Christmas is the perfect time to establish heartwarming traditions that foster a deeper connection with your children. Watching a family movie can be fun, but reading a meaningful story together exercises the brain in a different way—creating a more memorable experience—and enables you to interact more directly with your child. Here are ten beautiful and moving Christmas stories that emphasize faith.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
O. Henry’s classic Christmas love story was first published in 1905 but still resonates today. Newlyweds Jim and Della have no money for Christmas gifts so they each decide to sell the thing that is most precious to them to buy a gift for each other. Their sacrificial gifts of love are compared to the gifts of the Magi to the baby Jesus.
The Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke, Illustrated by Christian Slade
What if there was another wise man that didn’t travel with the magi of the Bible? This is the fictional story of another wise man that follows the star of Bethlehem for years, but rather than finding the baby Jesus, his journey takes him to many others who need his help.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Set in 1843, Dickens’ hugely popular Christmas story centers on the spiritual transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge. On Christmas Eve, the miserly old Scrooge is visited by spirits of Christmas past, present and future. They remind him what is most important in life and give him a chance to repent of his greedy choices and be redeemed.
The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale by Angela Elwell Hunt, Illustrated by Tim Jonke
This deeply moving folktale is about three trees who each have grand desires for their future—to hold a treasure, to become a strong, sailing ship, and to be a tall tree that would point to God. After many years their dreams take shape in unexpected ways that are significant in the birth, ministry and death of Jesus.
The First Christmas by Jan Pieńkowski
The words of this Nativity story are taken directly from the King James Bible. The images are beautiful silhouettes backed by glowing gold and blue, and ornately embellished designs. A beautiful way to share the scriptural story of Jesus’ birth with your children.
The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucad, Illustrated by Liz Bonham
Joshua is a little lamb who feels like an outcast. His crippled leg keeps him from traveling with the other sheep but his friend Abigail tells him “God has a special plan for you.” That night, God’s purpose for him becomes clear when a young couple and their new baby take shelter in his stable.
The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey by Susan Wojciechowski, Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver around, but the deaths of his wife and child have left him gloomy and hopeless. When a widow and her son move to town and commission him to carve a Nativity scene, his broken heart begins to heal and he discovers that miracles do happen.
Saint Nicholas and the Nine Gold Coins by Jim Forest, Illustrated by Vladislav Andrejev
This book shares the story of the real Saint Nicholas, who lived just three centuries after Christ and became the bishop of Myra. Known as an advocate for the poor and a generous gift-giver, tales of St. Nick eventually evolved into the myth of our modern-day Santa Clause. But long before the fairy tale of the man in red, Nick was just a boy in Patara who desired to put into practice the teachings of Jesus and help a poor family who had no dowry for their daughters.
A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz
Charlie Brown feels sad and let-down as a result of the commercialism of Christmas. Lucy advises him to get involved in a Christmas project and enlists him to direct their Christmas play. Through the challenges of the project he ultimately learns the true meaning of Christmas.
A Merry Christmas: and Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
The author of Little Women tells heartwarming Christmas stories that share a glimpse of what the holiday was like in 19th century America. The collection includes A Merry Christmas, Kate’s Choice, The Quiet Little Woman, Tilly’s Christmas, What Love Can Do, Rosa’s Tale and Mrs. Podgers’ Teapot. These stories carry on the author’s trademark themes of charity, generosity, and faith.