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Holiday Themed Books

Classic Christmas Stories that Will Leave You Feeling Festive

It’s comforting to curl up with a cuppa and a classic Christmas story on a fall or winter’s night.

Last Updated on December 12, 2023 by BiblioLifestyle

a story about christmas

Get ready to embrace the holiday spirit with these classic Christmas stories that will leave you feeling festive.  As the days grow shorter and the air turns chilly, there’s nothing quite like snuggling up with a cup of hot cocoa or beverage of your choice and immersing yourself in a story about Christmas or stories set during the Christmas season.  Besides, if you’re looking for a way to get into the Christmas spirit, what better way than reading some classic Christmas stories?  There are plenty of great books to choose from, and they will leave you feeling festive.  Whether you’re looking for something heartwarming and funny or dark and sinister, we have a story for you.  So put on your comfy socks, brew a cuppa, and get ready to cozy up with a good book!

All About Christmas Stories

What is the best Christmas story ever?

Determining the “best” Christmas story ever is highly subjective as it depends on individual tastes and preferences.  However, one story that often tops the list, including my own personal reading list, is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (Amazon or Bookshop.)  It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean and miserly old man who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.  Through his journey with the ghosts, Scrooge learns about the joys of Christmas and discovers the importance of kindness and generosity.  This timeless classic has been adapted into countless adaptations over the years, making it one of the most beloved and recognizable stories of the holiday season.  This story is a must-read for anyone wanting to feel the festive spirit of Christmas.

What makes a good Christmas story?

A good Christmas story strikes a balance between entertainment and conveying the spirit of the season.  These stories often revolve around themes of love, joy, giving, and gratitude.  They may involve characters who undergo a transformation or experience a holiday miracle, reminding readers of the magic of Christmas.  So, whether it’s a heartfelt family reunion, a touching act of charity, or even a humorous holiday mishap, a good Christmas story captures the emotional essence of the holiday season.  It should leave the reader feeling warmed, uplifted, or inspired—a little bit more hopeful and festive than they were before they started reading.

Classic Christmas Stories that Will Leave You Feeling Festive

What are the most popular Christmas stories?

The most popular Christmas stories are classic tales that have been loved and cherished for generations, such as:

  • “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (Amazon or Bookshop)
  • “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” by E.T.A. Hoffmann (Amazon or Bookshop)
  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss (Amazon or Bookshop)
  • “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg (Amazon or Bookshop.)

These stories evoke the spirit of Christmas and have become timeless classics.  They are sure to bring a sense of joy, wonder, and nostalgia to any holiday celebration.

What is a good Christmas short story?

“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry (Amazon or Bookshop) is a great Christmas short story to read during the holiday season.  It tells the heartwarming tale of two young lovers who are too poor to buy each other Christmas presents.  With love and selflessness in their hearts, they make a difficult sacrifice to get the perfect gift for each other.  This classic story is full of emotion and celebrates the spirit of giving that is essential to Christmas.  It is sure to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.

What to read on Christmas Eve?

Choosing the perfect story to read on Christmas Eve really depends on your personal preferences.  Personally, I think “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement C. Moore (Amazon or Bookshop) is the perfect story to read on Christmas Eve.  This beloved tale tells of Santa Claus and his reindeer making their rounds on Christmas Eve while children eagerly await his arrival with presents.  With its warm and festive tone, this charming story is sure to get everyone in the spirit of the season.  So, gather your family and read this story together on Christmas Eve to create some special memories.  And don’t forget the hot cocoa!

I also have other recommendations for books to read on Christmas Eve:

  • For a classic, heartwarming tale, “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens (Amazon or Bookshop) is always a great choice.  This story of redemption and compassion is a timeless classic that captures the true spirit of Christmas.
  • For children, “The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg (Amazon or Bookshop) offers a magical journey to the North Pole that will leave them full of anticipation for the morning.
  • If you prefer a more humorous take, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss (Amazon or Bookshop) offers a delightful tale of a curmudgeonly creature who eventually embraces the holiday spirit.
  • Finally, for a story that can be enjoyed by both adults and kids, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” by Robert L. May (Amazon or Bookshop) is a beloved classic that shares a message of acceptance and individuality.

So, whichever story you choose, the most important thing is to gather with your loved ones and share in the joy and wonder of the season.

