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The 12 Books of Christmas: Holiday Books You and Your Kids Will Love

A Visit From Saint Nicholas (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas) by Clement Clarke Moore

This story is a Christmas staple. One of original sources of our modern-day depiction of Santa as a jolly, bearded man in a red suit, “A Visit From Saint Nicholas” tells the story of a man who’s spying on Santa as he comes down the chimney for a visit.

Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson

Little girls all over the country absolutely love Eloise! As a little girl living in the famous Plaza hotel, Eloise has many adventures. In this Christmas adaptation, she helps to prepare the hotel for Christmas, doing everything from trimming the tree to wrapping gifts.

Christmas Trolls by Jan Brett

After all of the Christmas things in a young girl’s house are stolen by trolls, she visits them to help them decorate, and teaches them that love and the joy of giving are what Christmas is all about. This book is sure to delight readers who grew up looking at Brett’s beautiful illustrations.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Who better to write stories about Santa Claus than a fantasy master? In this collection of stories, Santa and his elves pen letters to the Tolkien children about their adventures at the North Pole.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

In this film-adapted tale, a young boy for whom the magic of Christmas is dwindling boards a train to the North Pole. There, Santa chooses him to receive the first gift of Christmas. The boy chooses a bell from one of the reindeer’s harnesses. Can he get it home safely?

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Reading this beloved Dr. Seuss tale might make your heart grow three sizes. After stealing Christmas from the Whos who live in the town below, the Grinch realizes that getting gifts may not be what Christmas is all about after all.

The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

Another master of fantasy, Baum depicts his own version of the origins of Santa in this magical tale. During the adventures, readers will encounter stories about Santa’s creation of many different Christmas traditions.

Christmas Remembered by Tomie DePaola

Many adult readers grew up with stories by Tomie DePaola, such as Strega Nona, so this book will delight both parents and children. Christmas Remembered is a collection of DePaola’s Christmas life-long memories. They’re sure to put everyone in a festive mood.

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

Several years ago my parents took me and my sisters to see a marionette show which depicted this and other Andersen stories. Though The Little Match Girl doesn’t have the happiest of endings, it stands as an important reminder to be thankful for all our blessings this Christmas season.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

Mystery lovers will really enjoy this Agatha Christie novel, which is set during the yuletide season. One of Christie’s most famous detectives, Poirot solves mysteries by using psychology to discover a criminal’s motive. Because the Poirot mysteries weren’t meant to be read in a particular order, this story about a murder in the house of millionaire Simeon Lee, who has invited his entire family for Christmas, is perfect for readers who are new to Poirot.

The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffman

I’ve been to see the ballet The Nutcracker a few times, and every time is just as magical. Little did I know that the ballet actually comes from a book. After young Marie (known as Clara in the ballet) is gifted a nutcracker on Christmas Eve, her night becomes full of wonder and intrigue when her beloved nutcracker comes to life.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is my dad’s favorite Christmas story. We have almost ten different movie versions, and he has a collection of A Christmas Carol figurines that we put out every year. This year, my dad I have both pledged to read the classic tale of a miser on a journey to redeem himself and to love both Christmas and his fellow man. For those of you with an eReader, or who are comfortable reading on a computer screen, a PDF and an eReader version are available for free from Project Gutenberg.

Happy reading!

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