Intersection of Life and Faith

10 Christmas Stories You Should Read Again and Again

  • Kristen Terrette Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
10 Christmas Stories You Should Read Again and Again

Traditions reign during Christmas. Every family has a way of doing all things Christmas-sy. Whether you have a real or fake tree, colored or white lights, serve ham or turkey, are visited by Santa or an elf, you all have traditions.

These help make the holiday celebrations magical. They remind us of the extraordinary event that happened over two thousand years ago when God became flesh in a fragile newborn. They fill our hearts with the joy that comes from giving, and they prompt us to spend time with our loved ones.

As a writer, reader, mom, and former teacher and children’s ministry director, one of my most cherished traditions is to read Christmas stories to the young ones in my life. These have touched my family and the children I’ve served. They’re a mix of old, new, popular, little-known, folklore, and poem, and all would make great additions to your December.

Here are the 10 Christmas Stories You Should Read Again and Again:

Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/VasylDolmatov

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    Slide 1 of 10

    Candy canes have long been a symbol of Christmas. They pop up the day after Halloween and can be found in nearly every flavor imaginable. This precious story retells of the legend of the first candy cane.

    An old candymaker wants to teach local children the real meaning of Christmas. With the help of his granddaughter, he makes a new candy to tell them about Jesus. 

    He flavors it with peppermint to remind the children of the spices the wise men brought to Jesus. Its hardness reminds them Jesus is “the Rock” (1 Corinthians 10:4), and the white symbolizes His sinless life. Its staff-like shape reminds them that He is the Good Shepherd, and when flipped is a “J” for Jesus. The stripes symbolize the cross and the wounds He endured. They are painted red for the love of God and the blood He shed (John 3:16). All aspects combined, this sweet treat beautifully illustrates what Jesus did for us, and I promise this story will touch your heart.

     

    Photo credit: Youtube

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    2. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

    Slide 2 of 10

    “The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.” That’s the first sentence of this hilarious and outrageous story. The six awful Herdman children decide to take part in the local church’s Christmas play. It’s a beautiful disaster. 

    I’ll admit this is my favorite story on the list. My mom read it aloud to my sisters and I every Christmas when we were young, and it holds a special place in my heart. I believe it’s because we’re all a little like the Herdmans. Destructive, obnoxious, broken … in need of a Savior.

    By the end, the Herdmans have opened their hearts to God. If they can, then surely there’s hope for us. You’re sure to laugh and cry while reading this one, and each emotion is well worth it.

     

    Photo credit: Google/LCTonstage.org

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    3. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

    Slide 3 of 10

    In our self-focused world, the lesson of this story has never been more relevant. The Grinch lives a selfish, lonely existence, and obsesses over what annoys him—Christmas. His hatred for the holidays hinders his joy in seeing others happy. He decides to ruin Christmas and steal everyone in Whoville’s Christmas decorations, presents, and even their food.

    But instead of feeling sorrow, Whoville residents unite and begin singing joyfully. The Grinch failed because Christmas isn’t about things, it’s about something more.

    Something much more, indeed.

     
     
    Photo credit: Youtube
  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    4. The Three Trees, Folktale retold by Angela Elwell Hunt

    Slide 4 of 10

    Oh, how this story brings tears to my eyes! Its powerful imagery is a good reminder throughout the year, but it’s relation to the Nativity Story is why it made this list.

    Three trees have big dreams. One wants to become a treasure box. Another desires to be made into a large sailing ship. The third dreams of remaining planted, growing tall enough to reach heaven. But just like our lives, their dreams aren’t always what God has planned for us.

    The first tree doesn’t become a treasure box, per se, but it ends up holding the Greatest Treasure of all when it becomes a manger which cradles the newborn Savior (Luke 2:7,12). Instead of a mighty ship, the second becomes a meager fishing boat that totes Jesus as He calms the waters (Matthew 8:23-27). The third becomes the cross that bore Jesus at His death (Mark 15:37). Not only does this story teach us about Christ, but it reminds us our dreams are in good Hands. He “is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).  

     

    Photo credit: Google/DaySpring.com

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    5. Cricket at the Manger by Edith Hope Fine

    Slide 5 of 10

    If you’ve ever wondered what it would’ve been like to be a fly on the wall during Jesus’ birth, then this story is for you. A tiny cricket in Bethlehem, tired of all the commotion from people coming to town to be counted in a census, just wants some rest. He’s an ornery and grumpy bug, much like a tired toddler. 

    He finds a quiet place in a shed, but soon a couple joins him, and the young woman goes into labor. Animals and people from all around visit the tiny baby. The cricket’s frustration grows when a shepherd girl picks him up for a better look at the newborn. Then, he sees what everyone else already has. The baby is special. He’s the One. 

