Christmas Books

I have carried out a thorough search of Amazon's extensive portfolio and found more than 30 beautiful Christmas  books for adults and children that you can check out in the following Reviews and Recommendations section. It took me a long time, but it will save you a lot of effort. You can also browse through a wide range of other Christmas Related Books, with over 5000 items in this category. You can also gain access to more than a million general titles currently in publication, where you can make a General Search by author, title or subject. 

You can also take links from here to other products from Amazon, including Christmas CDsChristmas Videos, Christmas DVDsChildren's Toys,  PC & Video Games and Top Selling Software

It sometimes take quite a while for this particular page to download because it contains a large and  comprehensive selection of fascinating Christmas Books,)

Reviews & Recommendations

Christmas Books

"The First Christmas"   by Jan Pienkowski

Of all the beautiful children's books about Christmas there are two that are in a class of their own, as far as I am concerned. One is "A Christmas Story" by Brian Wildsmith (see below) and the other this wonderful book by Jan Pienkoeski. Both are truly works of art as much as they are books. Turn the pages and you will experience the true spirit of Christmas with its rich celebration of the Christmas story. Using the words of the King James Bible, the nativity story is brought gloriously to life with illuminated pictures of silhouettes set against glowing colours. The beautiful design and gold highlights throughout make this a true classic and the perfect Christmas gift. 


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

This paperback edition of Tolkien's famous illustrated "Letters from Father Christmas" includes extracts and pictures not included 25 years ago in the original publication. Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R.Tolkien's children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas. They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place; how the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas's house into the dining-room; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house! Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and 'authenticity' of Tolkien's "Letters from Father Christmas". There is also an double CD version of Letters from Father Christmas read by David Jacobi and Co. This link will get you there.


"First Noel" by Jan Pienkowski  

This is an absolutely amazing  book that made me gasp with surprise when I opened it, so unexpected was the beauty, craftsmanship and presentation of its contents. What was an even bigger surprise is that it isn't really a book at all, but a Christmas carousel that springs to life as you bend the spine until the hard covers meet at the back. Then you hang it up as the extraordinary piece of art that it is, telling the story of the Nativity through five exquisite cut-out silhouettes with words from the King James Bible.

I have already bought several copies of this magnificent  book/decoration and am greatly looking forward to witnessing the delight on the faces of of those I shall give it to. If there ever was  a truly appropriate Christmas gift, this is it. 


"A Child's Christmas In Wales"  by Dylan Thomas.  

This is my absolute favourite Christmas story book. It is basically a celebration of  Dylan Thomas' childhood and especially Christmas in a small Welsh town. It contains some of the most charming and endearing stories ever written on the subject. There should be a mandate to make it compulsory for everyone with childhood memories to read  this delightful piece of  lyrical writing at least once every Christmas. 

 "A Christmas Story"  by Brian Wildsmith  

My wife and I purchased this book for our grand-daughter just a few days ago and I can tell you it is absolutely beautiful. The story is lovely and the illustrations are utterly captivating. I keeping picking it up to see what else I can discover within its fascinating detail. I find myself handling it gently as if it was a precious work of art ..... which it probably is.

"A Christmas Story" has been a festive best-seller for over ten years and  has now been reissued in a min-edition. With gold leaf on every page, and telling a straight-forward yet touching version of the Nativity story, this remarkable book is the ideal Christmas gift, small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking and costing less than a fiver. It has already sold well in excess of 150,000 copies with sales increasing year on year.


The Oxford Book Of Christmas Poems"  

This is a lovely book of Christmas poems, suitable for children as well as adults, It contains many excellent illustrations and some of the poems included in "Christmas Pie" are also contained in this book. The editors, Michael Harrison and Christopher Stuart-Clark, obviously have excellent taste.

'This is a superb collection: serious and funny, meditative and prayerful, narrative and in song-form. The illustrations by many artists are beautiful .... an excellent gift.' The Malvern Gazette.

