Favorite Christmas Books for Teens

By request: what are some favorite Christmas books for teens?

Favorite Christmas Books for Teens

Favorite Christmas Books for Teens

It’s that most wonderful time of the year! During the holidays, teens often want a break from their usual literature studies and would like something more seasonal to read.

With that in mind, we asked homeschool friends, family and booksellers about favorite Christmas books that teens can use to liven up their booklist for their English/Language Arts credit.

Here are some favorite Christmas books for your homeschool high schoolers

Note that many of these books are old classics, so are easily available:

  • for free on sites like Gutenberg
  • by audiobooks (even free sites like Librivox, LearnOutLoud)
  • at your public library (books or audioversions)
  • our support your local and online small booksellers (like our friend, Becca, at The Bookcylcle– who gave us many of these suggestions. Btw- we are not affiliates, just like supporting the little folks who do good work!)

Classics and Newcomers to the Christmas Book Scene

SO many good ones. It is making ditch my own current reading and loading up on the oldies until the New Year!

A Cat Cafe Christmas by Codi Gary

A Christmas romance about…you guessed it…a cat cafe whose owner needs some help to get her business out of the red.

Christmas by the Book by Anne Marie Ryan

Two booksellers decide to make good things happen for folks who are having tough times, even though their own bookstore might be failing. (Becca from Bookcycle says this is a fun that does have some colorful language).

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol Literature Study Guide
Click image for full description.

Have your teens seen a movie version of Dickens’ Christmas classic but have not had a chance to read the book? Well, now is a good time! BTW- We suggest 7Sisters no-busywork Literature Study Guide for A Christmas Carol.

The Blue Carbuncle by Sherlock Holmes

A Christmas mystery for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson that includes an assault, a goose, a hat and a blue jewel.

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Twelve-year-old Milo helps his adoptive parents run a mysterious inn which has filled with mysterious characters during the holiday season.

Hercule Poirot’s Christmas by Agatha Christie

A Christmas murder mystery with Agatha Christie’s marvelous detective.

The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo

This lighthearted romance pits a high schooler working over the Christmas break at a local inn against the ornery nephew of the boss.

The Homecoming by Earl Hamner

This is the heartwarming Depression Era story of Clay-Boy heading out on a snowy Christmas Eve to find his missing father. For those of you old-timers like me, you will remember this book was the inspiration for television series: The Waltons.

A Jane Austen Christmas: Celebrating the Season of Romance, Ribbons and Mistletoe by Carlo DeVito

This book tells the story of Jane Austen and her family over the Christmases between 1786 when she was eleven years old to 1815.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

Every Christmas, “Father Christmas” would write a letter to Tolkien’s children full of news from the North Pole. This is a don’t miss!

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Chronicles of Narnia Literature Study Guide #1: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe for High Schoolers. Theology, philosophy, classics, fun!
Click image for full description.

Okay, while this is not actually a Christmas story, Father Christmas plays a pivotal role in the story. (And any time is a good time to read a Narnia book!) Using 7Sisters Literature Study Guide for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe brings this up to high school level experience.

BTW- 7Sisters has a free syllabus that you can adapt to your teens’ needs as they work through the Chronicles of Narnia.

One Way or Another by Kara McDowell

A story about a stressed-out teen who is dealing with anxiety, electives and the holidays.

Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

A novelization of the beloved, classic movie by the creator of the original story.

Old Christmas by Washington Irving

A nostalgic collection of vignettes and descriptions of Christmas in England by the author of Rip Van Winkle.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (“translations” by either J.R.R. Tolkien or Simon Armitage)

This famous story, written in 1400, is not about Christmas, but Christmas provides pivotal moments in the story of the brave Sir Gawain.

There's nothing like a good Christmas story to liven up the ELA booklist!

Christmas Short Stories

There are SO many good and/or classic Christmas short stories. It is definitely a genre your teens should experience. We generally allow our teens to count five to ten short stories as one book for their ELA booklist. (This is a bit subjective- some short stories are longer than others, so you just have to give it your best guess.)

You can start with some classic story collections or simply read short stories online. (Note: teens need to understand that many of these books were written in the 1800s and early 1900s, when they style of writing was much more simple and the plots a bit naive. Tell them not to be judgmental, just enjoy them. After all, we enjoy Hallmark Christmas movies- simple and a bit naive.)

Note: We are including links to free versions of these short stories that teens can read.

The Burglar’s Christmas by Elizabeth L. Seymour (Willa Cather’s pseudonym)

An unusual story about an unusual burglar on Christmas Eve who experiences a miraculous event.

Christmas at Red Butte by L.M. Montgomery

Theodora, on an errand to help out her poor aunt/guardian and little cousins, helps out an injured stranger and finds good things happen.

Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck

Beautiful and touching story of an old farmer who remembered his love early on Christmas Day.

Christmas Every Day by William Dean Howells

An eager-for-Christmas little girl wants her dad to tell her a Christmas story, so he tells her about a girl who had Christmas every day.

Fish Cheeks by Amy Tan

This is actually a short autobiographical essay about the year when she turned fourteen and the white minister and his family joined Amy’s Chinese family for Christmas Eve dinner. A wise and touching story.

The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry

My favorite Christmas story: A young couple each makes a big sacrifice in order to give a precious gift to the other.

The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Duren Stern

This wonderful story is the inspiration for my favorite movie: It’s a Wonderful Life. So good!

The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

The heartbreaking classic about the little match girl. Every teen should read this story at least once in their lives.

Collections of Short Stories

Sometimes it is more fun to simply read short story collections. Here are two:

The Christmas Stories of Louisa May Alcott

Sweet stories with lots of orphans or wealthy children learning about the true meaning of Christmas.

A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems

More sweet stories and poems from L.M. Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Harriott Beecher Stowe, Christina Rossetti, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and many more.

What else would you suggest for this list?

May your Christmas reading be merry and bright!


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Vicki Tillman

Blogger, curriculum developer at 7SistersHomeschool.com, counselor, life and career coach, SYMBIS guide, speaker, prayer person. 20+year veteran homeschool mom.

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