    He tunes his rusty wings, and plays a song for the child. It will be a challenge not to break into a smile reading the cricket’s reaction to the Newborn King. 

     

    Photo credit: Goodreads.com

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    6. Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

    Slide 6 of 10

    The Little Drummer Boy is one of my favorite Christmas songs, largely because I see myself in this lad. If I were to encounter Jesus on earth, I’d feel as if I had nothing to offer. Though the beauty of the story is that God doesn’t see us this way. He simply asks us to give Him our all, and in the little drummer boy’s case, it’s a song. 

    And you know what? It’s a perfect gift. 

    God knows exactly what we’re able to offer, and He wants us to use our talents to praise and honor Him. That’s exactly what this little drummer boy does. This book is meant for young children, but reading the words of this classic Christmas song is sure to get anyone into the Christmas spirit.

     

    Photo credit: Google/Kinderbooks.net

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    7. The Three Miracles by Sandy Meyer

    Slide 7 of 10

    This whimsical fantasy brings the Nativity Story and Santa Claus together for an amazing tale. The creatures of a snowy forest are awakened by a star falling out of the sky, followed soon by Santa Claus himself. He tells the animals the star appeared when Christ was born. It shone bright for all the world to see, but as the world grew dark, so did the star, until its light was lost, and it fell to the ground. Santa is unable to navigate since the star showed him the way. 

    The badgers and the rabbits fight over who gets the star and would then rule the forest, wounding their squirrel friend in the chaos. Fearing he’s dead, they sing Silent Night, and the first miracle happens as the rabbits and badgers reconcile. The star’s light grows as they sing and forgive, then the squirrel wakes. At the end, the star rushes into the night sky, bright and magnificent once more. With faith in Christ, the star will never fade.

     

    Photo credit: Google/FishersCreek.net

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    8. The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado

    Slide 8 of 10

    God sees those who are broken, injured, and left out. He doesn’t care about your past, upbringing, education, or social status. He can use you in a mighty way if you turn to Him. 

    That’s the heart of this story. A crippled lamb is unable to jump and play like the others, and is left behind when the shepherd takes his flock to another field. But in staying, he was one of the first see the Newborn King. In fact, he kept the baby warm until swaddling clothes were found for Him. The lamb then recognizes his purpose. 

    This take on the Nativity Story is sure to fill your heart with hope that God has a place and purpose for you, no matter who you are. 

     

    Photo credit: Google/MyMinkBetty.com

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    9. The Night before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

    Slide 9 of 10

    Most of you can repeat this classic poem from memory. Though it doesn’t mention Jesus or His birth, it certainly touches on the magic of Christmas—a warm house on a winter’s night, children going to sleep full of anticipation, a jolly, big-bellied, bearded old man who sneaks into their house…

    Okay, it’s a little strange, but I’ve always been amazed how easily children believe in things that are incomprehensible, which is really what Jesus’ story is all about, isn’t it? We’re to believe without seeing Him for ourselves. 

    A child’s faith comes naturally. In all my years working in children’s ministry, I’ve never had one child question if Jesus is real. Not. One. They ask some strange questions sometimes, but they believe with certainty in Him. This classic poem is a reminder of a child’s easy faith (Matthew 19:14). As adults, we can learn from children who believe in something, or Someone, they can’t see. 

     

    Photo credit: Google/SimonandSchuster.com

  • 1. The Candymaker's Gift by Helen and David Haidle

    10. God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Dawn Bergen

    Slide 10 of 10

    My husband and I were visited by Santa when we were children. As parents, we decided he’d visit our kids too, but we’ve struggled with how to explain him. He’s not the reason we celebrate, but to children, the gifts by the fireplace on Christmas morning say otherwise. 

    This story provided the answer. It gave us the words needed to help my children understand this. A young polar bear asks his mom if Santa gave us Christmas. Her answer is a definitive no, and she goes on to show the young cub that Christmas came from God.  

    It’s heartwarming and gives parents a way to keep Santa in their celebration, yet teach he’s not who gave it to us, nor the most important.

     

    Photo credit: Google/Kobo.com

    Kristen has a Master's degree in Theological Studies and was on staff as a Children's Ministry Director for over five years. She cherishes her Southern roots and currently lives forty-five minutes outside of Atlanta, GA. With the support of her husband and two children, she stays at home writing Christian fiction, making up fantasy places and characters, allowing God to take the story where He needs it to go. She is on the women's leadership and teaching team at her church and writes for Wholly Loved ministry at www.WhollyLoved.com. To see her blog and current novels, check out her website at www.kristenterrette.com.