"The Young Oxford Book of Christmas Poems" Michael Harrison & Christopher Start-Clark Editors. 

Don't be misled by the title. This is a book to be enjoyed by poetry lovers of all ages who are susceptible to the magic of Christmas. Any poetry book that includes W.H.Auden's "Well, So That Is That" can't be just a kid's book. It really is a wonderful collection of Christmas Poetry with works from such poets as Blake, Clare, Donne, Herrick, Stevenson, de la Mare, Hardy and Rosetti as well as more contemporary writers including Dylan Thomas, John Hedgley, Charles Causley, Sylvia Plath, U.A. Fanthorpe and Ted Hughes. This is an excellent source of material for anyone putting together a rehearsed reading as a Christmas Entertainment ......... as of course are the

Don't be misled by the title. This is a book to be enjoyed by poetry lovers of all ages who are susceptible to the magic of Christmas. Any poetry book that includes W.H.Auden's "Well, So That Is That" can't be just a kid's book. It really is a wonderful collection of Christmas Poetry with works from such poets as Blake, Clare, Donne, Herrick, Stevenson, de la Mare, Hardy and Rosetti as well as more contemporary writers including Dylan Thomas, John Hedgley, Charles Causley, Sylvia Plath, U.A. Fanthorpe and Ted Hughes. This is an excellent source of material for anyone putting together a rehearsed reading as a Christmas Entertainment ......... as of course are the Christmas Poetry and Christmas Prose sections of the Christmas-Time web site


"The Oxford Book of Christmas Stories" Compiled by Dennis Pepper.  

This is an excellent companion book to the aforementioned "...Oxford Book Of Christmas Poems". What I like about this book is that it contains the work of many writers who may be unfamiliar to the reader. Okay, you will come across such well known names such as Charles Dickens and Laurie Lee, but you're sure to make some new acquaintances. It is somewhat less generously illustrated than its companion but it looks and feels like a nice book. Nice pressy!

'A galaxy of writers and illustrators, a mix of old and new to keep bookworms happy throughout twelve days and more.' The Sunday Times

"How The Grinch Stole Christmas"  by Dr. Seuss. 

Dr. Seuss's small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling Christmas kill-joy of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above Whoville. He finds the noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below extremely annoying. So, he decides this frivolity must stop. His "wonderful, awful" idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the cheerful Whos of their Christmas goodies.


"The Little Big Book of Christmas" by Tim Shaner  

Designed by Tim Shaner and lavishly illustrated throughout with nineteenth-century artwork, this book will remind you of the origins of Christmas, the roots of modern celebration, and the current significance of the holiday in each of our lives. There have been many successful Christmas titles before The Little Big Book of Christmas, but none so complete, timeless, and delightful, and none in such a beautifully designed format. A great big fat international Christmas book chock-full of stories, songs, biblical verse, Christmas lore, and some of the very best holiday recipes, including New England Eggnog, Classic Sugar Cookies, Hot Chocolate with
Peppermint Sticks, A Brownie Christmas Tree, Swedish Gingerbread Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, and Scandinavian Glogg. 

"The Kingfisher Book of Classic Christmas Stories" by Ian Whybrow

Traditional favourites, legends from around the world and modern retellings of classic Christmas stories feature in this sparkling collection. Charming stories, whether familiar or less well known, will entertain readers of all ages, and get them into a festive mood. This beautiful book has been carefully compiled to appeal to both boys and girls. It will find a place in any home. Funny and sad, magical and mysterious, these stories and their stunning illustrations capture the true spirit of Christmas.

Ian Whybrow is an award-winning author with over sixty picture books and novels to his credit. Described as "a major talent" (T.E.S.), he won the UKRA award, the 1996 TBS Birmingham Children's Book Award and the Talkies Award for Best Book and Tape (with Griff Rhys Jones) for Little Wolf's Book of Badness (HarperCollins). Quacky Quack Quack (Walker) was shortlisted for the Smarties Prize and Harry and the Snow King (Levinson) was Waterstone's Book of the Month.