List of Classic Christmas Stories that Will Leave You Feeling Festive

5 Classic Short Christmas Stories

If you’re looking for a story to get you into the Christmas spirit, there are plenty of classics to choose from.  Here are some of our favorite short stories that will make perfect additions to your festive reading list.

  1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: This classic tale of a miserly man’s redemption on Christmas Eve is still beloved today.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  2. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore: This popular poem follows a family as they get ready for Santa’s arrival!  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  3. The Gift of the Magi by O Henry: This touching story follows two impoverished lovers as they make sacrifices for each other at Christmas.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  4. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen: This heartbreaking story follows a poor girl who sells matches in the cold winter streets.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss: Follow the grumpy Grinch as he attempts to steal Christmas from the Whos of Who-ville.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Classic Christmas Stories for Children

Looking for something for the children to read on their own? Here are some Christmas stories that will get children in the festive spirit.

  1. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: Follow a young boy’s magical journey on the Polar Express train to the North Pole!  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr Seuss: Follow the grumpy Grinch as he attempts to steal Christmas from the Whos of Who-ville.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  3. The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen: This heartbreaking story follows a poor girl who sells matches in the cold winter streets.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May: a beloved classic about a misfit reindeer who eventually saves Christmas.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  5. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats: a beautiful story about a young boy exploring the snow on a winter day.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

Classic Christmas Stories for Adults

If you’re looking for something a bit more grown-up, there are plenty of options to choose from. Here are some of our favorite Christmas stories for adults that will leave you feeling festive.

  1. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen: a magical story about two children who go on an adventure to find their friend taken away by the Snow Queen.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  2. The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol: Follow the misadventures of Vakula, an eccentric artist who wants to win the heart of a Czar’s daughter on Christmas Eve.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  3. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote: This short story follows young Truman and his elderly cousin as they prepare for a traditional holiday feast.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  4. The Nutcracker by E.T.A Hoffmann: This beloved tale follows Marie as she encounters a magical nutcracker prince, battling the Mouse King.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.
  5. Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons: Follow Flora Poste as she attempts to bring joy and hope to her relatives at a strange farmhouse on Christmas.  Get a copy on Amazon or Bookshop.

More Classic Christmas Stories for Adults

  1. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank Baum
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  4. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
  5. The Fir-Tree by Hans Christian Andersen
  6. Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford
  7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
  8. The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
  9. The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol
  10. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
  11. The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann
  12. Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. 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. Letters from Father Christmas is a gorgeous, festive gift featuring a wealth of letters that Tolkien created for his children, appearing in this format for the first time. Published on the 100th anniversary of the first letter Tolkien sent to his firstborn, John, in 1920, this handsome edition will also include an introduction from daughter-in-law Baillie Tolkien, reflecting on the centenary anniversary of the letters, as well as a personal note by Tolkien himself reproduced for the first time.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank Baum

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by Frank Baum

Baum chronicles Santa’s life from his childhood in an enchanted forest–to his destiny of sharing gifts and spreading love to his fellow man. Along the way we witness him making his first toys, learn the origins of the Christmas tree and Christmas stockings, and discover the stories behind many Christmas secrets, like why Santa slides down chimneys, how he picks his reindeer, and how he delivers all his toys in one night.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

On the night before Christmas, cruel, tyrannical, filthy rich Simeon Lee is found in his locked bedroom with his throat cut. Now Hercule Poirot must put his detective powers to the test to solve one of his most chilling cases – and to prevent a clever killer from spilling more blood.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

The Fir-Tree by Hans Christian Andersen

The Fir-Tree by Hans Christian Andersen

In the middle of the wood is a little fir tree who thinks of one thing only – growing bigger. He takes no pleasure from life because he always thinks about how he is not as big as the other fir trees. So, when the little fir tree finally grows up, Christmas approaches and his destiny is turned upside down.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford

Christmas Pudding by Nancy Mitford

In Christmas Pudding, an array of colorful characters converge on the hunt-obsessed Lady Bobbin’s country house, including her rebellious daughter Philadelphia, the girl’s pompous suitor, a couple of children obsessed with newspaper death notices, and an aspiring writer whose serious first novel has been acclaimed as the funniest book of the year, to his utter dismay.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer’s silver bell.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

When a boy is cursed with an inability to perceive goodness, a young girl must go on a lonely quest to restore his heart and vision and free him from captivity in the palace of the Snow Queen.

