Christmas is a truly magical time of year for children and adults alike. The food, family, and festivities are glistening with twinkling lights, soothing sounds and the warmth of a warm cup of cocoa (extra marshmallows, please!) Create a more magical experience this year by ensuring your little ones have access to some of the best Christmas stories to help lull them to sleep so Santa can get to work. Here’s a short, but sweet list of some great Christmas stories—old and new!

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

We begin with probably one of the most well-known stories—or poems rather—around. The iconic opening line is uttered millions of times every year throughout the world. “Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro’ the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”. The poem is a truly magical work that follows a man preparing for bed as he hears ol’ Saint Nick coming to his house. As he investigates downstairs he gets a peek at Father Christmas.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Your children may be familiar with the film adaptation of this classic story about a young boy who boards the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. He meets a number of other children and interesting characters along the way, concluding with meeting the fat man himself, Santa Clause, who gives him the very first gift of the night! It’s magical story with beautiful illustrations your children will love.

The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston

This is a story of love, sacrifice, and miracles which tells the tale of a young girl named Ruthie who chooses a gorgeous tree with her father during spring just outside of their Appalachian town of Spruce Pine. When Christmas arrives, Ruthie’s father is still overseas after fighting in the Great War, so it falls on Ruthie and her family to bring a tree for the town. A truly beautiful story that tells of the resilience of even the smallest among us and that miracles can happen.

The Story of Santa’s Beard by Sharon Thayer

The magic of Christmas can be found in even the most unlikely places—including Santa’s big, white beard. The story goes that Santa’s beard is growing too long thanks to all of the children around the world who are being good, doing their best and telling the truth. Santa’s elves get together to come up with a solution to Santa’s beard that has grown far too long!

This story teaches children the joy and value of being fair and honest as Santa reserves snippets of his newly trimmed beard for the best kids around. In the end, there’s a small envelope with—you guessed it—a snippet of Santa’s beard for your little one.

Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh

This is one doggone cute story which follows a dog who mishears the line “All of” in “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” as “Olive, the other reindeer”. Of course, this sets her on a journey to the North Pole to fulfill her destiny as one of Santa’s reindeer. It’s a cute story with excellent, fun illustrations to boot!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

I would be remiss to not include this classic, iconic storybook loved by children throughout the world. You know the story—a mean ol’ Grinch seeks to ruin Christmas for the Whos’ in Whoville, only to be inspired by their love, generosity, and spirit.

While this list could have gone on forever, it encompasses old and new works which will all add to the magic of the holiday season for your little ones! See a story you or your children LOVE that I missed? Share it in the comments below.

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