happy christmas reading

Author: angiem, 12 16th, 2009

When I was a child my favorite Christmas story was The Story of Holly and Ivy, written by Rumer Godden. It is a lovely story about an orphan child wishing for a doll and a grandmother, and also the story of a doll wishing for a dear child’s arm around her.  My sisters and I loved it so much we kept checking it out of the library over and over.  As I got older I forgot about the magical story of a wish coming true, until I got pregnant with my son and started on making my dreams of a children’s library a reality.

For months and months I couldn’t find it anywhere.  Finally Powell’s Books, my favorite local bookstore, located a used copy for me.  And wouldn’t you know it, but a few years later there was a new printing of the book, and suddenly they were everywhere.

A new book I am adding this year is Jane in Winter by Elizabeth Wix.  I just ordered this fairy tale and can’t wait for it to get here.  Evil queen, forests, children, winter!  My favorite kind of story!  You can read more about it and order it from the author’s own site: #mce_temp_url#

Also, check out my friend Michelle’s Christmas blog: #mce_temp_url# Michelle loves books!  She’s got a collection close to 2000 of them, not counting the Christmas ones.  I’d love to spend a weekend in there just looking around.  Besides that she is one of the best book reviewers out there, and Christmas is her favorite holiday.

Following is what I consider to be essential reading:

The Gift of the Magi     O. Henry

The Fir Tree     Hans Christian Andersen

A Miserable, Merry Christmas     Lincoln Steffens

The Legend of the Christmas Rose     Selma Lagerlof

The Birth Of Christ     St. Luke 2:1-16

The Three Wise Men     St. Matthew 2:1-14

A Pint of Judgment     Elizabeth Morrow

The Miraculous Staircase     Arthur Gordon

The Story of Holly and Ivy     Rumer Godden

The Little Match Girl     Hans Christian Andersen

Jane in Winter   Elizabeth Wix

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe     C.S. Lewis

The Mitten   retold by Jan Brett

The Gingerbread     retold by Jan Brett

Toot and Puddle: I’ll Be Home for Christmas     Holly Hobbie

Christmas in the Big Woods     Laura Ingalls Wilder

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree     Robert Barry

Eloise at Christmastime     Kay Thompson

Are your favorites on my list?  If not, what are they?


34 Responses to “happy christmas reading”

  1. French Fancy Says:

    Sorry to have missed a few posts, Angie. Did you know that Elizabeth (Wix) has a blog - she is one of my favourites.

    As for reading - all I can read at the moment is John Irving and I am slowly working my way through all his books


  2. Make Do Style Says:

    Gosh a good list - I love Dicken’s a Christmas Carol but for children at Christmas there are so many sweet stories for all ages.

  3. Diane Says:

    I have not heard of many of your favs. I am glad you own your childhood favorite and I’m sure yo’ve read it to your kids many times. :O)

  4. Karen@SurvivingMotherhood Says:

    Hi, Angie.
    Yes, my favorite is on your list. That would be Luke 2!
    But I am drawn to one I have never read before - because the title is so interesting…A Miserable, Merry Christmas. I may just try to locate that and give it a read. Thanks for the suggestion.

  5. Elizabeth Says:

    You are so kind to include my little story!
    Two super ones to add
    A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas which I love and often used as a starter for creative writing classes
    and Truman Capote’s Christmas Memory which I used to read to high schoolers and have them illustrate as I read.
    Yes, yes, to the original Christmas Carol.
    Spooky and marvelous.

  6. Susan R. Mills Says:

    I love your list. You made me want to go pull out some of my Christmas books.

  7. Evangeline Says:

    That’s a great list! One of my fav Christmas books is a picture book by Rosemary Wells called “Morris’ Disappearing Bag”. It’s a funny little story about a bunny who isn’t having a very good Christmas until he makes his elder siblings disappear. So cute. We’ve also made reading the Christmas chapter in HP and the Philosopher’s Stone part of our Christmas tradition.

  8. krista Says:

    i can’t wait until finn is patient enough to actually “read” a story. everytime i try to read the full story to her, she gets impatient and wants to turn the page. le sigh.
    next year…next year. i have to remember she’s still a baby.

  9. Anna Says:

    Oh my goodness, this is adorable! i’ve read all of those! i love this!!

  10. Jessica Says:

    I actually don’t have any fave Christmas stories. I recognize a few of yours though. :-)

  11. Deb Says:

    This looks like a great list. I’ve read several-loved THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL.

  12. deb @ talk at the table Says:

    Thanks for the list, there are some on here that I am going to check out.

    The one from your childhood sounds magical.

  13. Lydia, Clueless Crafter Says:

    I always imagined I was Eloise and though she is last on your list, she just may be first on mine!

    BTW, I would love to take you on a day of my new career as Professional Audience Member. I’m sure you are a force to be reckoned with, but I’d put up a good fight. Just remember that this is one of the more physically taxing jobs out there, so train heavily before you come;-)

  14. Sophia Says:

    Wonderful list. I adore childrens books. One which is not a Christmas book but which you simply must look out for is The Three Golden Keys by Peter Sis.


  15. Michelle Miller/the true book addict Says:

    Thank you so much for mentioning my Christmas blog! Very sweet of you :)

    You mentioned several of my faves…especially Gift of the Magi and The Little Match Girl. Of course, my most favorite is A Christmas Carol and I think Ms. Wix mentioned A Christmas Memory, which is wonderful. Oh, shoot…I might as well just admit that they’re all my favorites…LOL!

  16. Bunny Says:

    Hi , what a wonderful list of books..I am actually in the process of trying to re-do and organize my books which are scattered throughout my home in utter chaos. I’m so happy you stopped over at my blog and I’m thrilled to have now found your beautiful blog.