Buy from on Amazon or Bookshop

The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol

The Night Before Christmas by Nikolai Gogol

Written in 1831 by the father of Russian literature, this uproarious tale tells of the blacksmith Vakula’s battle with the devil, who has stolen the moon and hidden it in his pocket, allowing him to wreak havoc on the village of Dikanka. Both the devil and Vakula are in love with Oksana, the most beautiful girl in Dikanka. Vakula is determined to win her over; the devil, equally determined, unleashes a snowstorm to thwart Vakula’s efforts. Zany and mischievous, and drawing inspiration from the folk tales of Gogol’s far-flung village in Ukraine.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote

First published in 1956, this much sought-after autobiographical recollection from Truman Capote about his rural Alabama boyhood.  In the book, seven-year-old Buddy inaugurates the Christmas season by crying out to his cousin, Miss Sook Falk: “It’s fruitcake weather!” Thus begins an unforgettable portrait of an odd but enduring friendship and the memories the two friends share of beloved holiday rituals.

Buy from Amazon or Bookshop

The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann

The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffmann

On Christmas Eve, Fritz and Marie excitedly await the arrival of Godfather Drosselmeier and the marvelous gifts he brings for them every year. When Marie discovers a rather curious nutcracker doll amongst the presents, she suddenly finds herself caught up in an age-old battle and ultimately transported to a magical world of sugar-frosted castles, chocolate kings, and true love.

Buy from on Amazon or Bookshop

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm is a charming collection whose hilarious title story features Christmas dinner with the Starkadders before Flora’s arrival. With Adam playing Santa while draped in Mrs. Starkadders’s shawls, the family shares their traditional “Christmas pudding”-a mélange containing random objects of doom foretelling the coming year: a coffin nail for death, a bad sixpence for financial ruin, and a menthol cone to indicate that the lucky recipient will go “blind wi’ headache.”

Buy from on Amazon or Bookshop

stories on christmas

The Magic of Christmas Stories

Christmas stories are a great way of getting into the festive spirit.  Whether you want to sit by the fire, cozy up in bed, or take a break from your holiday planning, these stories will provide an escape and help you get into the Christmas spirit.  Plus, reading about Christmas is the perfect way to pass the time until you can actually start celebrating!

How do you tell a Christmas story?

Telling a Christmas story involves invoking the spirit and magic of the holiday season and connecting with your listeners in a warm and engaging manner.  Start by creating the right atmosphere: perhaps gather your listeners around a fireplace, under the Christmas tree, or cozy in their beds.  Speak with a soft, inviting tone that allows your audience to visualize the story.  When telling the story, emphasize the universal themes of love, hope, and joy, that are at the heart of many Christmas stories.  Use expressive language and incorporate emotions and sensory details to make the story vivid and engaging.  Pause at the right moments to build suspense and engage your listeners.  Remember, the goal is not just to tell a story but to share the spirit of Christmas.

Frequently Asked Questions about Christmas Stories

What is Christmas short story?

A Christmas short story is a brief piece of fictional literature centered around the holiday season, particularly Christmas. These narratives are typically imbued with the spirit of Christmas and explore themes such as love, generosity, family, and goodwill. They can range from magical and heartwarming to humorous and whimsical, encompassing a wide variety of styles and tones. Examples include “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, a tale of redemption and transformation, and “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” by Dr. Seuss, a whimsical story about discovering the true meaning of Christmas. Whether they’re meant to make readers laugh or tug at their heartstrings, Christmas short stories aim to encapsulate the essence of the holiday season and convey the joy, wonder, and warmth associated with this time of year.

What is the most famous Christmas story?

The most famous Christmas story is “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens. Published in 1843, this timeless classic has become synonymous with the holiday season and has been adapted into countless films, TV shows, and stage productions. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-hearted miser who undergoes a transformation after being visited by three spirits on Christmas Eve. With its themes of redemption, compassion, and the true spirit of Christmas, “A Christmas Carol” has captured the hearts and imaginations of readers for generations and remains a beloved favorite around the world. So why not pick up a copy of one of these classic Christmas stories this holiday season? Whether you’re looking for a heartwarming family read-aloud or a personal escape into the festive spirit, these stories are sure to leave you feeling merry and bright.

