The 10 Best Books to Read this Holiday Season

With the holiday season in full swing and the weather getting colder with each passing day, the urge to curl up with a good book gets stronger and stronger. What better way to get into the spirit of the season than by reading a classic holiday book? We've taken the time to compile a list of our top 10 favorite holiday reads. Have you read them all? 


1. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is perhaps the most classic Christmas book of all. In fact, the story itself helped create a popular view of what Christmas is and the meaning of Christmas. It's a beautiful story of redemption and transformation that never gets old! Certainly a story to be read again and again. 


2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson

A hilarious and heartwarming story of the "world's worst" kids taking over their church's annual nativity play. See how the Herdmans children, who've never attended church, much less know the "Story of Christmas," turn their town's Christmas Pageant on its head and make it a performance not to be missed. This story is one that can be read and appreciated by the entire family, and it's sure to incite lots of laughter and good cheer. 


3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Dr. Seuss

Yet another classic that draws on a similar storyline to that of "A Christmas Carol." Annoyed by all the joy and good cheer that the Christmas season brings to Whoville each year, the Grinch decides to steal Christmas ... but he's surprised with what happens next. A fun and simple read about the true meaning of the holidays. 


4. Letters from Father Christmas - J.R.R. Tolkien

Whether you're a fan of Tolkien or not, it's difficult not to love this heartwarming collection of letters that he wrote to his children from 1920 - 1042. In "Letters from Father Christmas" (i.e. Santa), he shares stories from the North Pole and what life is like up there. Highly creative, these letters are sure to capture the imagination of all who read them!


5. The Nightmare before Christmas - Tim Burton

For a twist on your typical holiday story, look no further! Jack Skellington decides to take his skills of making Halloween spooky and fun and decides to apply them to Christmas. The story is filled with plenty of freaky presents and a cast of atypical "Christmas Characters" - definitely a fun way to mix up your typical holiday reading list. 


6. The Nutcracker - The New York City Ballet

Don't feel like going to the ballet? No problem! You can still enjoy this beloved story in the comfort of your own home with the children's book version of this classic. Filled with all the same crazy characters - from an evil Mouse King to dancing sugar plum fairies - this version was adapted by the New York City Ballet, and with a little imagination, you can see the characters dancing in front of your eyes. 


7. The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg

Do you ever miss that feeling of childlike wonder during the holiday season? Reading this classic book can definitely remind you, even if briefly, of the magic of Christmas. Just hop on the Polar Express and see what happens!


8. The Night Before Christmas - Clement Clark Moore

It just wouldn't be Christmas if you didn't read this classic Christmas poem. First published anonymously in 1823 and later attributed to Clement Clark Moore, it's incredible how this poem never gets old. Nearly two centuries later, it's as perfect a Christmas tradition as it ever was. I know I'll be reciting it this season.  


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

Take a trip through the wardrobe and join Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy as they travel to the magical world where it's always winter but never Christmas. Luckily, the arrival of these siblings brings about a shift that allows Father Christmas to come and deliver some much needed gifts that allow the four children to become the rightful rulers of this magical land.   


10. The Legend of the Pointsettia - Tomie dePaola  

Like the song "The Little Drummer Boy," this vibrant and sweet story of Lucinda and the gift she offers to her church's statue of baby Jesus reminds us that what matters is not the size or cost gift, but rather that it is given with love. 


List compiled by Rajmani Sinclair, December 7, 2016