03. A Christmas Story
– Jean Shepherd
A beloved, bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana—the book that inspired the equally classic Yuletide film and the live musical on Fox.
The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
This edition of A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker’s shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father’s pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie’s duel in the show with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s unstoppable campaign to get Santa—or anyone else—to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”?
The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.
This book is not included in our list of short Christmas stories, however if you are into short stories over the holiday season, it is highly recommended that you check that out.
04. The Greatest Gift:
Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas
– Ann Voskamp
Hundreds of thousands of readers have already fallen in love with Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and this Christmas, Ann invites readers into the rich and meaningful celebration of Christmas we all long for — a celebration of the complete love story that’s been coming for you since the very beginning.
In what is certain to become an instant holiday classic, Voskamp reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the greatest gift — through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story (free download of each of the 25 ornaments available from Voskamp’s website, annvoskamp.com ).
Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for.
Sure to become a holiday staple in every Christian home, The Greatest Gift, a New York Times bestseller, is the perfect gift for the holidays and a timeless invitation into the richness of the true meaning of Christmas.
– E.T.A. Hoffmann
“A classic, new and complete. One of the ten best illustrated children’s books of the year.”
— New York Times Book Review
The tale of Nutcracker, written by E.T.A. Hoffmann in 1816, has fascinated and inspired artists, composers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. It has retained its freshness because it appeals to the sense of wonder we all share.
Maurice Sendak designed brilliant sets and costumes for the Pacific Northwest Ballet’s Christmas production of Nutcracker and created even more magnificent pictures especially for this book. He joined with the eminent translator Ralph Manheim to produce this illustrated edition of Hoffmann’s wonderful tale, destined to become a classic for all ages. The world of Nutcracker is a world of pleasures. Maurice Sendak’s art illuminates the delights of Hoffmann’s story in this rich and tantalizing treasure.
Best Holiday Cookbooks list you must read.
06. Hercule Poirot:
The Complete Short Stories
– Agatha Christie
At last, a single volume that gathers together all of the short stories featuring Agatha Christie’s most famous creation, Hercule Poirot. The dapper, mustache-twirling little Belgian with the egg-shaped head and curious mannerisms have solved some of the most puzzling crimes of the century—and, in his own humble opinion, is “probably the greatest detective in the world.”
In this complete collection of more than 50 stories, ranging from short tales to novellas, Poirot faces violent murders, poisonings, kidnappings, and thefts—all solved with his characteristic panache. Only Agatha Christie could have devised cases worthy of Hercule Poirot’s skill and “little gray cells.”
07. Little Women
– Louisa May Alcott
Handpicked by Amazon kids’ books editor, Seira Wilson, for Prime Book Box – a children’s subscription that inspires a love of reading.
Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale of four sisters in a deluxe hardcover edition, with beautiful cover illustrations by Anna Bond, the artist behind world-renowned stationery brand Rifle Paper Co.
Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn’t be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they’re putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there’s one thing they can’t help wondering: Will Father return home safely?
If you like short Christmas books you will also like this book’s list.
08. The Night Before Christmas
A classic tale comes to life in this new edition of The Night Before Christmas.
This wonderful new edition of Clement C. Moore’s classic “The Night Before Christmas” is a perfect holiday gift. Families who read the poem every year will now have a beautiful hardcover edition to treasure. Moore’s poem faithfully reproduced here, is accompanied by Kai Wuerbs’s stunning illustrations.
09. Christmas in London
– Anita Hughes
“Reading Christmas in London, you’ll feel magically transported!” ―Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author of A Lowcountry Christmas
Set during London’s most festive time of year and filled with delicious food, Anita Hughes’s Christmas in London reminds us that love and forgiveness are truly the greatest gifts of all.
It’s a week before Christmas, and Louisa Graham is working twelve-hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren’t hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day; so she agrees.
The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge’s. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.
And then there’s Kate, the show’s beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew’s in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.
This enchanting novel is a delicious holiday treat!
