Like a pop star working out a contract they didn’t understand when they signed, because they were too busy slurping down Capri Sun to realise what they were letting themselves in for, I find myself, after six grueling years in the game, working on the inevitable Greatest Hits compilation. The twenty four best ever Christmas books for children.
But fear not loyal readers! There is new material on the list as well as bonus features and the classics remastered! All designed to ensure that fans happily pay for the same stuff all over again*!
Analogy over, let’s get on with the rules. First of all, every book in this list is a CHRISTMAS book. So nothing about snowy days or icy queens or having a cold. This is the real thing, like full fat, holidays are coming Coke.
Secondly, whole books only. No single Christmassy chapters or Santa cameos. We’re here for the entire holiday season guys, make em last!
Third. There was no way I was going to rank these books from best to worst. They’re my friends. Instead we’ll be going in chronological order, starting with the original Christmas classic…
December 1st – The Night Before Christmas by Clement C Moore (1823)
NEW MATERIAL: The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Kes Gray
December 2nd – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (1843)
BONUS CONTENT: Posy Simmonds’ Scrooge
December 3rd – The Box of Delights by John Masefield (1935)
December 4th – A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas (1952)
December 5th – How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss (1957)
December 6th – Eloise at Christmastime by Kay Thompson and Hilary Knight (1958)
December 7th – The Fir Tree by Tove Jansson (1962)
REMIX – The Fir Tree: Christmas Comes to Moominvalley
December 8th – The Mouse and His Child by Russell Hoban (1968)
December 9th – The Twelve Days of Christmas by Brian Wildsmith (1972)
December 10th – The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (1973)
December 11th – Father Christmas by Raymond Briggs (1973)
December 12th – The Silver Christmas Tree by Pat Hutchins (1974)
December 13th – Mog’s Christmas by Judith Kerr (1976)
December 14th – Cops and Robbers by Janet and Allan Ahlberg (1978)
December 15th – Lucy and Tom at Christmas by Shirley Hughes (1981)
December 16th – The Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann and Maurice Sendak (1984)
December 17th – Christmas in Exeter Street by Diana Hendry and John Lawrence (1989)
December 18th – Harvey Slumfenburger’s Christmas Present by John Burningham (1993)
December 19th – Olive the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold and Vivian Walsh (1997)
December 20th – Melrose and Croc: Together at Christmas by Emma Chichester Clark (2005)
December 21st – Refuge by Anne Booth and Sam Usher (2015)
December 22nd – Marguerite’s Christmas by India Desjardins and Pascal Blanchet (2015)
December 23rd – There May Be a Castle by Piers Torday (2016)
December 24th – How Winston Delivered Christmas by Alex T. Smith (2018)
*I never got paid the first time