The purpose of this post is to share with you this collection featuring some of the best Christmas stories to read alon, with your kids, or with your students in class. From Dickens’ classic tale A Christmas Carol to O. Henry’s Gift of the Magi, these engrossing Christmas stories are guaranteed to keep you reading through the holiday season and beyond.
1. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
“Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ is a timeless classic that tells us the story of a miserly, hateful man called Ebenezer Scrooge and his journey towards the path of redemption. The story revolves around Scrooge’s hatred for Christmas and those who are not as fortunate as him. On Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by three spirits who take him on a journey through time and help him realize the kind of person he has become over time and the impact of his actions on those around him.”
2. Letters From Father Christmas, by J.R.R. Tolkien, Baillie Tolkien
“Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R.Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.
They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!”
3. The Christmas Train, by David Baldacci
“Disillusioned journalist Tom Langdon must get from Washington to Los Angeles in time for Christmas. Forced to travel by train, he begins a journey of rude awakenings, thrilling adventures, and holiday magic. He has no idea that the locomotives pulling him across America will actually take him into the rugged terrain of his own heart, as he rediscovers people’s essential goodness and someone very special he believed he had lost.”
4. One Day in December: A Novel, by Josie Silver
“Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.”
5. Skipping Christmas: A Novel, by John Grisham
“Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether.
Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash, they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25 they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise”
6. Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I, by Hazel Gaynor, Heather Webb
“August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. “
7. Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg
“A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole…Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a barren desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the huge city standing alone at the top of the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.”
8. Twas the Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore, Marcin Nowakowski
“An adaptation of the much-loved Christmas story by Clement C. Moore, celebrating the magic and wonder of Christmas Eve. Beautiful illustrations bring this classic poem to life. The perfect family story for the holiday season.”
9. The Nutcracker, by New York City Ballet
“The New York City Ballet is known for showcasing classic stories of the ballet with their trademark stylish and modern sensibility. For the first time, this beloved holiday story is told based on George Balanchine’s quintessential production. The storyline of this gorgeous picture book mimics the choreography of the famous ballet and the illustrations are inspired by the backdrops and scenery from the actual production.”
10. The Jolly Christmas Postman, by Allan Ahlberg
“This gorgeously illustrated, full-color classic celebrates a time before email with an interactive picture book full of real letters to read aloud. The Jolly Postman brings a batch of wonderful letters for Christmas, including notes from the Big Bad Wolf and all the King’s men. Open this book, take out the letters, and discover what favorite characters would write to each other–and reimagine best-loved tales together.”
11. The Christmas Box, Richard Paul Evans
“The Christmas Box is the touching story of a widow and the young family who moves in with her. Together they discover the first gift of Christmas and learn what Christmas is really about. This book is also available in Spanish as El Regalo de Navidad.”
12. The Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry
“The classic holiday tale of love, devotion, and the art of giving—written by one of the world’s best-known short-story authors—will delight those both new to and familiar with this timeless narrative.”