Every year the bookstore clears a space for Christmas themed books. Some are sappy stories or romance novels, while others are the classics that stand the test of time. I can’t remember the last time I bought a Christmas book, but I do remember my favorite Christmas reads.
The books I read as a child still bring a smile to my face as they are still wonderful stories. I can still hear my Grandma reading the Tale of the Christmas Mouse and I will always love the Grinch. However, as an adult, my voracious need to read finally motivated me to read Dickens’ iconic tale along with historical accounts of the origins of Christmas.
My DVD shelf is loaded with a ridiculous number of Christmas movies, but this year I think I’m going to settle into the couch with a stack of my favorite Christmas books. The thin books worn by years of use will bring back memories of believing in Santa, while those thick with pages will give me something to contemplate by the light of my Christmas tree.
10 Great Christmas Books
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I’ll admit I didn’t read this book until I was in my 30s. Dickens has never been among my favorite writers, but A Christmas Carol is absolutely fantastic. Surprisingly, it is far more intense than most film adaptations.
Tale of the Christmas Mouse by Judith Fringuello
This adorable little book is now out of print, but there are plenty of copies hanging out in the secondary market, (and it should not be mistaken for A Christmas Mouse by Anne Mortimer). My Grandma read this book to my sister and I every year. A little boy tells the story of a mouse who lives under the floorboards of his house. The mouse gets the house ready for Santa’s arrival by cleaning up and trimming the tree. Too cute!
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Who doesn’t love that scrunched up face and those grumpy eyes? The flamboyant language of Dr. Seuss and the heartwarming story of a crabby hermit who discovers the joy of Christmas makes this classic a must read.
Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
When I was a little girl, my Grandma made a recording of herself reading this poem. She used jingle bells to tell us when to turn the page and she made thumping sounds for the reindeer hooves. This poem along with my Grandma’s spirited version made me believe in Santa.
The Battle for Christmas by Steven Nissenbaum
I first read this book in college and was fascinated right from the first page. Nissenbaum traces the earliest origins of Christmas traditions and investigates how the holiday has transformed over time. Written with an emphasis on social history, it focuses on how people celebrated in the past and how traditions developed into what they are today.
The Origins of Christmas by Joseph F. Kelly
What’s Christmas without a little debate? In opposition to Nissenbaum’s social history approach, Kelly traces the history of Christmas from a Biblical standpoint. Between the two books, readers walk away with much to contemplate.
The Smurf’s Christmas by Peyo (Graphic Novel)
Anything with a retro Smurf has my stamp of approval. As Christmas approaches, Gargamel is lurking with his latest evil plan. Along with Gargemel, snow, fun, dragons, and surprises surround the Smurf village as they “smurf” to save Christmas.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert May (author) and Denver Gillen (illustrator)
While the TV special is cute, try reading the original story. It’s just as heartwarming and special.
Frosty the Snowman by Diane Muldrow and Golden Books
Based on the TV special, this cute little book covers the story from to finish – right down to that ridiculous hat!
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
Anyone who searches the tree lot for a Charlie Brown Christmas tree knows the the warmth and joy of this wonderful story. If you missed the televised special, this book will more than make up for it.
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Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!
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