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Celebrate this Holiday Season with this List of Classic Christmas Stories!

What better way to immerse ourselves in the joy of Christmas than through the pages of these timeless tales? The following classic Christmas stories highlight compassion, generosity, and the joy of giving.


Check out this List of Classic Christmas Stories!

As winter's chill embraces the air and festive lights illuminate the streets, immerse yourself in the warmth of these twelve classic Christmas stories. From the comforting visions of a lonely child on city streets, to the love of a young couple willing to give their most cherished gifts; gather 'round and let the spirit of Christmas unfold through these celebratory tales.


  1. "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens: Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-hearted and selfish man, is visited by three ghosts: the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Through these encounters, Scrooge is transformed into a more compassionate man when he heeds the lessons of these benevolent ghosts. Ultimately, he undergoes a powerful transformation and learns the importance of kindness, empathy, and generosity.

  2. "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry: This classic story follows a young married couple, Jim and Della, who wish to give each other the very best. It’s a tale of both compassion and sacrifice as each of them give away something deeply cherished. Their sacrificial love and selflessness highlight the essence of giving and the depth of true love.

  3. "The Little Match Girl" by Hans Christian Andersen: This tragic tale takes place during one frigid New Year's Eve. A young girl tries to sell matches to survive, but finds solace only in beautiful visions, trading each match for a fleeting moment of warmth and joy. This tale reminds us of the need for empathetic compassion for “the least of these” and the consequences of not taking action.

  4. "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffmann: This story, often depicted as a Christmas ballet, follows young Clara one Christmas Eve as her beloved Nutcracker comes to life. He leads her into a magical world of adventure, wonder, and eventually, a fierce battle with the Mouse King. This classic Christmas story is worth reading to underscore the importance of bravery, friendship, and the power of imagination.

  5. "The Elves and the Shoemaker" by Brothers Grimm: A poor shoemaker receives unexpected help from extraordinarily helpful elves who visit his shop at night. Grateful for their assistance, the shoemaker and his wife return their kindness with gifts of their own. This story is a celebration of thoughtfulness, kindness, and the joy of altruistic giving.

  6. "The Fir Tree" by Hans Christian Andersen: This cautionary Christmas story begins with an enthusiastic tree always looking forward to the next thing or hoping for something more and better at the cost of sacrificing joy in the present. Ultimately, the tree learns to appreciate both the present moment and the future.

  7. "The Snow Queen" by Hans Christian Andersen: This Christmas story is about the deep friendship between two children, Gerda and Kai. They're friendship is threatened when Kai’s heart is turned to ice and he loses perspective of the world. This is a powerful tale about the power of community, friendship, and love.

  8. "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams: This Christmas story, about a small toy given as a gift, features a small toy rabbit who longs to become "real." Through the rabbit's journey, the story touches on the transformative power of love, the value of authenticity, and the depth of emotional connection.

  9. "Papa Panov's Special Christmas" by Leo Tolstoy: Papa Panov, a humble shoemaker, eagerly awaits a visit from Jesus on Christmas Day. Throughout the day, various people in need cross his path, revealing an unexpected truth.

  10. "Christmas Day in the Morning" by Pearl S. Buck: A young man's gift to his father one Christmas morning beautifully portrays the importance of family, selflessness, and the significance of heartfelt gestures during the holiday season.

  11. "The Christmas Banquet" by Nathaniel Hawthorne: This Christmas story reflects the joy and warmth of holiday celebrations, emphasizing the need we all have for genuine community.

  12. "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" by Arthur Conan Doyle: Sherlock Holmes investigates the mystery of a stolen gem found in the crop of a Christmas goose. This Christmas story showcases themes of forgiveness, second chances, and the unexpected ways in which goodwill and generosity reveal the Christmas Spirit.


Each story, in its unique way, captures elements of love, kindness, generosity, empathy, and the joy of giving—essentials that define the importance of community and the true spirit of Christmas.

Free Christmas Story Graphic Organizer

We've prepared a colorful tool to enhance your reading experience, allowing you to delve deeper into each of these Christmas Stories. Click below for access and explore, interact, and engage with kids by printing and discussing each story with our free resource.


Click HERE for a printable Christmas Story Graphic Organizer.


Wishing you all the best!

As we immerse ourselves in these narratives, may the spirit of Christmas fill our hearts with warmth, compassion, and joy. From the transformation of Scrooge to the selflessness of Jim and Della, each story resonates with timeless messages that continue to inspire.


Wishing you a wonderful, warm, and learning Christmas! May the messages of these stories brighten your holiday season and fill your days with love and laughter and point you to the true author of Christmas.


Warmest wishes,


Carol Nelson & the Staff of Nelson Notes LLC



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