Christmas Stories books
It’s been said that Christmas is the most delightful time of the year. However, this is often the most difficult. Fortunately, we have a solution to help you feel warm and fuzzy quickly—even faster than binge-watching a bunch of feel-good movies on Hallmark Channel. We advise you to put on your softest Santa socks and your warmest onesie and curl up with one of the finest holiday novels ever written.
Below, you’ll find a collection of books suitable for all ages, from classics to holiday romances to laugh-out-loud stories to read by the fire. Besides, what kind of Christmas reading list would be complete without a nod to Dr. Seuss’s warm and humorous children’s classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas?
The Polar Express
Although it is intended for a younger audience, The Polar Express is the perfect way for adults to revisit a period when magic was real and Santa Claus wasn’t simply Dad in a red costume. In this tale, a little kid embarks on a fantastic journey to the North Pole on the eve of Christmas. Maybe you’re more familiar with the computer animated Tom Hanks feature, but we think cracking open Chris Van Allsburg’s masterpiece is a far better experience.
Mister Dickens and His Christmas Carol
During the holiday season, everyone is in the mood for a Dickens novel. Author Samantha Silva, in a darkly humorous and eerie spinoff story based on the guy who penned A Christmas Carol, does the same. Silva tells a narrative that is similar to but not quite the same as the one told in The Man Who Invented Christmas. When Dickens’ creativity begins to dry up, he travels to London in search of new ideas. There, he takes lengthy strolls that seed his Carol with bits of information.
The Gift of the Magi
Open the present that keeps on giving this holiday season: a short narrative that explains the meaning of gift giving. The Gift of the Magi, written by O. Henry (pseudonym for William Sidney Porter), is a touching story about a husband and wife attempting to celebrate Christmas on a little budget. And, of course, it all wraps off with O. Henry’s trademark sarcasm.
Letters from Father Christmas
This calligraphy image book by English fiction novelist J. R. R. Tolkien may just as well have been named Letters from Father Tolkien. It’s full with Tolkien’s annual Christmas letters to his kids, written from the perspective of Santa Claus or a speaking polar bear and illustrated with the most fantastical cartoons. You’ll want a tablet that can properly display the vivid colors.
The Deal of a Lifetime
The Deal of a Lifetime is a novella written by New York Times bestselling author Fredrik Backman and narrated by a father to his son on Christmas Eve. A guy realizes he may be able to heal a sick child in the hospital, but only after he makes peace with his own kid. It’s a moving tale that captures the essence of the Christmas spirit in its depiction of selflessness, forgiveness, and love, yet it clocks in at far under a hundred pages.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Actually, this is a great time to read any of the Harry Potter books, since most of the hogwarts antics actually occur around the holidays. But maybe we could just jump to book 3, “The Prisoner of Azkaban.” In addition to Sirius Black introduced, Harry, Ron, and Hermione also mature considerably over the course of the book. Not to mention the amusement factor of rereading about the Dementors, the Stalkers, and Hermione hitting Malfoy.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
If the story of a red-eyed, hairy curmudgeon’s salvation makes you weep, that’s okay, because Dr. Seuss is here to entertain you. Dr. Seuss’s whimsical adventure in Whoville has been remade for almost every imaginable media since it is beloved by both young and old audiences. However, the doctor’s colorful classic has helped us get over our holiday blues.
The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories
The Valancourt Book collects 13 ghost stories originally published in nineteenth century Victorian times publications into one engrossing tome that yearns to be perused by a crackling fire (with sufficient reading light, of course) and features an introduction by editor Tara Moore, who begins each spooky story with a memo to its author.
Christmas in London
Fans of Great British Baking, listen up: Anita Hughes has a narrative set around the winter holidays that features London, cinnamon buns, and the show. Louisa, a chef in Manhattan, finds out a regional film studio loves her sticky pastries, and she is invited to join the crew for their yearly Christmas Eve supper special, which is recorded in London at the luxurious Claridge’s hotel. Just about nothing beats it as a classic example.
The Snow Queen
In creating Queen Elsa of Arendelle, the Disney team received assistance. Frozen was loosely inspired on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” a Danish fairy tale about good and evil set in a world of thick snow. It’s right up there with The Fir Tree as one of Andersen’s most famous holiday stories, and the artwork in this edition is unparalleled.
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker
In his 1995 book, Wicked, Gregory Maguire showed that he had mastered the art of the spinoff. Maguire’s Hiddensee, the entrancing narrative behind The Nutcracker, is his latest award-winning, innovative twist on a masterpiece. Drosselmeier, the one-eyed toy manufacturer, is the catalyst for Klara’s fantastical journey; he is the one who will craft the renowned wooden ornament.
Last Christmas in Paris
No one is safe from love or the perils of writing letters during times of conflict. Last Christmas in Paris, by Hazel Gaynor, weaves together fact and fiction to tell the story of a love that blooms despite the atrocities of World War I. Although Evie is sad to see her brother and his closest friend depart for service, she is hopeful that they will all be able to spend Christmas together in Paris. But obviously, war has its own agenda.
One Day in December
“Get prepared to be carried away in a whirlwind romance,” Reese Witherspoon, owner of Hello Sunshine, has said. It captivated me completely. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves, but it sums up Josie Silver’s winter story of two individuals and ten years of flight delays.