On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Beni Montresor (Young Scott, 1961).
Normally when I think of a book from my childhood, it's the illustrations that come back vividly. While the orange pages (which unfortunately my camera tried to make white in the images below) with blank ink definitely made an impression, what I really loved about this book as a kid was the ever talented Margaret Wise Brown's words. A quiet tension runs throughout the book. It's at once peaceful, with tranquil words describing children unable to sleep while snow falls softly in the middle of the night on Christmas Eve, but it also combines that with the heart-pumping excitement and anticipation of Christmas. It's a great classic to read the night before Christmas. This version is out of print, but it was republished in the 90s with new illustrations.
I've made updates to my list of multicultural picture books that I originally posted last year. You can check that out here.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, everyone!