18 Christmas Books to Curl Up with This Season

christmas books

Whether you’re young or young at heart, there’s a book for everyone to enjoy reading this holiday season!


Young Adult Christmas Books

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey

Carols and Chaos

A lady’s maid and a valet become entangled in a yuletide counterfeiting scheme in this romantic Christmas YA adventure.

1817. The happy chaos of the Yuletide season has descended upon the country estate of Shackleford Park in full force, but lady’s maid Kate Darby barely has the time to notice. Between her household duties, caring for her ailing mother, and saving up money to someday own a dress shop, her hands are quite full. Matt Harlow is also rather busy. He’s performing double-duty, acting as valet for both of the Steeple brothers, two of the estate’s holiday guests.

Falling in love would be a disaster for either of them. But staving off their feelings for each other becomes the least of their problems when a devious counterfeiting scheme reaches the gates of Shackleford Park, and Kate and Matt are unwittingly swept up in the intrigue. Full of sweetness, charm, and holiday shenanigans, Carols and Chaos is perfect for fans of Jane Austen and Downton Abbey.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Leviathan

Dash and Lily

“I’ve left some clues for you.
If you want them, turn the page.
If you don’t, put the book back on the shelf, please.”

So begins the latest whirlwind romance from the bestselling authors of Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a favorite bookstore shelf, waiting for just the right guy to come along and accept its dares. But is Dash that right guy? Or are Dash and Lily only destined to trade dares, dreams, and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations across New York? Could their in-person selves possibly connect as well as their notebook versions? Or will they be a comic mismatch of disastrous proportions?

Rachel Cohn and David Levithan have written a love story that will have readers perusing bookstore shelves, looking and longing for a love (and a red notebook) of their own.

Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz (and others)

snow in love

What’s better than one deliciously cozy, swoon-worthy holiday story? Four of them, from some of today’s bestselling authors.

From KASIE WEST, a snowy road trip takes an unexpected detour when secrets and crushes are revealed.

From AIMEE FRIEDMAN, a Hanukkah miracle may just happen when a Jewish girl working as a department store elf finds love.

From MELISSA DE LA CRUZ, Christmas Eve gets a plot twist when a high school couple exchange surprising presents.

From NIC STONE, a scavenger hunt amid the holiday crowds at an airport turns totally romantic.

So grab a mug of hot cocoa, snuggle up, and get ready to fall in love…

Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green (and others)

let it snow john green cover

An ill-timed storm on Christmas Eve buries the residents of Gracetown under multiple feet of snow and causes quite a bit of chaos. One brave soul ventures out into the storm from her stranded train and sets off a chain of events that will change quite a few lives. Over the next three days one girl takes a risky shortcut with an adorable stranger, three friends set out to win a race to the Waffle House (and the hash brown spoils), and the fate of a teacup pig falls into the hands of a lovesick barista.

A trio of today’s bestselling authors – John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle – bring all the magic of the holidays to life in three hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and kisses that will steal your breath away.

My True Love Gave to Me edited by Stephanie Perkins

My True Love Gave to Me

If you love holiday stories, holiday movies, made-for-TV-holiday specials, holiday episodes of your favorite sitcoms and, especially, if you love holiday anthologies, you’re going to fall in love with My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by twelve bestselling young adult writers, edited by international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins. Whether you enjoy celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah, Winter Solstice or New Year’s there’s something here for everyone. So curl up by the fireplace and get cozy. You have twelve reasons this season to stay indoors and fall in love.

My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

my new crush gave to me

Charlotte Charlie Donovan knows exactly what she wants for Christmas: Teo Ortiz. He’s the school’s star athlete, in the National Honor Society, invited to every party, contributes to the school paper (where Charlie is co-editor), and is about to be featured as One to Watch in a teen magazine basically, he’s exactly the type of guy Charlie s meant to be with. The only problem he barely knows she exists.

