Am I late? Yes. Is Christmas going to be here in a week? Yes. Am I going to blame COVID and the holidays for being MIA? Absolutely, 100% yes. Am I still going to make a post about the best Christmas books!? You bet your eggnog, I am!
Olive, the Other Reindeer.
Oh boy. Has this book from my childhood been living in your head rent-free? Probably not, but if you’re looking for a quirky book to read to your kids, look no further! And to give you a hint of how old this book is, you can buy it on Amazon as an audio cassette.
“Olive is merrily preparing for Christmas when suddenly she realizes “Olive… the other Reindeer… I thought I was a dog. Hmmm, I must be a Reindeer!” So she quickly hops aboard the polar express and heads to the North Pole. And while Santa and the other reindeer are a bit surprised that a dog wants to join the their team, in the end Olive and her unusual reindeer skills are just what Santa and his veteran reindeer team need.”
How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
I am fairly certain everyone knows about the Grinch, but just in case you haven’t picked up this book or watched any of the three movies, please do so! It’s heartwarming, funny, and teaches us about loving those who are a little different than ourselves. I’m going to get ostracized with this next comment, but the 2018 Grinch movie was way better than the 2016 one. *drops mic*
“The Grinch, whose heart is two sizes too small, hates Who-ville’s holiday celebrations, and plans to steal all the presents to prevent Christmas from coming. To his amazement, Christmas comes anyway, and the Grinch discovers the true meaning of the holiday.”
The Polar Express.
Fun fact. The year that The Polar Express came out in movie theaters, I saw it six times. By the fifth time, I hated the movie. But after giving myself some time and releasing my anger, I came to like the story once again. The hot chocolate song will always be my fav, though. I know I’m comparing this book to its cinema sister a lot, but six times, y’all. I saw it SIX TIMES.
“A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical train to the North Pole. The Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. This is a story for all who believe in the spirit of Christmas and those who treasure the sound of a reindeer’s silver bell.”
A Christmas Carol.
A classic. A truly great classic. Another fun fact, on the day that I and my husband got married, we went and saw a performance of A Christmas Carol at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. It was absolutely amazing. If you ever have the chance, try to go see live theater! Some of it will be mediocre, as a former theater kid I can admit that, but most of it will blow you away. As for this book! It’s a lovely addition to your shelf and it encourages joy and thankfulness.
“Ebenezer Scrooge is a mean, miserable, bitter old man with no friends. One cold Christmas Eve, three ghosts take him on a scary journey to show him the error of his nasty ways. By visiting his past, present and future, Scrooge learns to love Christmas and the people all around him.”
Not strictly speaking only a Christmas story, but it does open with Christmas and close with Christmas, so I think we can count it! Also, a wonderful Christmas surprise from 2019 was Greta Gerwig’s film adaption, which was beautifully made. It was one of those times a movie made me want to really dig back into a book.
“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?”
I actually have a full review of this in my previous post! Go check it out if you want to be fully convinced to jump on the Sophie Kinsella train.
“’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.”
The original Christmas story. If you’re not sure where to read about Jesus’ birth:
- The Gospel of Luke – starting in Chapter 2
- The Gospel of Matthew – starting in Chapter 1
Each of the gospels tells of Jesus’ life, but only Luke and Matthew recount His birth. I recommend reading both because while there is overlap, there are little details in each story that are important. For example, Matthew doesn’t record the angel coming to Mary, but Luke does. In Luke, there is no record of the angel speaking to Joseph in a dream. The difference is that each of the authors (Matthew vs. Luke) had a different audience. They were writing to different people groups and they put in what they thought was most important. That being said, each are important and by only reading one, you miss out on important details.
The Deal of a Lifetime.
Ok, moment of truth. I haven’t actually read this yet. BUT! Fredrik Backman is a great writer and this novella has awesome reviews. It’s going onto my growing TBR shelf!
**Update! I did read this and have a review up on my blog (posted Jan. 29th, 2021).
“A father and a son are seeing each other for the first time in years. The father has a story to share before it’s too late. He tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.As he talks about this plucky little girl, the father also reveals more about himself: his triumphs in business, his failures as a parent, his past regrets, his hopes for the future. Now, on a cold winter’s night, the father has been given an unexpected chance to do something remarkable that could change the destiny of a little girl he hardly knows. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he must find out what his own life has actually been worth, and only his son can reveal that answer.”
What are some of your favorite Christmas stories? What are you reading with your kids or family this year? Which books are on your Christmas/wish list? And are you hoping for some books this year!? I know I am!
With love and wishing you a Merry Christmas, Storm