There are plenty of ways to get into the holiday frame of mind. We sing songs, watch movies, attend parties, and we read. Here is a list of heartwarming and endearing Christmas stories to read for yourself or to your children during the holiday season.
Another suggestion is to read to residents of a local nursing home or children’s hospital, hospice patients or area schools and homeless shelters. Getting children involved is a great way to start a family Christmas tradition and put a smile on less fortunate faces.
The best stories are the ones we hear over and over again. They conjure up visions of sugarplums, ghosts, snowflakes, treasured memories, and funny scenes. Here are some suggestions for holiday stories to read that just might become family favorites.
1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – This story was originally written as a ghost story but turned out to be a better lesson of the meaning of Christmas. Ebenezer Scrooge has developed a cold heart over the years that resulted in bitter loneliness until he is given a great gift by his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley.
2. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry – Two lovers who want to give the perfect gift to each other sacrifice their most precious belongings to make the other happy. It is a funny story of love and irony.
3. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore – Also known as “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, it is one of the most popular poems of the Christmas season, it tells of a man’s surprise on Christmas Eve when he encounters the red-suited icon in the flesh. It is a must read to the family on Christmas Eve.
4. The Nutcracker – We have all heard of the ballet of the same name by Tchaikovsky. It is the story of a little girl and a nutcracker that turns into a prince. He has to fight the three-headed rat king in order to save the little girl. See the play if you can and definitely read the story.
5. The Nativity – This would be the story of the birth of Jesus. It has been the subject of countless movies and cartoons. Mary and Joseph journey to Bethlehem where she reaches her time to give birth to the Christ child.
6. Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus – This story is actually a response from the editor that appeared in the New York Sun to a letter written by Virginia O’Hanlon. They turned the response into a cartoon short. It is a letter espousing the timeless quality of the Santa Claus tradition.
What are some of your favorite Christmas tales? Add them to the list above for a delightful family reading every night of the holiday season leading up to Christmas.