Christmas is and always has been a season for Story – from tales of magical winter wonderlands in the far North to haunting ghost stories set in jolly old Victorian England… and of course the most wonderful story ever told of God coming to live and bring peace on earth in the form of a tiny baby born in a barn…
‘Tis also the season for traditions! No matter how old we get, we look forward to getting cozy by the Christmas tree and hearing the same old stories, whether from a tattered old book that’s weathered generations of Christmases or from the holiday classic movies played on the telly.
So, in the spirit of Story & tradition, Bri & I have put together a top 10 list of our combined holiday favourites (books & films). We hope you’ll share your own in the comments!
So whether reading or watching, we wish you a very happy, story-filled Christmas!
Bri’s Top 5 Christmas stories
The Nightmare Before Christmas
I love this movie for its epic weirdness. A skeleton in the midst of a midlife crisis. The boogeyman almost eats Santa. Halloween’s creepy version of Christmas. I watch this movie year round, but I especially love it this time of year.
Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball by Donita K Paul
This is a cute novella by one of my favorite authors. It’s a sweet romance with a fantasy twist. There’s a strange dress shop run by some matchmaking women who are possibly wizards, there are some kittens, an evil sister and a sweet one, and a couple headed to the mysterious, invitation only, Christmas Ball.
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Not exactly a holiday story, but it always makes me think of CHristmas. Sara goes from a rich little girl with an incredible imagination and much loved by her father to an orphan so poor she is literally starving with only her imagination to keep her going. She experiences a horrible Christmas and a good one. She is such a good hearted girl and the ending is so perfect it’s a great Christmas read.
The 101 Dalmations By Dodie Smith
Christmas is supposed to be a fun time filled with family and friends. What could be worse than having your 15 puppies stolen by an evil women intent on turning them into coats just days before Christmas?! This is just what happened to Pongo and Missus. Pongo and Missus leave their humans to search for their stolen puppies and hopefully, be home in time for Christmas!
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
I watch this movie every year for Christmas. Poor Rudolph, ostracized because of his glowing nose (which also gives off a rather piercing noise which I think is the real reason no wants to get near him). Even his father is ashamed of him and finally he can’t take it anymore and he runs away, meeting elves, miners, and even the abominable snowman!
Mez’s Top 5 Christmas Tales
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Dr. Seuss captures the spirit of Christmas in the most creative, silly way in “The Grinch.” I read it AND watch the original animated version every year without fail, then go around the hose singing “Wahoo Dooray!” as I deck the halls of my flat.
Not strictly a Christmas story, but I love the chapter/ scene when the March girls decide to return the little treasures they’ve bought for themselves in order to buy Christmas gifts for Marmy. Then on Christmas Day, they bring their Christmas breakfast to the home of a poor widow to share around. It’s so festive & touching at the same time… and something about the Louisa May Alcott era just puts me in a Christmassy mood.
Little House in the Big Woods
Laura Ingles Wilder’s stories are a fixed part of my childhood. So naturally, reading her Christmas memories have become part of my own Christmas traditions. I just love stepping back in time to the days when Christmas meant chopping firewood to heat your log cabin, making snow angels & getting peppermint sticks and cornhusk dolls in your stocking! Oh, and isn’t just magical when they make maple candy by tapping maple trees and pouring the hot syrup in swirly shapes onto cold snow?
A Christmas Carol
It would hardly feel like Christmas without a nod to Dickens’ classic. I usually read at least the key scenes from the book each year (especially the happy ending!), but I insist on watching the Muppets’ version with Michael Caine as Scrooge & Kermit the Frog as Bob Cratchit. From the acting to the music and Victorian sets, it’s just the best!
Letters from Father Christmas
Few folks seem to know about this little gem of a book by J.R.R. Tolkien, even among his die-hardes fans! Perhaps that’s because he never meant to publish it. The book is in fact a collection of letters and drawings from the man himself – Father Christmas – to Tolkien’s four children. The paint such a fantastic wold of the North Pole & describe all the fun & scrapes F.C.’s number one helper, the North Polar Bear, gets into in the preparations for Christmas. And the pictures I do believe were made with magic! You really feel that you’re getting an exclusive peak into the North Pole when you read them. Lucky Tolkien children!
We could go on… A Charlie Brown Christmas, The Nutcracker, Wind in the Willows… but we promised to stop at 1o… IT’S. SO. HARD.
Now over to you!