10. Comfort & Joy: A Fable
– Kristin Hannah
New York Times bestselling author Kristin Hannah is beloved by readers around the world for her unique blend of powerful emotion and exquisite storytelling. In Comfort & Joy, she offers a modern-day fairy tale—the story of a woman who gets a miraculous chance at happiness.
Joy Candellaro once loved Christmas more than any other time of the year. Now, as the holiday approaches, she is at a crossroads in her life; recently divorced and alone, she can’t summon the old enthusiasm for celebrating. So without telling anyone, she buys a ticket and boards a plane bound for the beautiful Pacific Northwest. When an unexpected detour takes her deep into the woods of the Olympic rainforest, Joy makes a bold decision to leave her ordinary life behind—to just walk away—and thus begins an adventure unlike any she could have imagined.
In the small town of Rain Valley, six-year-old Bobby O’Shea is facing his first Christmas without a mother. Unable to handle the loss, Bobby has closed himself off from the world, talking only to his invisible best friend. His father Daniel is beside himself, desperate to help his son cope. Yet when the little boy meets Joy, these two unlikely souls form a deep and powerful bond. In helping Bobby and Daniel heal, Joy finds herself again.
But not everything is as it seems in quiet Rain Valley, and in an instant, Joy’s world is ripped apart, and her heart is broken. On a magical Christmas Eve, a night of impossible dreams and unexpected chances, Joy must find the courage to believe in love—and a family—that can’t possibly exist, and go in search of what she wants . . . and the new life only she can find.
If you are struggling to decide what to get someone as Christmas gifts, follow these easy steps. I am sure you know these steps already, it is here just as a reminder 😉
11. Christmas Shopaholic: A Novel
– Sophie Kinsella
’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.
But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?
Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.
12. Christmas on the Island
– Jenny Colgan
From the New York Times, bestselling author of The Café by the Sea—whose novels are “an evocative, sweet treat” (JOJO MOYES)—comes this heartwarming holiday novel set on a charming Scottish island.
On the remote Scottish island of Mure, the Christmas season is stark, windy, and icy—yet incredibly festive and beautiful…
It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love—unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings—or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?
Meanwhile, Saif, a doctor, and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he’s been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?
Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for a Highland Christmas you’ll never forget! And warm up your kitchen with bonus recipes for the Little Beach Street Bakery’s seasonal shortbread, Lanark Blue Scones, and Black Buns.
13. One Day in December
– Josie Silver
Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.
Laurie is pretty sure love, at first sight, doesn’t exist anywhere but in the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack are ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming, and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
14. A Redbird Christmas
– Fannie Flagg
With the same incomparable style and warm, inviting voice that has made her beloved by millions of readers far and wide, New York Times bestselling author Fannie Flagg has written an enchanting Christmas story of faith and hope for all ages that is sure to become a classic.
Deep in the southernmost part of Alabama, along the banks of a lazy winding river, lies the sleepy little community was known as Lost River, a place that time itself seems to have forgotten. After a startling diagnosis from his doctor, Oswald T. Campbell leaves behind the cold and damp of the oncoming Chicago winter to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the warm and welcoming town of Lost River.
There he meets the postman who delivers mail by boat, the store owner who nurses a broken heart, the ladies of the Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society, who do clandestine good works. And he meets a little redbird named Jack, who is at the center of this tale of a magical Christmas when something so amazing happened that those who witnessed it have never forgotten it. Once you experience the wonder, you too will never forget A Redbird Christmas.
15. Village Christmas
– Laurie Lee
From the author of Cider With Rosie, Village Christmas is a moving, lyrical portrait of England through the changing years and seasons.
Laurie Lee left his childhood home in the Cotswolds when he was nineteen, but it remained with him throughout his life until, many years later, he returned for good. This collection brings to life the sights, sounds, landscapes, and traditions of his home – from centuries-old May Day rituals to his own patch of garden, from carol singing in crunching snow to pub conversations and songs. Here too he writes about the mysteries of love, living in wartime Chelsea, Winston Churchill’s wintry funeral, and his battle, in old age, to save his beloved Slad Valley from developers.
