Plenty of lists and television networks share favorite movies of the season. But there’s just something about the early sunsets, fires in the fireplace and steaming mugs of hot cocoa that sets the stage for a good, old-fashioned book. Here is a list of books and stories that will get you into the Christmas spirit. Some have been made into movies but, as any reader will tell you, the books are better.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The classic Dickens tale is the world’s first introduction to Ebeneezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Readers can’t help but think about their own Christmases past, present and future.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Maybe the Grinch is Seuss’ version of Scrooge. Regardless, the Whos of Whoville battle the green guy’s plans to foil Christmas for their little town.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
A couple struggling to make ends meet sacrifice important aspects of themselves in order to give meaningful gifts to each other. This tale is a great read about the gift of giving.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Young and old alike will laugh out loud at the story of how the Herdman kids took over the annual Christmas pageant. They offer their unique perspective on the first Christmas based on their own infamous experiences.
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
New York Times best selling author Richard Paul Evans takes readers on a journey about what’s most important in the lives of a young family.
God Came Near by Max Lucado
Pastor Max Lucado shares a collection of essays about the Nativity, beginning with the arrival of Mary and Joseph at the inn. Each essay reveals a deeper human understanding of the birth of Jesus.
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
We’ve all been there. If the kids aren’t spending Christmas with us, why go to the hassle of trimming the tree or decorating the house. The Kranks are planning to cruise the Caribbean instead and skip Christmas altogether. Things don’t always go as planned.
Amazing Peace by Maya Angelou
This poem, penned by the late Maya Angelou, was read by Angelou at the National Christmas Tree Lighting on December 1, 2005. It is a Christmas poem for all times.
If You’re Missing Baby Jesus by Jean Gietzen
This true story about a family in North Dakota in 1943 begins when they unwrap a manger scene with two baby Jesuses, and it just gets better from there.
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen
This classic children’s tale is a dark reminder to pay attention to those less fortunate during the holiday season.
Check one or all of these out from your local library or buy them online from used book dealers and make Christmas stories part of your family’s holiday tradition. Read them out loud, or read them alone. Good literature has a way of crossing generation gaps and cultural barriers. These stories are no exception.