Explore the best books ABOUT Christmas for both kids and adults to have the most festive holiday season. While there is no shortage of famous Christmas books, not all of them focus on a celebration of the Christmas spirit and the holiday itself.
This post shares the best holiday books about Christmas itself and its themes: family, generosity, belief, magic, joy, and more.
Best Books About Christmas
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A list of the best books about Christmas would not be complete without A Christmas Carol, one of the most classic Christmas books about how the bitter old Ebenezer Scrooge is transformed by the spirit of Christmas after a visit from the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come, including Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim of course.
But, what may surprise you is how beautiful and easily readable the original text is. It’s an absolute holiday “must-read” for all book lovers.
You will also love these A Christmas Carol quotes.
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Oh my,” she exclaims, her breath smoking the windowpane, “it’s fruitcake weather!Truman Capote
The short story A Christmas Memory is one of the best American Christmas stories depicting nostalgia, love, and simple beauty during the holiday season. It’s a short and beautiful tale about a young boy in rural Alabama, looking back on his old, but childlike, friend whose face is “not unlike Lincoln’s.”
They save their pennies throughout the year to make thirty fruitcakes as soon as “fruitcake weather” arrives. They share them with only the most deserving persons, including the one they send to the White House each year, wondering if the President serves it thereafter.
Together, they share more holiday cheer as the old friend comes to the realization they saw God on earth. It’s the type of story you will want to re-read every December.
For more, check out my full review of A Christmas Memory with book pairings.
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Christmas Shopaholic is a Christmas book all about family and the chaos of preparing for the holiday.
Becky adores the traditions of Christmas in her parents’ home, but this year they ask Becky to host Christmas. Becky becomes overwhelmed by the holiday frenzy and the chaos of pleasing everyone, and she wonders if she can bring the spirit of Christmas to all.
Christmas Shopaholic is quick and delightful Christmas fiction! It reminded me of National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, as it’s all about preparation for Christmas, and how everything goes humorously wrong in the process.
A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
A Christmas Story (a compilation of autobiographical works) is one of the best books for Christmas, inspiring the beloved holiday movie which played more than any other in my own childhood home growing up.
Young Ralphie’s family represents the average American family having a disastrous, but memorable, Christmas season, in which, most notably, he yearns for a rifle gun.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
The Gift of the Magi is one of the most famous Christmas books of all time. It’s about a young married couple trying to buy Christmas gifts for each other with little money to spend, and it’s ultimately, a sentimental tale that offers a lesson about gift-giving during the holiday season.
The Greatest Gift: A Christmas Tale by Philip Van Doren
The Greatest Gift is more famously known by the name of its film adaptation, It’s a Wonderful Life. First published in a small pamphlet and sent as the author’s 1943 Christmas card, it’s the story of a man contemplating suicide at Christmastime. When he gets the chance to see what the world would be like without him, and has a change of heart in time to celebrate the meaning of the season.
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Holidays on Ice takes a humorous look at the holiday season through the lens of a comedy writer.
This festive collection of Christmas stories, featuring the irreverent style of humor that is the trademark of David Sedaris, includes the diaries of a Macy’s elf (my favorite), being a child locked out in a snowstorm, the nonsensical Christmas traditions around the world, and more!
It’s great for some quick comedic relief during the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season.
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Undoubtedly, you have at least heard of the modern classic Christmas book How the Grinch Stole Christmas, about spreading Christmas cheer, even to the meanest curmudgeon of all. With the furry and cartoonish green Grinch at its core, it’s definitely one of the best Christmas books for families to read aloud together each year with toddlers and young children.
Related post: How to Make a Grinch Christmas Tree
Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien
Fans of the legendary author will love this colorful, nostalgic edition of his Letters from Father Christmas. Along with special “extras,” it contains the letters he wrote to his kids each holiday season from the North Pole, including whimsical tales about the reindeer, and so much more. It’s the most festive coffee table book for Christmas reading.
Nutcracker and Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann
Did you know you can READ the beloved ballet based on Nutcracker and Mouse King?! It’s the timeless, magical story of a wooden doll, the Nutcracker, who becomes alive to fight the evil seven-headed Mouse King after a Christmas party, which reminds people of all ages about the magic of the Christmas holiday.
The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg
The Polar Express is one of my favorite childhood Christmas storybooks, which I still re-read each holiday season. Savor the stunning illustrations as you follow a boy who travels to the North Pole to learn the power of believing in the spirit of Christmas as he finds a special gift under the Christmas tree.
The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews
The Santa Suit explores classic holiday magic in a small-town setting. After Ivy buys an old farmhouse to work on and cultivate change in her life, she finds an old Santa suit with a note from a young girl wishing for her father to come home from the war.
Ivy sets out to find out who wrote the note and what happened afterward, so she can deliver a Christmas miracle. It’s quite charming and one of the best Christmas novels for fans of holiday Hallmark channel movies.
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Skipping Christmas is the book upon which the cute Christmas movie Christmas With the Kranks is based.
Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip everything Christmas one year. Come December 25, they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, skipping Christmas isn’t easy in their town or their family … and their plan comes to a head with some humor on the side.
Grisham truly delivered a well-written comedic holiday classic that celebrates the chaos and community that are so characteristic of the holidays.
The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter
The Tailor of Gloucester is the story of a poor, tired tailor struggling to survive in his cold workshop over a hard Winter and working to complete for the Mayor of Gloucester’s wedding on Christmas Day.
Luckily, some very generous mice are there to help him, even in the presence of his cat, for a holiday celebration made possible by way of the spirit of the season.
Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore
Filled with memorable Christmas book quotes, the #1 bestseller Twas the Night Before Christmas has been read as one of the best bedtime stories on Christmas Eve, particularly by generations of families to feel the magic of Santa’s work while awaiting his arrival.
Those are all the best books about Christmas to get you in the holiday spirit this season.
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