Told with a warm sense of humor and a powerful sense of history, Village Christmas brings us a picture of a vanished world
16. The Twelve Birds of Christmas
– Stephen Moss
Naturalist Stephen Moss digs beneath the surface of some of our most popular Christmas carols in an ornithological celebration of the Festive Season. Using the structure of the carol as a jumping-off, he explores the place of twelve fascinating British birds in our, history, culture, and landscape.
Some of the birds are obvious, there’s the swan and of course the partridge. Other chapters are a loose interpretation of a verse: for drummers drumming he delves into the woodpecker’s distinctive drumming tap.
Woodpeckers, he explains, have special padded skulls to mitigate against using its head like hammer drills. They carefully select dead trees for the most hollow, sonorous sound, and in Florida, a space mission was once delayed because woodpeckers had pecked holes in the outer surface of the space shuttle.
With brilliant anecdotes and insights, Stephen Moss weaves history, culture, bird behavior, and folklore into a compelling narrative for each species, tracing its fortunes over the past two centuries.
17. A Maigret Christmas
– Georges Simenon
Christmas mysteries abound in this light-hearted holiday collection of Jules Maigret’s exploits: In one, an otherwise sensible little girl insists that she has seen Father Christmas, a statement alarming to her neighbors, Monsieur and Madame Maigret. Then, a choirboy helps the inspector solve a crime while he lies in bed with a cold; another boy, pursued by a criminal, ingeniously leaves a trail to help Maigret track him. Many of these stories feature observant and resourceful children, frightened yet resolute, who bring out a paternal streak in the childless Maigret.
The rapport between the inspector and these youthful heroes imparts a delightful freshness to this holiday collection. A Maigret Christmas is a cornucopia for fans of Maigret and mysteries alike.
19. An Almost Perfect Christmas
– Nina Stibbe
20. A Charlie Brown Christmas
– Charles M. Schulz
Celebrate Christmas with Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang in this gorgeous deluxe storybook retelling of the beloved Christmas special!
Christmas is almost here, which means ice-skating, Christmas carols, and sparkly lights everywhere—even on Snoopy’s doghouse! Everyone is enjoying holiday celebrations except Charlie Brown. Can the Peanuts gang help Charlie Brown discover the true meaning of Christmas?
Find out in this beautiful deluxe storybook with a cloth cover, lush foil stamping, and incredible illustrations! This makes the perfect holiday gift for fans of Peanuts and the classic Christmas special.
A famous quote by Richard Paul Evans, world renowned author, ‘ The smells of Christmas are the smells of Childhood’.
21. The Velveteen Rabbit
– Margery Williams
Margery Williams penned her classic work in 1922, endearing itself to countless young children thanks to the illustrations by William Nicholson. This edition captures the magic of the original edition, carefully recreating the story just as Margery Williams wrote it and including all of Nicholson’s illustrations, in full color. While modern printing methods call for some updates to the layout, in the main, this edition is nearly identical to the one that captured the hearts of generation after generation. Carry the tradition to your children and grandchildren and future generations with this carefully reconstructed re-creation of “The Velveteen Rabbit: Or How Toys Become Real.”
22. The Snow Queen
– Hans Christian Andersen
When a boy is cursed with an inability to perceive goodness, a young girl must go on a lonely quest to restore his heart and vision and free him from captivity in the palace of the Snow Queen.
Few works of children’s literature have had a deep and lasting impact as Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, which has won the hearts of young readers for almost two centuries, and inspired works as diverse as Disney’s Frozen and C.S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This version combines the classic English translation of H.B. Paull with the dramatic and beautiful engravings of Vilhelm Pedersen from the original, Danish edition.
23. The Twelve Dates of Christmas
– Jenny Bayliss
‘Tis the season for finding romance in this hilarious and uplifting holiday read
When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?
Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along…
25. A Christmas Home
– Greg Kincaid
Todd McCray, the hero of A Dog Named Christmas, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Laura, like Todd, has disabilities of her own, but her struggles are more physical than developmental. Their friendship is sealed when Todd—with the help of his trusted companion, the tenacious Labrador retriever named Christmas—trains a beautiful dog named Gracie to help Laura with the day-to-day life tasks that are difficult for her.
Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs, and the shelter is swelling to capacity. The local government is struggling to meet its obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss delivers the bad news. Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year. But what will happen to all the animals?
As the Christmas holiday approaches, Todd has limited time to find homes for all the dogs. Not to mention that he needs to secure a new job and figure out what to do when his friendship with Laura takes an unexpected romantic turn. All this seems overwhelming unless you’ve got a loving family, dedicated friends, and a couple of very special dogs behind you. In which case, nothing is impossible.
26. Red and Lulu
– Matt Tavares
Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in an ode to serendipity and belief that is destined to be a Christmas classic.
Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . . . From Matt Tavares comes to a heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love.
27. Little Red Sleigh
– Erin Guendelsberger
Believe in the magic of Christmas with this heartwarming Christmas picture book about the little red sleigh that could!
The Little Red Sleigh has one big dream―to one day become Santa’s big red sleigh! But all her life, she’s been told she’s too small, she’s too young, she can’t fly, and she certainly can’t meet Santa. Well, this Christmas, with the help of some friends, she’s determined to do the impossible. Little Red Sleigh is a heartwarming children’s Christmas book you’ll want to read again and again. Full of winter joy and Christmas magic, this Christmas book for kids will remind you that no dream is out of reach if you believe.
Why readers love Little Red Sleigh:
- Parents, grandparents, and teachers will have fun reading this inspirational, growth-mindset book to kids
- Screen-free fun for children during the winter season
- Ideal holiday gift and stocking stuffer for kids.
28. Apple Tree Christmas
– Trinka Hakes Noble
Originally published over twenty years ago, and out of print since 1998, Sleeping Bear Press is proud to bring this beloved Christmas tale to a whole new audience. Moving and nostalgic, and brought to life by glowing watercolor paintings, it reveals the joy of a very special present and the love that a father and daughter share.
29. Why Christmas Trees Aren’t Perfect
Long, long ago, in a land far away, lived a perfect little tree named Small Pine. Small Pine hoped to maintain its perfect form and be selected by the Queen as her Christmas tree. But as the warm-hearted little tree gave shelter to birds, rabbits, and deer in the forest, its branches became damaged. Fortunately, the Queen had a different idea of perfection…
Young readers will want to read and reread the story of how Small Pine’s love and charity for its friends helps make it the most “perfect” Christmas Tree of all.
This magnificently illustrated story of a warm-hearted Christmas tree will surely become one of the most beloved classics of future generations. Schneider’s storytelling will enthrall children and adults alike.
30. Oranges for Christmas
– Margarita Morris
The bonds of family are stronger than the Berlin Wall…
Berlin, 1961. Sabine can’t imagine a life separated from her beloved brother. So when the barbed wire goes up overnight to divide East and West Berlin, she and her mother begin to plan their escape. But Sabine is living under the shadow of the secret police known as the Stasi. She’ll have to tread carefully as the network of civilian spies closes in around her…
Dieter would risk everything to free his family from the oppressive East German regime. He joins a rebel group with plans to hatch a daring rescue. As the situation grows dire across the wall, Dieter must be painfully patient. A single misstep could get him and his family killed…
The Stasi have eyes everywhere. Can Sabine and Dieter reunite against incredible odds when anyone could be a spy?
Oranges for Christmas is a heart-wrenching historical fiction novel set in Cold War Germany. If you like authentic historical details, tenacious characters, and stories of hope in the face of tyranny, then you’ll love Margarita Morris’ emotional page-turner.