Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Spirit of Christmas” as Want to Read:
The Spirit of Christmas
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Spirit of Christmas

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  505 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews
Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all-the most magical gift of the season-is when we spend Christmas with those we love.

Once again, this New York Times-bestselling author and artist has created a special, beautiful book that families will want to
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 29th 2009 by Feiwel & Friends (first published 2009)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 15, 2014 Qwendy rated it it was amazing
Tillman’s gorgeous photoesque artwork gracefully supplements the text, which builds upon classic Christmas references. We embark upon our tale through a holiday napper, who “just nodded off, at a quarter past four, when the Spirit of Christmas stepped through my door.” Santa is alluded to, and arrives to “deck the halls, in tinsel and twinkles, and bright, shining balls”. The rhyming text continues with the addition of “jingle bells”, a “one-horse sleigh”, a “toy soldier band”, candy canes and m ...more
Jan 06, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing
I have recently discovered this author and I LOVE her books. This book is so sweet. We have a tradition at Christmas time that we always give our best friends, whom all live away from us, a book (and buy one for our children to open Christmas Eve night as well). This is the book I chose this year. Several of our friends called to tell us how much they loved it and some even said it moved them to tears. My children LOVED the pictures and we spent several minutes on each page looking for the Spiri ...more
Jul 27, 2013 Karen rated it it was amazing
The Spirit of Christmas was another Kohl's Cares find. I'll try not to gush, but I do love the Kohl's Cares program. This book came with an adorable plush lion, which represents the most striking illustration in this book. All of the artwork is truly beautiful, but the double pages containing the lion, lamb and dove and arresting in their simplicity and beauty.

The words for the book again came from a song, so they again read like a poem. The words are fine, and at time quite good; however this b
Ashley Schmidt
Sep 04, 2013 Ashley Schmidt rated it it was amazing
This book is absolutely, positively my FAVORITE of Ms. Tillman's. I absolutely LOVE the message it sends. It speaks directly to the heart of a parent who longs for a child; this longing made all the more bitter by the holiday season. I think children will love the illustrations, especially finding the face of the "Spirit of Christmas" in each page. I also like that it includes lyrics from Christmas Carols. What a special book to share with your child! I can't wait to share it with mine!
Nov 22, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it
Though I like the illustrations and the board book format this not a book I would actually purchase. There's not really a story, it reads more like the inside of a greeting card. The words aren't bad, they are full of the "warm and fuzzy" tidings of the season but I, myself prefer an actual story. This is more of a gift/coffee table book in my estimation.
Nov 03, 2009 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
This the best children's Christmas book I have read in a long time. I am very fussy the story must be good AND the art work. This one is excellant in both cases. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat.
Kristi Betts
Jan 26, 2017 Kristi Betts rated it it was amazing
This review is for the 2015 board book edition.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS is a gorgeous book with amazing illustrations which incorporate a variety of Christmas carols. The original book was released in 2009 in a traditional size. This revised edition is presented in a board book format. Everything about the original text holds true to this version, just in a smaller scale. I’m not sure this version does the book justice in the text is geared toward an older audience than the typical board book rea
Martha Templeton
The Spirit of Christmas

What a lovely overview of all the things we love about Christmas, the most important one of all, of course, PRESENCE with those we love.
From Nancy Tillman whose book "On The Night You Were Born" I found refreshing and sweet. This title, however, seems to be trying just a bit too hard. I do appreciate the elements of the Christmas season included here--everything from the decorations to the fun and family to a subtle mention of the Christ child--but there isn't much of a "story" as it's like the author is talking to the Spirit of Christmas wondering what is missing from Christmas... What was missing, it turns out, is "YOU" (the s ...more
Dec 02, 2016 Twinkle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christmas
A Christmas love letter from a parent to their child, this book, like everything I have read of Nancy Tillman’s, always makes me a little tearful (in a good way). The narrator describes a visit from the Spirit of Christmas whose depictions of Christmas from every angle still leave her feeling a little flat. She is then reminded that “this all began with a child” and realises that the joy of sharing Christmas with her own child is what really makes it special.
“And that’s when I got it. That’s
Oct 07, 2013 Angie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s
Synopsis: "Bells jingle, sleds dash through the snow, trees are topped with sparkling stars, and children everywhere dream of candy canes and presents. But the best gift of all—the most magical gift of the season—is when we spend Christmas with those we love."

My Review: I am a big fan of Nancy Tillman and love sharing her books with my little Munchkin. This one wasn't quite up to the level of Wherever you are My love will find you. The rhyming wasn't quiet as smooth, but I still enjoyed the mess
Nov 20, 2011 Anna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
If you live near a Kohl's store, or can shop at one online . . I highly recommend purchasing their hardcover books for any and all children you care about.

Even if you don't have those special kids in your life, consider purchasing these books for a school library or elementary teacher in your area for the classroom--or donate them to a children's charity.

The books are sold for only $5 each and are very high quality. This season's books are all by Nancy Tillman and are just so beautiful.

