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8 Classic Christmas Books the Whole Family will Love

Christmas is a wonderful time to create family memories and new traditions. Many of our favorite family moments involve books. Christmas is no exception!

There are so many fabulous picture books (and chapter books!) about the holiday season that make wonderful family read alouds. A beautiful picture book doesn’t only have to be for the preschoolers and early elementary kids. We still enjoy many books that are filled with wonderful pictures (and stories). This is a list of some of the best classic Christmas books to read as a family.

boy reading classic christmas books by Christmas tree

As the holiday season descends upon us, there’s a timeless tradition that warms hearts and brings families closer together – the joy of reading classic Christmas books aloud. In the midst of twinkling lights, cozy blankets, and the scent of freshly baked cookies, there’s something magical about gathering loved ones around and delving into the enchanting worlds crafted by legendary authors.

From cherished tales of Santa’s adventures to heartwarming stories of love and generosity, classic Christmas books have the power to create lasting memories. Below you’ll find a selection of the best classic Christmas books that are not only perfect for families to read aloud but also bound to become cherished favorites for generations to come.

8 Favorite Classic Christmas Books to Read Aloud

The books below cover a wide range of ages – from picture books to chapter books so you’re sure to find a new favorite!

A Christmas Carol

The quintessential Christmas story – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. A memorable story of change, forgiveness, and redemption. Don’t avoid this one just because you think it will be too hard for your children to understand. Start with the wonderful Focus on the Family audio dramatization. This story really shouldn’t be missed.

The Polar Express

This is one of those not-to-be-missed more recent classics (if you still consider 1985 to be recent!) written by Chris Van Allsburg, who also wrote Jumanji. Who wouldn’t love to hop on a train and head to the North Pole? This classic tale of Christmas magic is one that even older kids can appreciate.

A Visit from Saint Nicholas

I’m sure many people could quote large portions of this classic poem that begins with the famous line – ‘Twas the night before Christmas… It’s certainly earned it’s place in Christmas lore and legend. One neat fact – it actually predates A Christmas Carol by 20 years.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

My first introduction to this classic Seuss story, like many people, was the 1966 animated version featuring Boris Karloff as the voice of the Grinch. A few years ago we received a beautiful hardcover copy of the book and now enjoy the story every year.

The Gift of the Magi

I just love this story by O. Henry. A young married couple sacrifice their most prized possessions to give the other a special Christmas gift. We love watching the Mickey & Minnie version on Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas.

The Story of Holly & Ivy

Written by Rumer Godden and published in 1958, it’s the story of a young orphan wishing for a home and family. Look for the version illustrated by Barbara Cooney (one of my favorites).

The Bible

Christmas Eve is the perfect time to read the second chapter of Luke. Turn on the Christmas lights, sip some hot cocoa, and remember why we celebrate this blessed season.

Letters from Father Christmas

This is a new-to-us book this year. We love many of Tolkien’s books so we’re excited to spend some time with him this Christmas season. If you’ve read it let me know your thoughts!

As the final pages of these classic Christmas books are turned and the echoes of festive tales fade away, the warmth and joy they bring linger in the hearts of families. The tradition of reading aloud during the holiday season is more than just a charming pastime; it’s a way to forge bonds, create shared memories, and pass down the magic of Christmas from one generation to the next. Whether it’s the whimsical adventures of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer or the timeless lessons of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, these stories remind us of the true spirit of the season – love, compassion, and the joy of giving. So, this holiday season, gather your loved ones, find a cozy spot, and let the magic of classic Christmas books enchant your family for years to come. May the joy of these timeless tales fill your homes with laughter, love, and the spirit of Christmas.

Do you have a favorite classic Christmas book?

Every member of my family has a different Christmas favorite so we end up sharing a few memorable books over the holiday season.

And I’m always on the lookout to add to our collection. I’d love to know what books you read together during the holiday season.

Tell me about your family’s favorite classic Christmas book in the comments!

Sara
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5 Comments

  1. My favorite is “Polar Express” and I’ll read that whether I read it alone or out loud. I prefer the movie, though, it’s so cool!

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