It is the most beautiful time of the year, and these best Christmas books will get you into the holiday spirit. So, grab a hot cup of coffee and a blanket, and snuggle in with one of these books. Our list includes classic, timeless books and wholesome stories for young adults and kids.
1. Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
Are you a Tolkien fan? Make sure to add this book to your reading list. This revised edition of J.R.R.’s famous illustrated letters from Father Christmas includes several letters and pictures never seen in print. These letters tell fantastic life tales at the North Pole, including how a clumsy Polar Bear fell through the roof after climbing the North Pole.
2. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
In this book, New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor joins Heather Webb to create this remarkable romantic novel of the Great War. This novel explores the strength of love, the ruins of war, and the enduring hope of the Christmas season. On August 1914, England was at war. As Evie’s brother and best friend Thomas depart from the front, she’s hopeful it will be over in time for Christmas. Will fate intervene, or will their love grow amid the war?
3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Chris Van Allsburg’s The Polar Express is a timeless Christmas book. The story involves a boy that looks out of his window on Christmas Eve after waking up from his deep sleep to the sound of a train. The train soon arrives, taking him and other children to the North Pole. The children see a fantastic sight while there just before midnight. The boy gets a gift from Santa, one of Santa’s bells. Something happens, and the boy’s gift gets lost.
4. In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd
This piece is a mix of affection and irony that speaks across generations. Shepherd’s wild reunion with his Indiana hometown disapproves of the adage you can never go back. Shepherd recalls his Red Ryder BB gun and relives a story of man against fish. This book is funny and heartwarming; you will enjoy reading it from start to finish.
5. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
This book involves humor that anyone can enjoy and read. From the hilarious childhood memories in which David recounts his job experience to a fable about revenge and greed, David’s collection of stories offers readers a variety that keeps them on their toes.
6. A Very Nantucket White Christmas by Pamela Kelly
Born on Christmas, Angela Stark has always hated this holiday as bad things always seem to happen. This year is no exception, as she faces eviction and gets fired on the first day of December. Her only family is an elderly cat, Sam.
She can temporarily stay with her best friend Jane, but she is allergic to cats. When she is about to ask for help, a letter arrives bearing information about the will of a grandmother he never knew existed. The unfolding events leave you glued to the book, yearning for more.
7. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
At the edge of the Russian wilderness, winter lasts most of the year, and during long nights, Vasilisa and her siblings gather to listen to their nurse’s fairy tales by the fire. Vasya loves the Frost story.
Vasya’s father brings a new wife home. But Vasya’s stepmother forbids the family from honoring the spirits. Later, misfortune stalks the village. Determined to groom her rebellious stepdaughter for marriage and remake the village to her liking, Vasya’s stepmother grows even harsher.
As evil from the forest creeps nearer and the village’s defenses weaken, Vasilisa must call upon dangerous gifts she has been concealing for a long time to protect her family since one of the nurse’s most frightening tales has sprung to life.
8. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Another classic Christmas book you should read is Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas ghosts. The Ghost of Christmas Past reveals Scrooge’s early life as an apprentice, a young man in love, and a schoolboy. Next, the Ghost of Christmas Present shows him that joy has little to do with wealth. Together, they visit the homes of Scrooge’s abused clerk and his generous nephew, who married for love.
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come allows Scrooge to see a vision of his end if he continues with his present ways. It shows he will die unmourned and despised.
9. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie
This Agatha Christie Christmas-themed book features six stories, one with Miss Jane Marple and the other five with Hercule Poirot. Hercule Poirot looks into the theft of a priceless ruby. The lead ends up in a classic English country house where Poirot attends an old-fashioned Christmas plum pudding festivity.
But, he receives a warning not to eat the plum pudding. The entire household and Poirot eat the pudding with no effects. The morning after, a body emerges on the lawn.
10. Christmas in London by Anita Hughes
Christmas In London follows two young women. Louisa, a baker in New York City, dreams of opening her dessert restaurant someday. Fate happens after an emergency forces Noah into the bakery. Louisa sells Noah her last cinnamon rolls and becomes a substitute star for a cooking show.