But Charlie is determined to be Teo’s date to the Christmas ball. And she has a plan: To rig the paper’s Secret Santa so that she can win his heart with five perfect gifts. But to do that she needs help. Enter J.D. Ortiz Teo s cousin, and possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He’s easy going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything the exact opposite of Charlie (and Teo). But he’s willing to provide insight into what Teo wants, so she s stuck with him.

Yet, the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas?

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Middle Grade Christmas Books

The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab

the angel tree

A heartwarming Christmas mystery and friendship story!

Every Christmas in the small town of Pine River, a tree appears in the town square–the Angel Tree. Some people tie wishes to the tree, while others make those wishes come true. Nobody’s ever known where the tree comes from, but the mystery has always been part of the tradition’s charm.

This year, however, four kids who have been helped–Lucy, Joe, Max, and Cami–are determined to solve the mystery and find out the true identity of the town’s guardian angel, so that Pine River can finally thank the person who brought the Angel Tree to their town.

This is a heartwarming Christmas mystery, full of friendship, discovery, and loads of holiday cheer!

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

a boy called christmas
You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.Are you still reading?

Good.

Then let us begin . . .

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

Christmas After All: The Great Depression Diary of Minnie Swift, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1932 by Kathryn Lasky

christmas after all

At the age of twelve, Minnie Swift is living through one of the toughest times in America’s history, The Great Depression. She keeps a detailed diary over the span of one Christmas month. Reflecting the sadness but also the optimism that characterized the time, this is an intimate portrait of a Midwestern family’s days and nights, ups and downs, triumphs and losses. It’s the story of one family’s persevering spirit: The Christmas Spirit.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

best christmas pageant ever

Laughs abound in this bestselling Christmas classic by Barbara Robinson! The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the outrageous shenanigans of the Herdman siblings, or “the worst kids in the history of the world.” The siblings take over the annual Christmas pageant in a hilarious yet heartwarming tale involving the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds, and six rowdy kids.

Ralph, Imogene, Leroy, Claude, Ollie, and Gladys Herdman are an awful bunch. They set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s toolshed, blackmailed Wanda Pierce to get her charm bracelet, and smacked Alice Wendelken across the head. And that’s just the start! When the Herdmans show up at church for the free snacks and suddenly take over the Christmas pageant, the other kids are shocked. It’s obvious that they’re up to no good. But Christmas magic is all around and the Herdmans, who have never heard the Christmas story before, start to reimagine it in their own way.

This year’s pageant is definitely like no other, but maybe that’s exactly what makes it so special.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

how the grinch stole christmas

Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.

Looking quite out of place and very disturbing in his makeshift Santa get-up, the Grinch slithers down chimneys with empty bags and stealing the Whos’ presents, their food, even the logs from their humble Who-fires. He takes the ramshackle sleigh to Mt. Crumpit to dump it and waits to hear the sobs of the Whos when they wake up and discover the trappings of Christmas have disappeared. Imagine the Whos’ dismay when they discover the evil-doings of Grinch in his anti-Santa guise. But what is that sound? It’s not sobbing, but singing! Children simultaneously adore and fear this triumphant, twisted Seussian testimonial to the undaunted cheerfulness of the Whos, the transcendent nature of joy, and of course, the growth potential of a heart that’s two sizes too small.

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Books by Classic Authors

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (A Holiday for Murder) by Agatha Christie

a holiday for murder

In Hercule Poirot’s Christmas, the holidays are anything but merry when a family reunion is marred by murder–and the notoriously fastidious investigator is quickly on the case. The wealthy Simeon Lee has demanded that all four of his sons–one faithful, one prodigal, one impecunious, one sensitive–and their wives return home for Christmas. But a heartwarming family holiday is not exactly what he has in mind. He bedevils each of his sons with barbed insults and finally announces that he is cutting off their allowances and changing his will. Poirot is called in the aftermath of Simeon Lee’s announcement.

LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S CHRISTMAS TREASURY ED. BY STEPHEN W. HINES

Alcott Christmas Treasury
Hines collects fifteen of Alcott’s novellas and short stories centered around Christmas.  Some selections include “The Quiet Little Woman,” a tale about an orphaned servant girl; “Rosa’s Tale” in which a horse granted the ability to speak; and “Bertie’s Box,” a story about charity and the meaning of Christmas.

Nutcracker and Mouse King and The Tale of the Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffman and Alexandre Dumas

The Nutcracker
Official Summary from the Penguin Edition: It wasn’t until the 1950s that seeing The Nutcracker at Christmastime became an American tradition. But the story itself is much older and its original intent more complex. This eye-opening new volume presents two of the tale’s earliest versions, both in new translations: E.T.A. Hoffmann’s Nutcracker and Mouse King (1816), in which a young girl is whisked away to the Land of Toys to help her animated nutcracker defeat the Mouse King, and Alexandre Dumas’s 1845 adaptation, The Tale of the Nutcracker, based on Hoffmann’s popular work. Irresistible tales of magic, mystery, and childhood adventure, these timeless delights and fresh interpretations about the importance of imagination will captivate readers of all ages.

THE LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS BY L. FRANK BAUM

Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

The author best known for his Oz books tells the story of Santa Claus, set in a pagan world populated by nymphs and fairies.  All the questions you have about Santa, from why parents still buy their children toys if he exists to how he got his reindeer, are answered.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL AND OTHER CHRISTMAS BOOKS BY CHARLES DICKENS

A Christmas Carol

Countless movies have made Dickens’ A Christmas Carol a holiday classic, but he wrote other season tales.  Everyman’s Library collects  A Christmas CarolThe Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man in one volume.

CHRISTMAS WITH ANNE AND OTHER HOLIDAY STORIES BY L. M. MONTGOMERY

Christmas with Anne

Rea Wilmshurst collects two excerpts from Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Windy Poplars in this volume, as well as fourteen seasonal short stories including “Aunt Cyrilla’s Christmas Basket,” “The Unforgotten One,” and “A Christmas Inspiration.”

LETTERS FROM FATHER CHRISTMAS BY J. R. R. TOLKIEN

Letters from Father Christmas

This volume collects the letters Tolkien wrote to his children over the years, all of them ostensibly explaining Father Christmas’s life at the North Pole with the North Polar Bear.

What are some of your favorite Christmas Books?

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19 thoughts on “18 Christmas Books to Curl Up with This Season

  1. Jheelam says:

    This is so nice. I’d love to read every book listed here- about Santa Claus. ” The Angel Tree” sounds intriguing and charming. My favorite Christmas books would always be re-reading some of Agatha Christie favorites.

    Like

  2. Grab the Lapels says:

    The blogger Fiction Fan has been has been reading and reviewing the Dickens Christmas stories and discovered that almost none of them are about Christmas. Very odd!

    As we are discussing in another thread on your blog, there is that clear divide of friendship in middle grade books and romance in the YA novels. I especially don’t like the plots that include “All X wanted for Christmas was Y.” People aren’t objects — they’re not gifts — and can’t be had like objects. Troublesome!

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Very true! That’s such a theme in Christmas movies too. Like, in “The Princess Switch” one of the characters says something like “I just want someone special to spend Christmas with.” Uh, you have friends. You have family. Seems kind of insulting that all you want for Christmas is a boyfriend, and you’d rather spend the holiday with some fictional guy who doesn’t currently exist?

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  3. spicejac says:

    I think for me two books that you should have included are Nevermoor and Wundersmith by Jessica Townsend – because they offer a different twist on Xmas, and the message that family can be the friends you accumulate and not your biological related folk……good list though!

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  4. La La in the Library says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Alcott, Baum, Montgomery, and Tolkien books. I am going to be reading all Classics, and other titles from authors who wrote classics in 2020, and these would be perfect for my December reading! 📚✨

    Like

  5. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Christmas and chaos sounds fun 🙂 And I’d like to read dash and lily 🙂 Of course christmas carol is a great christmas classic. And I loved letters from father christmas- it’s a new fave for me!

    Like

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