21 of the best Christmas books to get into the festive spirit

Table of Contents

It’s that time of year again! When is the best time to delve into the best of your Christmas book collection and rediscover some festive classics?

It’s the season of giving, so why not treat yourself (or your loved ones) to some copies of the best Christmas books around? Whether you’re looking for a cozy romance or a festive thriller, or just an exciting novel to partake in your own Jolabokaflod, the best Christmas books come in all genres, shapes, and sizes.

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Filled with magic, warmth, and overall festive vibes, we’ve rounded up some of the best Christmas books that will definitely get you in the festive spirit!

‘Scrooge’ in the 1938 film adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ (Photo: Turner Classic Movies)

A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens (1843)

A Christmas Carol It’s one of those books you’ll see on every Christmas book list. He has an incredible legacy, having popularized the phrases “Merry Christmas” and “Bah, Humbug”, as well as coining the name/term “Scrooge”. Following the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a mean-spirited London-based businessman who hates Christmas, A Christmas Carol explores the importance of selflessness, kindness, and love.

A Christmas Carol

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
CHARLES DICKENS
BUY HERE

The Match Girl – Hans Christian Andersen (1845)

Every time I’ve read it The girl of the matchsticks break my heart. At first glance, the short story seems simple enough: a poor girl finds herself in the freezing winter on New Year’s Eve, trying to sell matches. But in fact, as you will discover later in the book, the fairy tale emphasizes the pillars of the Christmas spirit: warmth, love, family, and kindness.

amazon tlmg christmas book

THE GIRL OF THE MATCHSTICKS
HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSON
BUY HERE

Merry Christmas and Other Christmas Stories – Louisa May Alcott (1875)

Precious collection of festive tales from the author of Little womanLouisa May Alcott A Merry Christmas and other Christmas stories it encompasses all the warm and fuzzy emotions that are at the heart of the holiday season.

a merry christmas story

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND OTHER CHRISTMAS TALES
LOUISA MAY ALCOT
BUY HERE

The Adventure of the Blue Anthrax – Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)

The Adventure of the Blue Anthrax is a short story from the collection of Arthur Conan Doyle The adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Following the eponymous detective, The Adventure of the Blue Anthrax follows the theft of a priceless artifact in London, as the city prepares for Christmas.

sherlock home best christmas book

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE ADVENTURE OF THE BLUE CARBUNCLE
ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
BUY HERE

The Magicians Gift – O. Henry (1905)

The gift of the Magi follows the story of a young couple, Della and Jim Young, as they struggle to buy each other secret Christmas presents due to financial constraints. The climax is a well-known but poignant plot twist; one that explores the importance of feeling about material possessions when giving gifts.

the gift of the wise men best christmas books

THE GIFT OF THE Wise Men
O. HENRY
BUY HERE

Christmas Pudding – Nancy Mitford (1932)

christmas pudding could be considered an absurdly funny modern take on a Jane Austen novel. Set in the 1930s and filled with love affairs, luxurious country houses and all things festive, the novel follows the lives of a series of colorful characters as they celebrate Christmas in the English countryside.

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penguin christmas pudding book

CHRISTMAS PUDDING
NANCY MITFORD
BUY HERE

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie (1938)

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas follows the story of the Lee family gathering at Christmas, where billionaire patriarch Simoen Lee is unexpectedly found dead. A locked room mystery, the novel details the detective work of the inimitable Poirot as he races to find the murderer.

poirot best christmas book

HERCULE POIROTS CHRISTMAS
CHRISTIE AGATHA
BUY HERE

The Greatest Gift – Philip Van Doren Stern (1943)

Before the Oscar-winning film It was a wonderful life there was The best gift. Loosely based on Dickens A Christmas CarolPhilip Van Doren Stern’s short story follows George Pratt, a depressed and suicidal man who meets a stranger who changes his life forever.

best christmas book best gift

THE BEST GIFT
FELIPE VAN DOREN STERN
BUY HERE

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer – Robert L. May (1944)

Another one of those Christmas books that really requires no introduction, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer is synonymous with Christmas festivities. Robert L. May originally created the character in 1939, as a promotional gimmick for a department store, before it exploded in popularity and became a Christmas and cultural icon.

