Five Christmas Stories to Read as a Family on Christmas Eve

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The following 5 stories are some of the best Christmas classics. We hope you enjoy them just as much with your family this Christmas Eve!

Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer

Robert L. May

“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

had a very shiny nose

and if you ever saw him

you would even say it glows.

All of the other reindeer

used to laugh and call him names.

They never let poor Rudolph

join in any reindeer games.”

Johnny Marks, songwriter

Robert L. May wrote Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer at the request of the department store company Montgomery Ward. The story was given out for free to over 2 million children who visited the stores during Christmas time of 1939. Robert’s brother-in-law, Johnny Marks, saw the popularity of the story and wrote the song we all know and love. From there, the story took off and now we can’t imagine Christmas without our best bud, Rudolph.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Dr. Seuss

“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”

Dr. Seuss

How The Grinch Stole Christmas! is a children’s story that, even as adults, we enjoy reading every year. Dr. Seuss is great at sneaking deep life lessons into his stories, and in this tale, he demonstrates that Christmas is a spiritual experience, not a material one.

The Polar Express

Chris Van Allsburg

“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can’t see.”

Chris Van Allsburg

In the middle of the night, a young boy is awakes to the sound of a train pulling up outside his house. The train is full of children and it takes them to the North Pole where he gets to meet Santa Claus. This book was turned into a fantastic film that we also recommend checking out.

The Greatest Gift

Philip Van Doren Stern

“Change me back,” George pleaded. “Change me back — please. Not just for my sake but for others too. You don’t know what a mess this town is in. You don’t understand. I’ve got to get back. They need me here.”

“I understand right enough,” the stranger said slowly. “I just wanted to make sure you did. You had the greatest gift of all conferred upon you — the gift of life, of being a part of this world and taking a part in it. Yet you denied that gift.”

Philip Van Doren Stern

The Greatest Gift is a short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern in 1943. A suicidal man named George Pratt stands on a bridge on Christmas Eve, ready to jump. Before he can, an odd man approaches him and strikes up a conversation. George admits to the man that he wishes he had never been born. The man tells George that his wish has been granted, and upon returning to his town, George finds that no one recognizes him. After the initial shock, he realizes just how much he values his life and learns that to throw it all away would be a waste.

Fun Fact: This story became the basis for the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life.

The Elves and the Shoemaker

Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

“As soon as it was midnight, there came in two little naked dwarfs; and they sat themselves upon the shoemaker’s bench, took up all the work that was cut out, and began to ply with their little fingers, stitching and rapping and tapping away at such a rate, that the shoemaker was all wonder, and could not take his eyes off them. And on they went, till the job was quite done, and the shoes stood ready for use upon the table.”

Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm

The Elves and the Shoemaker is a classic fairy tale by the Grimm brothers. One morning, a shoemaker comes into his shop to find a beautiful pair of shoes has been made for him to sell. Astonished, he determines to find out who he should thank for the service.