Bloggers who emphasize writing and reading have a tendency to write about good holiday books (A.K.A. Christmas stories) when it gets close to December 25th. I can’t blame them (I’m just as guilty); however, I’ve noticed that lists like “The Twelve Books of Christmas” often overlook stories that I, personally, consider to be holiday gems. Don’t get me wrong: I like A Christmas Carol and How the Grinch Stole Christmas as well as the next person. But here are 4 Christmas stories you’ve probably never heard of – at least not from the traditional book lists.
My 4 Favorite Christmas Stories You’ve Probably Never Heard of
Sweet Christmas Stories
If you’re observant (and I like to think that you are), you’ll notice that these two stories have a couple of things in common. Let’s just say that I liked cats and happy endings as a child (Ok. I’m still a child.).
1. The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes
A poor cat is struggling through the snow even as a young boy worries that Santa won’t make it through the snow storm. If you think Santa arranges a happy ending for both, you’re right, which is, honestly, exactly what most children want in a story. Especially a Christmas story. The lovely drawings and interesting portrayal of Santa Claus make this book stand out and make the story extra enthralling and heart-warming.
2. “The Christmas Day Kitten” from James Herriot’s Treasury for Children
A wonderfully unique title, I know; however, this compilation of short stories was one of my favorites growing up, and while this particular story is extra appropriate to Christmas time, the rest are just as touching, amusing, and inspiring.
Each story features the vet (James Herriot) and his experience with a special animal. Dogs, cats, horses, and even cows share the spotlight in delightful stories full of each animal’s individual character (not to mention their owners!). The rich paintings bring the stories to life in ways no child (and few adults) can resist. It’s a charming book for any time of the year, but the hope and kindness that binds the stories together is especially appropriate at Christmas.
Silly Christmas Stories
So… apparently, I have two sides: sweet with happy endings for animals or silly with plenty of plays on words, especially with parodies. These two books fall in the latter category (but you knew that).
3. Cajun Night Before Christmas by Trosclair
Technically, our copy of this book belongs to my parents (Hmm… I need to get one…), but not only are the drawings fun and interesting to a child, the dialect of the writing is absolutely irresistible! I remember reading it aloud to myself, trying to get the accent right from the writing. I doubt I ever did (even today), but, oh, did I have fun trying!
Besides, a tattered St. Nick with gators instead of reindeer? Who could resist that?
4. Da Night Before Kris-Moose by Terry Foy
Speaking of accents, have you ever been to Minnesota? No? What about a theatrical viking accent? Ever heard one? You know the one I mean – at least, I hope so because you’ll need it for this book.
This parody of the traditional poem relies heavily on the accent and homophones to change the meaning of the poem, creating a combination parody and caricature that’s well worth a giggle or two. And, as stories go, this one has some points that are definitely more applicable to today than the historic version!
Oh, and if you get the chance to hear this Christmas story performed by the author, take it. Your abs might hate you afterwards, but, remember, laughing burns calories!
Sweetly Sappy or Superbly Silly?
Which will it be? Whichever you pick, these Christmas stories (you know, the ones you’ve probably never heard of) are great for children and adults. In fact, they’re great for children who are adults (Hi!). So pick a flavor and dive in!
What about you? Got any favorite Christmas stories that I’ve probably never heard of?