Want to start a new Christmastime tradition? Pick out a few favorite Christmas stories to read aloud each year. We’ll get you started with our 12 favorite Christmas read-aloud books!
For years, beginning on December 1 we have read aloud A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. But well before we tackled this classic, each year we would pull a big wicker basket near the couch and fill it with every Christmas-themed book we had in the house. In addition, each year I would pick a few new titles from the library to bring home and add to the basket. Most of these stories could be read in one sitting. A few would linger over several days. Each child took turns selecting that day’s reading.
The following is a list of our favorites read over the years:
One Wintry Night by Ruth Bell Graham
Our favorite Christmas title. A young “mountain smart” boy ends up caught in a snowstorm and seeks shelter in a log home his grandpa helped build. The elderly woman who lives there welcomes him with “frying bacon, fresh coffee and wood smoke” that sets the scene for the Christmas story she shares with him while waiting out the snowstorm. Read our full review!
Maybe Christmas…doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
Our favorite modern illustrated version — one for each child — that is read nearly every year!
The Birds’ Christmas Carol by Kate Douglas Wiggin
A heartwarming tale of an ill little girl’s efforts to make Christmas special to those less fortunate than herself.
“The Tailor of Gloucester” by Beatrix Potter
Lovely tale by a master weaver.
One bitter cold day near Christmastime the tailor began to make a coat….
“Alack, I am undone, for I have no more twist!” ….
The stitches of those button-holes were so neat—so neat—I wonder how they could be stitched by an old man in spectacles, with crooked old fingers, and a tailor’s thimble.
The stitches of those button-holes were so small—so small—they looked as if they had been made by little mice!
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is the unabridged Enriched Classics version that includes an introductory chronology of Charles Dickens’s life and work, background information on the historical setting of A Christmas Carol, and inline links that take you to interpretive notes. Free on Kindle. Read our full review. You might also enjoy our free unit study based on the book!
“The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry
Heartwarming story about the special self-denying Christmas gifts a husband and wife give each other from their heart…with the O. Henry twist.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
Another heartwarming favorite beautifully illustrated telling the story of a woodcarver whose heart thaws at Christmas.
The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman
Telling the story of the ballet, this version is aimed at younger readers and illustrated by Susan Jeffers — a favorite!
A Pussycat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown
For some reason this one has also stuck around. Maybe because it is quiet. Or maybe because of the cadence. Or maybe because of the scenes it paints in the mind. Perfect for a before-nap read-aloud!