It’s no secret that having shared stories is one of the things that binds people together. Usually when we think of stories in this way, we think about families. We think about the common joys and experiences that people, young and old, from the same family unit have shared in real life together. This is a way of thinking about stories among people who know each other closely.
People who are less familiar with each other can also come together through stories. Think about it: When you read a good book, you now have the same memory of the story as someone else who also read the book. You don’t have to know each other share those experiences.
Something similar happens when we connect with a story on the page (or screen). We “share” the experience of the characters in the story without having to be physically present for those events. This is why telling stories through generations is such an effective way to pass down values to young people.
Preserving the meaning, celebrations, and customs of Christmas can be done simply by reading and sharing short stories.
Here is a list of 7 short stories to read for the holidays.
The Birth of Jesus Christ
The biblical story of the birth of Jesus Christ is widely regarded as the very first story of Christmas. The holiday itself is named after Christ. The story of the birth of Christ can be found by piecing together scripture from a number of books of the Bible.
- Isaiah 7:14
- Isaiah 9:2, 6-7
- Isaiah 40:1-2, 9
- Luke 1:26-35
- Matthew 1:18-23
- Luke 2:1-20
- Matthew 2:1-12
- John 3:16-17
The Greatest Gift by Philip van Doren Stern
Here’s a little known fact about this story: It is largely believed to have been the basis for the widely beloved classic Christmas film It’s a Wonderful Life.
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Who can forget Tiny Tim, especially the version made popular by Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse in the animated version of A Christmas Carol. And who could forget old, crotchety Mr. Scrooge (not to be confused with Scrooge McDuck, who was a much kinder, more generous duck).
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Here is another classic that has adapted to the screen numerous times, both in animated and live action versions.
Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
This story has become more popular in recent years due to the recent release of the film adaptation starring Tom Hanks.
The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry
This little story says a lot about the meaning of Christmas. It helps you understand why it’s sometimes better to give than receive.
The Elves and the Shoemaker by Brothers Grimm
Another tale about giving, this short story shows how giving can enrich not only the spirit but also one’s financial well being.