The Top 5 Christmas Books To Read Aloud for Christmas

Reading out loud is something I’ve been interested in doing more frequently, and this holiday season is the perfect time. I’ve seen quite a few movies in which the characters read a Christmas tale, usually ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, aloud to a group of children near Christmas or to their family on Christmas Eve. I myself read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas during one of my aunt’s Christmas Eve parties. My audience may have been small, but my sister and brother enjoyed listening to me read and finding innuendos and double meanings in the book, such as the fact that Santa sneaks into kid’s houses at night.

Children’s books are the best to read out loud. They often rhyme and have an easy, rhythmic tone to follow. With that in mind, here are the top five Christmas stories to read out loud.

5. Elf:  a Short Story of a Tall Tale by Art Ruiz

ElfI put this last on the list because this book is based on the movie. It’s not the one that Buddy the Elf reads during the movie that starts off with, “First, I traveled through the seven levels of the candy cane forest, past the sea of swirly twirly gumdrops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” That is a book I’d really want to read. But the book based on the movie will suffice, especially since it has some nice pictures to look at as well. It’s a good story and told in an easy way to follow – I’m sure it will sound good aloud. Perhaps something to try next Christmas. And maybe some day there will be a book that goes like this:

4. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

The Polar ExpressMost people know the movie, but how many have read the book on which the movie was based? This classic story is about the spirit of Christmas and believing in the magic of Chrstmastime. Even if you grow up and stop believing in Santa (although why you would is beyond me…), this story brings to life the spirit of Christmas and makes you want to feel the magic. You can show off the lovely illustrations as you’re reading this aloud.

3. The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum

The Life and Adventures of Santa ClausThis is my favorite Christmas story, but for a read-aloud it can’t compete with the top two, plus this story isn’t as well known as the others. You don’t see Ak figures or Awgwa ornaments lining the Christmas section at the Hallmark Story, or Necile’s pretty fairy face on a Christmas card. But I highly recommend this story. It’s full of magic and nature. Claus starts off as an ordinary human who makes his way into the magical forest of Burzee as a baby. He is adopted by the magical creatures and allowed to live with them, but eventually he is taken into the human world by Ak to learn the ways of his own kind. Saddened by what he finds there, he starts making toys to cheer up the children.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

Even if you haven’t read the book, you know the words to it if you’ve watched the animated classic of this tale. This is the perfect book to read to family on Christmas because of the rhymes, the heartfelt story, and the moral of enjoying Christmas by spending time with the ones you love instead of worrying about all the gifts.

1. Twas the Night Before Christmas, originally a poem called “A Visit From St. Nicholas,” published anonymously by Clement Clarke Moore

The Night Before ChristmasIf you want just the words, pick any version, but if the pictures matter to you – well, have fun browsing your local library or bookstore! ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is easily number one because it is the most famous Christmas classic. Everyone knows it, and quite a few movies have characters who read it aloud on Christmas Eve to their families. It’s a good Christmas Eve bedtime story to get your kids to bed so Santa can come with his gifts, and it also brings alive the wonder and spirit of Christmas.

So, if you’re looking for a new tradition to start on Christmas Eve, try one of these and see how they sound out loud. Maybe you have a relative who tells great stories. Maybe your dad likes to do voices for different characters. No matter what you end up doing, have a Merry Christmas to all and to all a good time!

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