By, Emily Buckley, editor in chief
NO MATTER YOUR age, there is nothing quite as cozy as curling up with hot cocoa and a seasonal book on a cold winter’s night. This holiday season, dig into a favorite Christmas book, ranging from classics that led to other classics (like The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson) or picture books that you may remember your own parents reading to you in Christmases past.
Here are nine of our family favorites:
A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens You simply cannot have Christmas without Dickens. Written in 1843, when the author was short on time and pressed by his editor to produce a piece, this classic story tells the tale of old, bitter Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts who take him on a journey through Christmases past, present, and future and change his heart and life in one night’s time.
THE SNOWMAN by Raymond Briggs If this book cover brings back flashbacks of your childhood, like it does mine, you’ll enjoy rereading this sweet story about a boy who builds a snowman, who then magically comes to life and takes the boy on a great adventure to the North Pole.
THE GIFT OF THE MAGI by O. Henry This short story puts the holiday gift-giving tradition in perfect perspective. It is a tale of love and sacrifice, and shows that true wealth is found in love.
MR. WILLOWBY’S CHRISTMAS TREE by Robert Barry In this story, Mr. Willowby’s tree arrives, and it is too tall to fit inside his in mansion. His butler cuts off the top and throws it out the window, but it doesn’t end up in the trash. Instead it moves from home to home, spreading holiday cheer to animals across the forest
CHRISTMAS DAY IN THE MORNING by Pearl S. Buck This beautifully illustrated book tells the touching story of family and love when a boy surprises his father by getting up very early to take care of all the farm chores so his father can enjoy Christmas morning.
HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS by Dr. Seuss A master at sneaking life lessons into simple stories, Dr. Suess teaches the true meaning of Christmas in this story that can be reread at every age and every year.
THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS by L. Frank Baum Two years after he published The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum wrote this story about the life of Santa Claus, from making toys, choosing his reindeer, and managing to visit every child in the world in one special night.
THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER by Barbara Robinson A quick read, this little book is about how a group of unkempt children, the Herdmans, learn the Christmas story. It is sure to provide some good laughs along with warm tugs at your heartstrings. This is a favorite read-aloud for elementary-aged children.
THE SNOW QUEEN by Hans Christian Anderson The Disney team behind Queen Elsa of Arendelle had some help. Frozen is loosely based on this Danish fairytale of good, evil, and deep, deep snow. It joins The Fir Tree as some of Andersen’s most treasured Christmas tales.