OK, so the title may be slightly misleading because I know that in reality no one really *needs* these books in order to have a wonderful Christmas.
However, they're new additions to our Christmas Book Box and are definitely worth picking up at your local library, second hand book shop or large online retailer. They may not be a necessary part of the festivities but will certainly add something to your Christmas book selection.
First up is 'When I Dream of Christmas' by Oakley Graham. It's a cheeky list of fun Christmas things with lovely illustrations and a good sense of humour. I picked it up via Gift People who pop into work regularly with a basket full of goodies and it only cost £2.50.
The illustrations by Patricia Yuste are bright and sweet, Ollie always tries to stroke the pages - I think it's because they look textured.
Some of the humour goes above the kids' heads but I often have a little chuckle to myself as we read so there's something for everyone.
A few weeks ago I treated myself to some new additions from The Book People, including 'The Twelve Days of Christmas' by Britta Teckentrup which was free using the book points I'd saved from all my previous purchases. I love the 'peep through' pages which fascinates the children but it's hard to read without singing - fine if you have a lovely singing voice, not so good for my hubby who has to listen to my dreadful wailing.
At the same time, I bought 'The Christmas Eve Tree' and I can't recommend it enough. It's a truly lovely Christmas tale about a sad and unwanted tree left behind on Christmas Eve when all the other trees have been sold and how it becomes something special.
At only £3.99 for a beautifully covered hardback, this is a real bargain and is a great example of why I love The Book People as I love discovering great new books with a decent discount. If it was up to me, I'd read this book everyday in the run up to Christmas because the combination of heartwarming story telling and nostalgic illustration leave you with a gooey feeling inside.
If you're a fan of soppy Christmas stories about helping others (like me) then you'll probably enjoy 'Angelina's Christmas'. I grabbed our copy for 50p in the summer at a boot sale and have been holding on to it until now. I've mentioned before about how much I enjoy the detailed illustrations in the Angelina Ballerina books, and this Christmas version doesn't disappoint. It would make the perfect gift for a ballet loving little girl.
These books have joined our much loved favourites from previous years - 'The Jolly Christmas Postman', 'The Nativity' and 'Dear Santa' and I look forward to enjoying them again as they come out every year at Christmas. I've seen a lot of people doing a book advent calendar this year but decided against it for two reasons - I don't want to introduce another way of gifting the children, I think they get enough at this point in the year and I didn't want to do away with our book box which we've had since Lily was born.
Of course, it's still a few weeks to go until Christmas and plenty of opportunities to pick up even more books for our upgraded box - I've replaced it with a hamper and although it's pretty full, I'm sure I can squeeze in some more bargains!
Do you have any Christmas favourites?