Meanwhile, the other lead, Kate, ends up reuniting with an old friend, Trevor. The book gives you a backstory of what transpired between the two in the past. The description of the setting will put you in a holiday mood.
11. Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand
Kelley Quinn is a proud father of four and Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn owner. All his kids are grown and live in different states of disorganization. Kelly is looking forward to bringing the family together for quality time at the Inn as Christmas approaches. However, things turn for the worst when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa.
12. The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern
Philip Van Doren Stern’s The Greatest Gift is a heartwarming tale that entails George seeing what the lives of those around him and his life would be like in his absence. It is a brilliant story highlighting the importance of everyone, thus letting you know you are always important no matter how low you feel.
13. One Day in December by Josie Silver
Laurie spots a handsome guy in London, and their eyes meet. She falls in love at first sight. But she’s had no luck finding him after a year’s search. When her best friend Sarah introduces her new boyfriend, Jack, guess who it is?
14. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
This book is not one but ten novels. Interestingly, each has a different style, plot, ambiance, and author, and each gets interrupted during the moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literature, alive and extinct, known and unknown, through which two readers, female and male, pursue the story lines that intrigue them.
15. Comfort & Joy: A Fable by Kristin Hannah
Many avid readers love Kristin Hannah’s novels because of her unique blend of exquisite storytelling and powerful emotions. In her Comfort & Joy: A Fable, she offers a modern-day fairy tale. It follows Joyce, who once loved Christmas but is at crossroads in her life now as the holiday approaches.
She can’t summon the old enthusiasm of celebrating as she is recently divorced. An unexpected detour takes her into the woods, and Joy makes a bold decision. This piece is so touching; it will amaze you with its twists.
16. The Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett
Kids will love this Christmas book! On the borders of every page, Jan Brett’s exquisite paintings illustrate reindeer, Teeka, and the busy elves creating toys in Santa’s workshop.
Santa asks Teeka to get his reindeer ready to fly on Christmas eve. She is a little worried but happy, too. She is not sure the reindeer will want to come in as she has never worked with them. How will she get them to pull Santa’s sleigh on time?
17. A Letter from Santa Claus by Mark Twain
The book is a short piece in the form of a letter written to Twain’s daughter on Christmas morning. In the letter, Santa apologizes to Susy for not bringing her all her requested presents. Although Susy could talk to Santa that morning, she is not allowed to see him.
18. Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree by Robert Barry
The story begins when a giant Christmas tree gets delivered to Willowby’s house, but he gets the top chopped off because it touches the ceiling. He then gives the chopped section to his maid. From there, the top of the tree is passed to others.
19. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie
The Lee family reunion gets interrupted by a loud crash of furniture, followed by a wailing scream. Upstairs, they find Simeone dead, with his throat slashed. Hercule comes to assist and finds people not mourning.
20. Construction Site on Christmas Night by Sherri Duskey Rinker
If your little ones like trucks, construction, and fire engines, you’ll love this Christmas picture book for kids. The book narrates how a team of trucks rush to build a firehouse in preparation for Christmas. Bulldozers clear the way for the excavator to dig the foundation. Crane Trucks, Dump Truck, and Cement Truck play their parts for the brand new fire station. A special gift for him awaits, as each ends his day with a thank you card.
21. Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
The novel comprises three separate stories intertwined with each other. An ill-timed storm buries the residents of Gracetown under feet of snow, causing chaos. A brave soul goes into the storm from her stranded train, giving room to a chain of events that changes a few lives. This story is refreshing as each level has a voice you can relate to.
22. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
This short story tells the tale of a young wife and husband who long to give one another meaningful Christmas gifts. However, the couple gets limited by their budget as each has to give up something they treasure to afford the gift. This book shows you the lengths you can go to just for your loved ones.
23. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
A Christmas Story has become a perennial, gaining fame and stature each succeeding year. Ralphie discovers that his decoder ring is a device to promote his father and mother’s pitched battle.
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