How do you make reading a Christmas story interesting?

Here are a few tips to make reading a Christmas story even more enjoyable and interesting:

  • Get cozy: Set the mood by snuggling up in blankets, lighting some candles, or making some hot cocoa. This will create a warm and festive atmosphere for reading.
  • Add sound effects: Incorporate jingle bells, holiday music, or other sound effects into your reading to bring the story to life.
  • Use different voices: When reading aloud, try using different voices for each character to make the story more engaging and entertaining.
  • Make it interactive: Encourage kids to participate by asking them questions about the story or having them act out certain scenes.
  • Add props: Bring in some holiday decorations or small props related to the story to make it more visual and immersive.
  • Read with a group: Gather friends or family members to take turns reading different parts of the story, making it a fun and collaborative experience. Overall, the key is to have fun and let your imagination run wild as you dive into the magical world of Christmas stories. So gather around, grab your favorite festive book, and let the holiday spirit fill your hearts as you read together!

What is the story of Christmas in short?

The story of Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, who Christians believe to be the son of God. It is celebrated on December 25th and symbolizes hope, love, and peace. The traditional elements of the story include Mary and Joseph traveling to Bethlehem, being turned away from inns, giving birth in a stable, and being visited by shepherds and wise men. The holiday is also associated with gift-giving, decorating trees, and spending time with loved ones. However, the true meaning of Christmas goes beyond these traditions, as it reminds us to show kindness, generosity, and love towards others just as Jesus did during his time on earth. So while we may enjoy reading and sharing Christmas stories during this magical time of year, let us also remember the true message of hope and love that they portray. Merry Christmas!

What is the story of baby Jesus?

The story of baby Jesus, also known as the Nativity, is a fundamental part of Christian theology and is celebrated worldwide at Christmas. The account, primarily found in the New Testament of the Bible in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, tells of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. According to the narrative, the Virgin Mary, engaged to Joseph, was visited by the Angel Gabriel who announced that she would conceive a child by the Holy Spirit, and this child would be the Son of God. Despite initial shock and hardship, including a journey to Bethlehem for a census and finding no room at the inn, Mary and Joseph were directed to a stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus. It is said that a star shone brightly in the sky, leading shepherds, and later the Wise Men, to the stable to pay homage to the baby Jesus, bringing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The Nativity story represents themes of humility, sacrifice, and God’s love for humanity, and is fundamental to Christian celebrations of Christmas.

What is the story of Santa Claus?

The story of Santa Claus begins with a man named Saint Nicholas who lived during the third century in the village of Patara, located in present-day Turkey. Known for his kindness and benevolence, Saint Nicholas often gave away his wealth to assist the needy, the sick, and the suffering. One of the best-known stories about him is the time he helped three impoverished sisters. Their father could not afford their dowries, so St. Nicholas dropped bags of gold down their chimney to prevent them from falling into a life of hardship. This act of generosity is believed to have started the tradition of Santa Claus giving gifts. Over the centuries, the legend of Saint Nicholas evolved and took on elements from various cultures. In the United States, the Dutch settlers’ Sinterklaas became Santa Claus, and by the 19th century, he was commonly depicted as a jolly, rotund, bearded man dressed in a red suit with white fur trim, who traveled on a sleigh led by reindeer. Today, Santa Claus is a beloved figure associated with Christmas, bringing gifts to children around the world and symbolizing the spirit of giving that defines the holiday season.

What do you think about these classic Christmas stories?

Have you read any books from this list?  What are your favorite classic Christmas stories?  What books would you add to the list?

RELATED HOLIDAY & CHRISTMAS BOOKS

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  1. Michele says:

    I have read many of the books listed here. My favorite is A Christmas Carol. I have several different editions, illustrated by different artists. My favorite one is illustrated by John Leech.
    I love this novel because, no matter how you have lived your life, you can have a second chance in life if you really want to.

    • Victoria Wood says:

      I love your sentiments, Michelle! A Christmas Carol for me is quintessential Christmas and now I’ll want to add that illustrated edition you recommended. Thank you so much for sharing!

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