Merry Christmas Eve! It’s that time of year again, and what better way for writers to celebrate than indulging in some classic Christmas stories? Continuing from my review of Treasury of Christmas Tales, here’s a list of five Christmas-themed stories I enjoyed in my childhood. Enjoy, and have a very Merry Christmas!
How The Grinch Stole Christmas! is by far one of my all-time favorite Christmas books, which I’ve already made clear in the review I wrote of it last year. Dr. Seuss’s classic tale of the grumpy Grinch’s quest to ruin Christmas for the happy Whos and his discovery of the true Christmas spirit never fails to warm my heart whenever I read it. We even had the TV special on VHS to watch whenever we felt like indulging in some holiday entertainment with Seuss’s beloved characters. The Grinch is a fun story for children and adults alike, and we love it to this day!
Who doesn’t think of A Christmas Carol when remembering favorite Christmas tales? Reprinted and adapted multiple times since its first publication in 1843, Charles Dickens’ tale of holiday-hating miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his change of heart after an encounter with the Ghosts of Christmas may be one of the most famous and influential Christmas books ever written. I had read and watched quite a few adaptations for children when I was a kid, so to this day I remember it as a Christmas favorite!
3) The Nutcracker by E. T. A. Hoffman
Officially titled The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the German fairy tale of the toy prince and the little girl who loved him is one that I remember fondly from my childhood, as my mom would read it to us when we were little. Aside from an adapted children’s book, we also had a couple of Nutcracker figures that we’d put out every December with the rest of our Christmas decorations (coincidentally, one of them eventually got a broken jaw, just like the Nutcracker in the story). Though there may not be much to tie this story to the season other than the fact that it takes place around Christmas, I still like to keep The Nutcracker on my list of holiday classics!
Why not add a little music to the list? Since its first publication in 1939, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been a common favorite Christmas story among children, and an even more popular song. I have fond memories of singing the background chant version with my sisters (“Like a lightbulb!”), sometimes for the whole family to watch during our annual Christmas presentations. Maybe this tale spoke to me for its message about being loved for what makes you special, or maybe the song was just that catchy, but either way, Rudolph has always been a holiday favorite of mine!
5) The Nativity of Jesus (a.k.a. “The Original Christmas Story”)
With all the consumerism and stress surrounding the holidays, it’s easy to forget why Christmas is celebrated in the first place. That’s why the birth of Jesus is always on my list of favorite Christmas stories: without it, none of the others would exist! Chronological inaccuracies aside, I’ve always considered the account of Christ’s birth to be an uplifting tale that’s worth remembering every time Christmas comes around. I love spiritual and holiday stories alike, so the nativity of Jesus may very well be my favorite Christmas story of all!
What about you? What are your favorite Christmas stories? Any classics you remember fondly from your childhood?