I have discovered two books in the past few years that have become my favourite ones to read for Christmas. They are not as commonplace as A Christmas Carol, but both are fantastic. I don't yet own either of them, but I may just have to buy them soon.
The first is Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson.
It's the story of a mouse who climbs the tree and finds a nativity scene. Every night, he drags all the pieces out, including baby Jesus and sleeps in the manger until he hears the story of Christmas told by the family who lives in the house. He has a change of heart and realizes who it is that he's been dragging out of bed each night. It is an unexpected ending to a very sweet book, and one of the few picture books I've found that tells the true meaning of Christmas in a meaningful way.
The other book is The Christmas Mystery by Jostein Gaarder.
Gaarder is the author of the fictionalized history of philosophy, Sophie's World and the fantastic twisting, turning tale The Solitaire Mystery. He writes in Norwegian, but most of his books are translated to English. The Christmas Mystery weaves the story of a boy who finds an old wooden advent calendar with the story of a young girl many years earlier. The narrative draws you in and twists and turns. I couldn't put it down. Like Mortimer's Christmas Manger, it manages to tell the true story of Christmas without being explicitly about the Nativity.
If you get a chance to read either of these books this Christmas, I highly recommend them!