst.  By the end of the book, she learns that being kind and helpful is the way to go.

On a side note, I remember reading this book for the first time to my first graders my very first year teaching.  We were discussing what we knew about reindeer before reading and I asked, "Can reindeer fly?" Without skipping a beat they all replied in unison, "Yes."  I thought what was I thinking?  Of course they can fly!  Never made any more mistakes like that again!
We all love this story because it's fun, but don't forget the lessons that are present!  Along with learning that Christmas comes from the heart, the story also teaches about friendship and being kind to others.
I have not read this book, but it kept showing up on Amazon while looking up these others and it was also suggested to me by Jivey from Ideas by Jivey.  She also has a comprehension page and mentor sentence freebie available for the book so make sure to check out her post on the book here!  The book tells the story of a family who has promised to provide the perfect tree to their church this year for Christmas. But, the father is called away to work and so the mother and daughter have to make the journey for the tree on their own.
A little fir tree grows in the meadow away from the forest with the other trees.  Each year it looks forward to being dug up and brought inside to the room of a boy who cannot walk.  Each year the father brings it in and decorates it for Christmas and then replants it in the meadow for the following year.  One year, Christmas nears but no one comes for the tree.   This is because the boy is finally able to walk to it instead.
Little kids always love these familiar characters and this story simply teaches brother and sister bear that Christmas is truly about giving rather than receiving presents.
In this story, an owl is injured in the forest and must ask for help from and rely on other animals in the forest for food and shelter.  He makes friends along the way and promises to repay them for the kindness they have shown him.  He does show on Christmas Eve, by delivering each animal a special gift.
Another one for the littles, in this simply story Corduroy chooses to tell Santa what to get his friends for Christmas instead of what he wants himself, emphasizing giving and thinking of others.
Every kid knows the song, right?  How many have actually thought about the story itself?  Probably not many, but at the heart are lessons about kindness and helping one another out.  I do not have this newer version, but it looks to have beautiful illustrations.
I shared this freebie a bit ago during our Reading in a Winter Wonderland hop, but it would be perfect to review theme using any of these books this month so click on the image above to pick it up!

If you'd like to link up with Carla, you can do so below.


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