Try the Web sites of the Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets. Both sites have a selection of poems for the holiday.
Poems that can be found at poetryfoundation.org include the following:
- A Visit from Saint Nicholas by Clement Clark Moore
- Christmas at Sea by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Oxen by Thomas Hardy
- Skating in Harlem by Cynthia Zarin
- Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Poems that can be found at poets.org include the following:
- little tree by e. e. cummings
- Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree by George Starbuck
- Christmas Tree Lots by Chris Green
- Christmas Eve: My Mother Dressing by Toi Derricotte
Looking for some collections with Christmas poems for children? See if you can find the following books in a local book store or the public library.
THE OXFORD TREASURY OF CHRISTMAS POEMS
Compiled by Michael Harrison & Christopher Stuart-Clark
Oxford University Press, 1999
This illustrated anthology of fifty-four poems contains a number of traditional works, including The Twelve Days of Christmas; Away in a Manger; Oh, Would You Be a Shepherd Boy?; Joseph and the Angel; and It Was Poor Little Jesus, an American spiritual. There are poems by Eleanor Farjeon, Elizabeth Coatsworth, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, and Langston Hughes. Although there are three poems by Jane Yolen in this anthology, most of the contemporary poetry selected by Harrison and Stuart-Clark was written by British poets whose names are less familiar to Americans.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS: HOLIDAY POETRY
Selected by Lee Bennet Hopkins
Pictures by Melanie Hall
This slim volume containing twelve Christmas poems is An I Can Read Book. Except for the excerpt from Away in a Manger, all of the poems were specially commissioned for this book. The poems are short—and many are rhythmic and rhyming.
The book opens with a poem entitled Waiting, in which a child speaks about her anticipation of the arrival of Christmas.
by Maria Fleming
And I go on waiting…
Waiting’s the worst.
Because Christmas is coming
and I’m ready to BURST.
There’s a lovely mask poem by Rebecca Kai Dotlich in which the poet speaks in the voice of the holiday.
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
I am tinsel.
I am plums.
I am jingle bells,
I am Santa’s
Soon I will be
The anthology ends with a poem about a snow globe—also written by Maria Fleming.
From Snow Globe
by Maria Fleming
In here, it’s always
where a tiny Santa
rides a tiny sleigh…
and it snows and snows,
and Christmas never
Christmas Presents is a nice little package of holiday poems for beginning readers. It’s also a fine book to read aloud to very young children.
Written by Jack Prelutsky
Illustrated by Marilyn Hafner
Let’s not forget Jack Prelutsky’s book It’s Christmas. Originally published in 1981, it is still in print today. This collection of rhythmic, rhyming poems about a Christmas tree, a letter to Santa Claus, Christmas cards, singing carols, and presents has real child-appeal. The poems in this book are fun to read aloud.
Click here to take a peek inside this book.
DO RABBITS HAVE CHRISTMAS?
Written by Aileen Fisher
Illustrated by Sarah Fox-Davies
Henry Holt, 2007
This posthumous collection of winter and Christmas poems written by one of America's finest children's poets is topnotch!
Click here to read my review of Do Rabbits Have Christmas?.