The spirit of Christmas is all about family. After all, the holiday celebrates the birth of the child Jesus, and with his birth, the creation of the Holy family. Perhaps that’s why Christmas in particular holds such magic for children, and for the adults who celebrate with them. What better way to capture that magic than by selecting a few heartwarming stories to read with your children as the nights draw in?
So grab a pot of hot chocolate and your favorite cozy slippers, and settle down with a good children’s story for all the family to enjoy. If you’re looking for some inspiration, why not try one of these?
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
It doesn’t come much Christmassyier than Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. By now you know the story: Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold hearted miser who is visited on Christmas Eve by three ghosts - the ghosts of Christmasses past, present and future. Over the course of the night they show him scenes from his life that encourage him to change his ways and embrace the Christmas spirit.
Your children are probably already familiar with the classic Muppets film telling the story. This Christmas, why not introduce them to the original story?
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Suess
From one Scrooge to another; this time, it’s the Grinch who hates the festive season and can’t understand why the Whos of Whoville love it so much. In fact he hates Christmas so much that he concocts a dastardly plan to dress up as Santa, climb down their chimneys and steal Christmas, presents and all! But as you may have guessed, far from ruining Christmas, the Whos joy starts to rub off on the Grinch instead.
Dr Seuss’s clever way with words makes this one of the most fun stories to read at Christmas, time and again.
A Miser. A Manger. A Miracle by Marianne Jordan
Continuing the Scrooge theme, this Christian children’s book artfully weaves together the gospel narratives of Jesus’ birth and life with the story of Ebenezer Scrooge for a fresh take on both timeless stories. As darkness settles over Bethlehem, a greedy, unscrupulous innkeeper unknowingly sets into motion a night of miracles the world will never forget.
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree: An Appalachian Story by Gloria Houston
For a more American take on Christmas, try this sweet children’s story.
Ruthie has been picked to play the role of an angel in the Christmas play, but she has no costume to wear. Meanwhile, her family are supposed to be delivering the town’s Christmas tree this year, but her father is away at war. Will the town get its tree? And will Ruthie get her costume?
Find out in this truly heartwarming children’s story.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Another well-loved classic story, Little Women isn’t strictly a Christmas story, but its family-centric theme makes it the perfect tale to listen to around a roaring fire.
Follow the lives of the March sisters - four very different personalities growing up in New England during the American civil war - as they learn important lessons about love and the meaning of family.
Amy Coney Barrett: A Justice and A Mother by Joyce Claibourne-West
Another that’s not a Christmas story, yet captures the family spirit that makes the season come alive. The world knows Amy Coney Barrett as a US Supreme Court Judge, but to her seven children she’s still ‘Mom’.
This biography for middle school grades teaches children that no matter how important we become, there’s always room for family in our lives.