This even
This pretty book highlights the joys of the holiday season in a way that might make families want to spend even more time together while sharing the book. The rhyming text celebrates all the wonders of this magical time while concluding that none of it means very much without one important missing ingredient. Because it is a board book, it can easily be held by little hands as well as stand up to a lot of use. While some of the scenes illustrate parts of the season and holiday that are to be exp ...more
Patrick Dwyer
Jan 18, 2012 Patrick Dwyer rated it really liked it
I began reading a Christmas eve story to my girls almost 30 years ago - typically Twas the Night Before Christmas (with the beautiful Doug Gorsline illustrations).
In all that time I was seldom tempted to introduce any other story to this routine, and now I have 2 year old granddaughter and this year came across Nancy Tilman's beautiful work. And it is a beautiful thing in both appearance and spirit! I recommend it to all, no matter faith or practice; and to all a good night!
Stephanie Tournas
Spanish language version of Tillman's 2009 book, The Spirit of Christmas. Rhyming text and gorgeous painterly digital illustrations go depict a child's search for the meaning in Christmas. All the familiar Christmas images are there, with love being the over arching message. Sentimental and sweet.

But, why a board book? The details in Tillman's illustrations are too small to fully appreciate in this version.
Dec 16, 2009 Amanda rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful Christmas story which emphasizes that Love is what makes Christmas the season that it is. It is beautifully illustrated (although the cut and paste quality of the 12 days of Christmas pages through me off some) and has a wonderful rhyming story. Will definitely get out again next year and the year after...
LeAndra Simone
Nov 14, 2016 LeAndra Simone rated it it was amazing
For anyone that knows me, they know I'm a Christmas fanatic. I love this book, because it allows the reader to make real-life connections with the text. The book talks about all different kinds of traditions at Christmas, and this is a perfect selection to introduce the Christmas season to your students.
Nov 17, 2011 Autumn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
A beautiful children's Christmas story about the feelings/experiences of Christmas. A keepsake that will make all people feel the quiet specialness intended for the holiday (no commercial feel). Even better the pages are wrapped in gorgeous illustrations.

For: Elementary grade children that celebrate Christmas or a classic keepsake for the Family.

Kaylen Matherly
Mar 28, 2013 Kaylen Matherly rated it it was amazing
This book would be great to read to my class during the Christmas season. It's such a sweet book. It reminds readers that joy during Christmas time does not come from all the decor, gifts, and songs, but from the children who gather around the tree.
Sally Clark
Nov 21, 2015 Sally Clark rated it liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
I liked this book, but I feel there is more to the Christmas spirit than love. It involves giving and selflessness. I guess that's inherent in showing love. And each child is important. But at the end of this book, I felt it missed the mark somehow.
Dec 07, 2011 Kymberly rated it really liked it
The Spirit of Christmas is the spirit of God. She spoke a little of God, and showing of the trinity in pictures of dove (spirit), Lamb (Lamb of God), and Lion (Lion of Juda). I wish she spoke of more of this Christmas spirit, that is why I gave it a 4.
Shannon Jackson
Love, love, love this book! I feel like it's a modern day, "Twas the Night Before Christmas", but with such a sweet and beautiful message. The illustrations are captivating and enhance the story. Again, I love this book and it is a must read during the Christmas season!
Christina Davis
Around the fireplace kind of book. This book was written for Kohl's Cares charity, which supports child health and education. This book has no more than 3 sentences on a page, so it would be easy for a young child to read. I liked the last page which said, "You are loved".
Jan 07, 2017 Jody rated it it was amazing
First time I read this book outloud was during a preschool storytime and I started to cry. Extremely touching with a good all around approach to explaining the Christmas holiday to children and loved ones.
Dec 29, 2011 Sally rated it it was amazing
I received this for Christmas from a dear friend who knows how much I love Christmas--and books. This one is special from the sweet message to the incredible illustrations.
Oct 20, 2016 Matt added it
Shelves: childrens, holidays
Our family 2016 Christmas book
Nov 12, 2009 Denise rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This would be a great gift book. Early elementary students could appreciate this, I just envision this better one-on-one than in a group setting.
Nov 30, 2011 Eloise rated it liked it
Read by Mrs. Santa at PGCL.
Andrew Lovell
Dec 05, 2014 Andrew Lovell rated it it was amazing
Love the poetry and the theme within the book. Although the book doesn't exactly focus on the subject of Christmas, it truly captures the spirit of Christmas - Love.
Dec 23, 2015 Jordan rated it it was amazing
Beautiful book with beautiful illustrations.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Why Christmas Trees Aren't Perfect
  • A Wish to Be a Christmas Tree
  • The Christmas Wish
  • Santa Mouse
  • Mortimer's Christmas Manger
  • Santa's Favorite Story
  • Can You See What I See?: The Night Before Christmas: Picture Puzzles to Search and Solve
  • The Carpenter's Gift: A Christmas Tale about the Rockefeller Center Tree
  • Humphreys First Christmas
  • Angelina's Christmas
  • Merry Christmas, Splat
  • God Gave Us Christmas
  • This Is the Stable
  • Santa Claus the World's Number One Toy Expert
  • Elf on the Shelf (The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition, Volume 1)
  • The Biggest Snowman Ever
  • I'll Be Home For Christmas (Toot & Puddle)
  • Christmas Cookies: Bite-Size Holiday Lessons
Nancy Tillman created her first book, "On the Night You Were Born," to convey to children at an early and impressionable age, "You are the one and only ever you." Since then, Nancy has written and illustrated several bestselling books. She also illustrated It's Time to Sleep, My Love, with Eric Metaxas. Together, Nancy's books have sold in the millions. A former advertising executive, Tillman now ...more
More about Nancy Tillman...

Share This Book