Rudolph's book

RUDOLPH THE RED NOSED REINDEER
ROBERT L MAY
BUY HERE

A Christmas Souvenir – Truman Capote (1956)

Mostly autobiographical, by Truman Capote a christmas memory follows a seven-year-old narrator and his relationship with his distant cousin, an unidentified elderly woman. Exploring themes of loneliness, friendship, and the spirit of giving, a christmas memory it has become a festive classic for many generations.

truman capote christmas book

A CHRISTMAS SOUVENIR
TRUMAN CAPOTE
BUY HERE

Letters from Santa Claus – JRR Tolkien (1976)

A collection of letters written by JRR Tolkien (author of The Lord of the Rings) to his children over the course of 20 years, letters from santa claus details the (evil) adventures of Santa Claus, his elven secretary and helpers, the northern polar bear and his cubs, Paksu and Valkotukka.

santa claus letters

FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS
JRR TOLKIEN
BUY HERE

The Ice Harvest – Scott Phillips (1979)

Set on Christmas Eve in the 1970s, the ice harvest is a crime thriller that follows the life and crimes of Charlie Arglist. As he prepares to leave his small Kansas town with a stash of stolen money, Charlie is forced to revisit the darkest places and people from his past.

the ice harvest christmas book

THE ICE HARVEST
scott phillips
BUY HERE

The Polar Express – Chris Van Allsburg (1985)

A classic Christmas book for young children and adults alike. The polar Express follows the story of a boy who boards the Polar Express on Christmas Eve and embarks on a journey to meet Santa Claus.

best polar express book

THE POLAR EXPRESS
CHRIS VAN ALLENBURG
BUY HERE

Skipping Christmas – John Grisham (2001)

skipping christmas is a humorous take on the frenzy surrounding the Christmas period. Detailing the lives of Luther and Nora Krank, as well as their disillusionment with the usual Christmas routine, John Grisham’s novel artfully explores the role of family, tradition, and the spirit of Christmas.

John Grisham

SKIP CHRISTMAS
John Grisholm
BUY HERE

The Christmas Train – David Baldacci (2003)

the christmas train details the Christmas experience of Tom Langdon, a disillusioned journalist, who must travel from Washington, DC to Los Angeles Forced to travel by train, the novel follows his journey of passionate adventure and Christmas magic.

Christmas novel by David Baldacci

THE CHRISTMAS TRAIN
david baldacci
BUY HERE

Celebrations, Rituals of Peace and Prayer – Maya Angelou (2006)

An inspiring collection of poems written by Maya Angelou, Celebrations, Rituals of Peace and Prayer, marks the poet’s celebration of various public and private events; the most festive of all being amazing peace, he performed at the 2005 lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC.

maya angelou christmas poem

CELEBRATIONS
MAYA ANGELOU
BUY HERE

About a Boy – Nick Hornby (2014)

Will Feeman is single, has no kids, goes to the right clubs, and knows what shoes to wear. He’s also found a great way to connect with women: attending single-dad groups filled with available (and appreciative) moms. This is how Will meets Marcus, the oldest twelve-year-old boy on the planet. The two develop a strong bond, but can Will teach Marcus how to grow up cool? And can Marcus help Will grow?

about a boy

ABOUT A BOY
nick hornby
BUY HERE

A Maigret Christmas – Georges Simenon (2018)

Recently translated by David Coward, A Maigret Christmas consists of three short stories set during Christmas in Paris. First, A Maigret Christmasinvolves the titular Maigret as he is taken on a mysterious investigation, while the remaining stories paint a portrait of domestic life (with a hint of crime) during the festive season.

maigret best christmas book

A MAIGRET CHRISTMAS
GEORGES SIMENO
BUY HERE

One Day in December – Josie Silver (2018)

A decade-spanning exploration of love, friendship and destiny, one day in december tells the story of Josie and Jack. Beginning as two strangers experiencing a magical moment on a December day, the love story expands into a heartwarming, heartwarming, and festive Christmas book.

a day in december christmas book

A DAY IN DECEMBER
JOSE SILVER
BUY HERE

Twelve Nights – Urs Faes (2020)

twelve nights follows the story of Manfred, who walks alone through a snowy valley on his way to his childhood home. As the editor describes it: “TWelve Nights transports us to the winter depths of the European Black Forest, through the stillness of the snow-covered hills, the dense forests, the cold and the fog, in those dark and wild days between Christmas and Three Kings. These nights are a time of tradition and superstition, of stories told around the local innkeeper’s table of haunting spirits, as tangible as the ghosts of Manfred’s past.

book twelve nights

TWELVE NIGHTS
URS FAES
BUY HERE

The Christmas Bookstore – Jenny Colgan (2021)

Located in a historic bookstore, The Christmas bookstore is a moving story of family, friendships, and redemption. Follow the story of two estranged sisters, Sofía and Carmen, who get together during Christmas and are forced to reckon with the strength of the ties that unite them.

the christmas bookstore

THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSTORE
JENNY HANG
BUY HERE

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