"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, December 5, 2011

Favorite Holiday Books and Stories

My husband and daughters in 1992 reading Jingle Bugs by David Carter.  It was a favorite when they were young.
Favorite Christmas Books and Stories, along with first line(s).

1. The Bible, Luke 2:1-20
"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world...And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem..."
2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
"The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world."
3. The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry
"My name's Doug Barnes, and this stuff happened on Christmas Eve in my town, which is Asquont, New York. According to Mr. Purcell, who's my Social Studies teacher, Asquont is an Indian name that means some Indian thing like 'Hunting Place in the Green Forest,' but sometimes I think it was just a joke by the Indians to get white people to say 'Asquont'."
4. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
"Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot...But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Whoville, did not."
5. A Christmas Story by Jean Shepherd
"Duel in the Snow, or Red Ryder Nails the Cleveland Street Kid"

Printed in angry block letter the slogan gleamed out from the large white button like a neon sign. I carefully reread it to make sure that I had not made a mistake

6. "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus", by Francis P. Church (New York Sun, September 21, 1897)
"DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
"Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
"Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'
"Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
"On Christmas Eve, many years ago, I lay quietly in my bed. I did not rustle the sheets. I breathed slowly and silently. I was listening for a sound- a sound a friend told me I'd never hear- the ringing bells of Santa's sleigh."
8.  Let it Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson, Lauren Myacle

"It was the night before Christmas. Well, to be more precise, it was the afternoon before Christmas."

9. Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
"Imagine this: You are in your favorite bookstore, scanning the shelves. You get to the section where a favorite author's books reside, and there, nestled in comfortably between the incredibly familiar spines, sits a red notebook."

10. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
"'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse."
11. A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
"Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago."
12. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
"Marley was dead, to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that."
13. Seven Stories of Christmas Love by Leo Buscalia
"Christmas is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus, the Holy Child of Bethlehem, nearly two thousand years ago. But whatever your religious belief, the spirit of Christmas is love, and love is universal."

14. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
"One dollar and eighty-seven cents. That was all. And sixty cents of it was in pennies."

    15. Lousia May Alcott's Christmas Treasury...The Complete Christmas Collection
"A Merry Christmas" found within Little Woman
"Jo was the first to wake in the grey dawn of Christmas morning."

Honorable Mention (I don't have copies of them for their first lines!):
-A Cup of Christmas Tea by Thomas Hegg

-Kirsten's Surprise: a Christmas Story (An American Girl Book) by Janet Beeler Shaw

Most of these books/stories are favorites because I have enjoyed reading them aloud with my family sometime during the holiday season. Many of them were favorites of my children when they were young and they carry such fond memories for me. Yet many remain family staples today even though the girls are grown. Many we read aloud to each other every year.

What are/were your favorite holiday books/stories?

This was originally posted on Nov. 23, 2010 for Top Ten Tuesday at Broke and Bookish 


  1. Love that you included the Bible! I can't believe I forgot that. I love reading about the birth of Jesus!

    Also..about your question.So sorry! I had put it there last night and then the blogger had a malfunction and I had to do it over again and forgot next week's topic! Here's the list through January.


  2. Yes, I see that we have three in common. I don't know some of the books you chose... I'll check it out!

    (PS: My english is far from perfect, I hope you'll forgive it!)

  3. This is an excellent list. I like the addition of first lines. It sets the tone for the book.

    Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

  4. I completely forgot about Yes, Virginia! I have a newspaper clipping of it. It's a classic, especially for children beginning to ask hard questions. Here's my top 10.

  5. Jingle Bugs would be far higher on my list...But that's just my post-mullet opinion ;)
    After hearing the first lines I want to grab all the books and finish them right now. Especially the Best Christmas Pageant Ever..."HEY! Unto you, a child is born!" Love it!

  6. I don't remember reading very many Christmas books to the kids. I'll have to ask them!

  7. I love your list! It's similar to my own. "Yes, Virginia" and The Little Match Girl" - they get me every time.

    -Linds, bibliophile brouhaha

  8. I didn't even think of The Night Before Christmas. I have read that, but I've always read it in paper form not book form. You'd think that I would have read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, but I can only say that I watched the cartoon movie. It is one of my favorites, so I think I'll go buy it this year and read it for the first time.

    Thanks so much for your list and first lines. I'm going to add a lot of these my to read list and hopefully, I can get to some of them this year. :)

  9. Those opening lines in "A Christmas Carol" about Marley being dead as a doornail -- and the off-topic musing that it seemed coffin nails were the deadest bit of ironmongery -- always amuse me.

  10. Loved The Gift of the Magi. Thanks for the suggestion!

  11. The opening of A Christmas Carol might be my favorite part of the book. It certainly sets the tone, and not the tone I was expecting after seeing hundreds of adaptations.

  12. Great list! I really like that you included photos and first lines. I definitely need to check out the Dave Barry and the Truman Capote you have listed.

  13. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is pretty awesome, no denying it. And the Gift of the Magi is classic!

  14. Lovely list! I feel kinda bad that I didn't add the Bible to my list, it's the reason for all the other books:D

  15. Great list! There are a couple of books on it that will be going on my "To Check Out" list.

  16. What a wonderful post, Anne! Of course, I am familiar with the classics but there are some here I hadn't heard of before.

    A couple of years ago, I posted my own Top Ten holiday book list:


    You've reminded me that it's time to bring our holiday books and movies up from the basement! We're a bit behind this year because of so much else going on. Thanks for the inspiration!


  17. I really need to read Dash and Lily - it looks so fabulous.


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