  17. Bebe Says:

    Angie I love this list. My favorite was Christmas in the Big Woods. Loved that book!!!!

  18. Ruth Says:

    I absolutely love this post! Thanks for all the good suggestions. My favorites were The Mitten, and I think The Gift (is this the same one were a couple exchanges gifts but cannot use them because they sacrificed to get one another’s gift?).

    I read the Laura Ingalls Widler books but never the Christmas one. I do have some children’s books in my collection (so many young siblings still come over), but this gives me an idea to add Christmas books. It makes for excellent reading, even for adults, at holiday time.

  19. Gigi Says:

    So many of my favorites are on here, Angie! I especially love Little House in the Big Woods and the Andersen stories. Like Elizabeth, I love to read the Dylan Thomas and Truman Capote pieces, too.

    Thanks for bringing back many Christmas memories for me with this list! xo Gigi

  20. Holly L Says:

    We read a lot here, but I must admit that we have not read a large portion of what you have listed. Our Christmas collection is limited to T’was the Night before Christmas and right now my daughter is obsessed with Merry Christmas Mouse…I know not great literary writings. We’ll work on it.

  21. Beth Says:

    What isn’t on your list is “The Snow Queen” by Hans Christian Anderson - and I’m glad it isn’t. That fairy tale terrified me as a child.
    Love your selections.

  22. Julie Says:

    HI Angie
    Thank you so much for dropping by my way and leaving a sweet comment. Well I love this Christmas Book List.. some I have read, some I wish to read and some I have never heard of. I’ve just this evening started my long awaited vacation so this would be a great way for me to revisit my childhood and wind down a little.

    Funny you should mention Hollie Hobbie. Last night I found an old Hollie Hobbie birthday card from my mother. Take care .. Julie

  23. Kirie Says:

    This is a fantastic list! I love the Laura Ingalls Wilder one, myself, and I have just recently learned of Rumer Godden. Thanks to your recommendation, I ordered Holly and Ivy for my girls for a Christmas Eve surprise.
    We have a collection of picture books we pull out every year along with all the decorations. The favorite story this year is Santa Mouse, though the many versions of the 12 Days of Christmas are frequent requests right now, too. As they get older, I try to introduce some new read-alouds. I was thinking of The Little Match girl, and the Gift of the Magi for this year…

    Thank you for the inspiration. Just reading some of the titles makes me smile, remembering how much I’ve enjoyed them over the years.


  24. Renee Khan Says:

    Angie I love this list.

    I love books of all kinds period. But I love Christmas children’s books especially.


  25. audrey Says:

    Angie, what a nice gift you have given us all, such a sweet story of you and your favorite Christmas story. I can just picture you as a little girl in the library checking out your favorite Christmas story.

    Thanks so much for the list of stories, trust me, i will be useing it. wonderful!

  26. Heather Sunseri Says:

    Hi, Angie. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog.

    I love that list. I’m partial to Luke 2, myself.

    I agree with many of your commenters. Children’s Christmas stories remain close to my heart this time of year.

  27. Ava Says:

    I have always loved the story of The Three Wise Men. I liked saying the words, gold, frankinchense, myrrh…! The Gift of the Magi is a close second. This is a wonderful list!

  28. pamela Says:

    Wonderful list! I would add A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. A lovely story and one that I’ve given as a gift many times.

  29. angiem Says:

    Pamela, thank you for the recommendation. I definitely will order it tonight to have it by Christmas Eve. And thank you so much for stopping by. I know how busy you are this time of year.

    Ava, Heather: thank you for sharing yours. We read The Birth of Christ and The Three Wise Men as a family on Christmas Eve.

    Audrey, you are very welcome, my dear.

    Renee, aren’t they the best? I LOVE children’s books!

    Oh Kirie, Ada and Esme will love The Story of Holly and Ivy! I just know it! Thank you for liking my selections.

    Julie, I hope you truly get to rest and enjoy your time off. Hollie Hobbie weaves such magical stories with her words and illustrations.

  30. angiem Says:

    Beth, you’re right! It isn’t. She terrified me too as a child.

    Holly, you crack me up! There’s nothing wrong with Merry Christmas Mouse!

    Gigi, Dylan Thomas and Truman Capote are on my list. I am buying them tonight and reading them. I love Capote’s stories, I can’t believe I haven’t read A Christmas Memory.

    Ruth, I loved those too as a child. Even now I love them and so does Bella love hearing me read them.

    Bebe, I know what you mean. Another time, another place. I love it too.

  31. angiem Says:

    Bunny, you have a lovely blog. It’s like cotton candy. Such a treat!

    Michelle, a Christmas Memory is on my list.

    Sophia, that is another one I haven’t read. Thank you! I will order it as well.

    Jessica! You don’t??
    Lydia, I am house trained and so on. Just take me!

    Deb @Talk at the Table, you’re welcome. You’ll love them!

    Deb, The Little Match Girl always brings the tears out.

  32. angiem Says:

    Anna, a girl after my own heart.

    Krista, that time will be here before you know it.

    Evangeline, I can’t believe I forgot the Christmas chapter in Harry Potter! My son loves it!

    Thank you, Susan. Happy Reading!

    Elizabeth thank you for your recommendations! We just finished A Christmas Carol.

  33. angiem Says:

    Karen, The Birth of Christ sends shivers down my spine and tears to my eyes. We read it Christmas Eve by candlelight followed by a prayer of thanks for God’s amazing gift to us.

    Diane, oh yes I will! :)

    Make Do Style, what does your little boy like to hear? And yes, A Christmas Story is a huge omission on my part. Not purposely, of course.

    Julie, I love John Irving. A Widow for One Year is so beautiful. I don’t blame you for being faithful to him.

  34. lemonologie Says:

    Thanks for the suggestions. I haven’t read all of those.

Leave a Reply