The Christmas Reading Checklist

Posted on Dec 3 2013 - 10:09am by Sam Greaves


Christmas is the season of joy, celebration and sharing. What better way to get into the Christmas spirit, than through magical world of reading. There are a multitude of books written with the Christmas theme, but only a few can truly enable us to find our inner child, whom we have abandoned over the years. This reading checklist is meant to bring joy and excitement to that inner child, by treating them to books with rhyming stories, colorful illustrations and more importantly, by bringing out that Christmas spirit. The books in this list are must reads, especially during the Christmas season. The books are suited for children (children-at-heart) of all ages. So it’s the best time catch-up on reading these timeless children’s tales, if you had missed them till now!

1. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

This is a popular Christmas classic from Charles Dickens. This story set in the Victorian age, is about mean-spirited man named Scrooge. The story goes on to explain how the man was visited by 3 Ghosts on Christmas Eve: Ghost of the Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of the Christmas to be,and how this event completely turns a man’s life.

This story signifies the holidays as the season of joy and sharing, and if you are resentful and selfish during this period, bad things can come to be.

2. The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg

This is the story about a little boy, who climbs aboard the train to the North Pole, on a Christmas Eve, to meet Santa Claus. The story vividly explains the picturesque journey to the North Pole, where the boy sees the great brilliance of all the preparations that are on way, for the Christmas celebrations.

This tale portrays the innocence of childhood, especially when the boy asks for the silver bell from Santa’s sleigh, when he gets chosen to receive the first gift of Christmas.

This story clearly shows how everyone loses their imagination, and hope, as a result of growing up. As clearly explained by the author in this book, “Sometimes you hear, only if you believe!”

3. The Night Before Christmas – Clement Clarke Moore

This is an illustrated book of children’s poem. This book is believed to be the definitive portrait of Santa Claus. From his twinkling eyes and shaking belly, as written by the author.

The vivid imagination of the author is brought to life through the brilliant illustrations. From the reindeer’s landing on the family’s roof to the dancing mice on the Christmas tree; these illustrations manage to capture the hearts of both children and adults.

4. How the Grinch Stole the Christmas – Dr. Seuss

This is the story of the Grinch, who lives in solitude with total hatred for his neighboring village. The hatred has been building up over 53 years of his life, enough to provoke him to steal Christmas and stop the singing and steal the happiness of the people, once and for all!

This is one of the best works of Dr.Seuss; you can’t help but laugh at his inventive and weird references throughout the story, like the who-toys! The ingenuity of the Grinch, in his attempt to steal Christmas, would definitely bring a smile. The story ends with Grinch’s realization that Christmas is not about gifts and decorations, but the joy of sharing and love.

Through this book Dr.Seuss has given us the most adored Christmas villain of all-times. Many of you would’ve probably seen this as a movie, with Jim Carey as the Grinch. But let me tell you this, the book is way better than the movie(as always)!

5. Snowmen at Christmas – Caralyn Buehner

Snow and snowmen are an important part of the Christmas celebrations. The author tries to explore what would happen, if these snowmen came to life during the Christmas Eve. This is yet another illustrated book, with beautiful illustrations to complement the great story.

The most fun part about the book, is finding the hidden images within each illustrations. It would make for some great family fun during this Christmas season!

6. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever! – Barbara Robinson

The book is a heartwarming tale, that’s funny and completely unpredictable. It is a story of, how the Hendermans, (who are probably the worst bunch of kids to walk on Earth) invade the church on a Sunday and take over the annual Christmas pageant.

The author has conveyed how a group of misfits who are precariously different from their peers, encounter a challenge and how they are finally understood for their good qualities, and how they grow to fit in to the world. A silly yet wonderful holiday read!

7. The Gift of the Magi – O. Henry

This is a heartbreaking and wonderful story that would be one of the best to get you into the Christmas spirit. This story could certainly change your mental image of Christmas. It’s the tale of two foolish people, and how each of them sacrifices their greatest treasure, for the sake of the other.

The author states that Magi refer to the wise men that brought gifts to the Baby in the manger. And that all those who share the joy of Christmas selflessly are the wise ones. They are the Magi!

Are you all set to complete the checklist of Christmas reads, to help you get into the Christmas spirit? Do let us know in the comments below, how many of the books in the above checklist have you already read?

Photo Credit: Flickr/Janine

About the Author

This guest post was written by Sam Greaves from, one of the largest providers of assignment and homework help for college students.