THE OXFORD BOOK OF CHRISTMAS POEMS, edited by Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark (Oxford University Press, $12.95). Full of old chestnuts like "The Night Before Christmas" and Longfellow's "Christmas Bells" (best known today as a carol crooned by Como or Crosby), this nicely illustrated collection also includes some lesser-known Christmas verse by poets like Ted Hughes and John Betjeman, and a charming piece by W. H. Auden about what it feels like when the holiday ends, "Well, so that is that." IMAGES OF CHRISTMAS, by Dorothy Boux and Eliane Wilson (Doubleday, $12.95). This is a beautiful little compendium of Christmas verse, carols, stories ("The Little Match Girl"), and general trivia (the origin of the Boar's Head Carol), chosen with care by Elaine Wilson and illustrated by Dorothy Boux with charming pastel drawings. The text is reproduced from Boux's striking calligraphy. It's a fine book for reading to get into the mood for that season "for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial fire of charity in the heart," as Washington Irving put it. A COUNTRY CHRISTMAS TREASURY, edited by Allen D. Bragdon (Arco, $24.95). For those who still have time to make christmas crafts, there are a wealth of ideas in this book -- peppermint wreathes, potpourries, wooden trucks and pull toys, clothespin dolls, traditional foods, etc. etc. There is a heavy dose of authenticity in many of the country crafts recommended here, such as the distelfink crewelwork, tinwork lanterns, whirligigs, Amish dolls (with no faces since the making of human images is considered impious). The directions, while not always simple, are always clear and well-illustrated.