The Thousand Nights and One Nights"  by Jan Pienkowski & David Walser

This is a sumptuous book, truly glittering with its gilt-edged pages, and on opening my daughter and I discovered a world of Arabian riches. The exotic adventures include those of Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, Aladdin and his Lamp, and Sinbad the Sailor as well as tales of the Birds, the Beast and the Carpenter; The Fox and the Cock; and the Fisherman and the Genie. All are set into the context of Shahrazade's own story: that she tells tales night after night for a thousand and one nights to try and prevent her own untimely demise.
The narrative is well-written, cleverly transforming an epic Victorian translation of ancient Oriental stories into straightforward English suitable for reading aloud to twenty-first century junior school children. Perhaps more importantly there is about a fifty:fifty split of words and illustrations throughout the whole book, so there are dozens of wonderful images are full of dancing light, glowing bright colours contrasted with soft silver and black. These striking silhouettes are truly enchanting. Bold yet detailed, they are overlaid over fiery illuminated backgrounds, many of which are richly patterned.
This whole book is a clever mix of classic and modern -there's a hint of humour in the pictures which lifts the dark nature of these old tales with their bloodthirsty sultans, wicked sorcerors, fantastical beasts and so on. It's a brilliant way to introduce ancient stories to a new generation and I'm enjoying revisiting these old tales with my children. Review by E.L. Browning


"Delia's Happy Christmas"  by Delia Smith

Joy to the World. I was really looking forward to my new Delia Happy Christmas book and it doesn't disappoint. I have the original Christmas book too so was probably wondering at first, like others, would this be much different? Well Delia has really managed to ring the changes with this one, and it has brought us right up to date. It looks very elegant, very cool, calm and collected. This is one book to have with you before, during and probably after Christmas too, so many excellent entertaining recipes and ideas. New and old recipes, classic favourites and new twists all in one place. Lots of hints and preparation tips which will be particularly handy for the generation that Delia refers to, who haven't cooked Christmas dinner before (and still a good reminder to those of us who have, many times!). I love the armchair shopping section too - if like me, you like to shop online, lots of great sites for your Christmas essentials.
Christmas just isn't Christmas without some of Delia's mums sausage rolls, hot from the oven, so do yourself a favour and make up a batch soon, grab a pad and pen and relax and plan your festivities. Cheers!   With thanks to 'Gravy Queen'.


"Elizabeth David's Christmas"  

Throughout her distinguished career, Elizabeth David wrote many articles on Christmas food, testing her recipes and honing her skills on the Christmas preparations for her sister's family, which included five children. She put together a file of articles, recipes and notes, intending to publish them as a book, for which, much later, she wrote an introduction, and this file has come to light among her papers. This volume contains the whole of the file of around 150 recipes, together with a selection of articles and her introduction. Designed to take the strain out of providing festive food, from making preparations and using left-overs to avoiding hectic last-minute cooking, this a complete Christmas food book. All the classics are here: mince pies, stuffing, sauces and, of course, turkey, as well as simple first courses, party dishes, ice creams and a range of desserts.

The photography is brilliant - the content is fantastic - a great addition to your 'Elizabeth David' shelf, or a very good 'first' if new to the author! BUY!!!!

"Nigella Christmas" by Nigella Dawson

Nigella Lawson writes a good recipe. And here she has also created a gorgeous christmas cookbook. The whole book is evocative of the season - I can almost smell the aromas..... Of course the book contains the basics - Christmas dinner, christmas cake and christmas puddding. But then Nigella plunges off in a number of different directions; chapters include: The More the Merrier (Cocktails, Canapes and Manageable Mass Catering), Seasonal Support (Soups, Salad, Sauces and Serve-later Sides), Come On Over.... (Stress-Free Suppers), The Main Event (this section is red edged so easy to find in the centre of the book), Joy to the World (Christmas Baking and Sweet Treats), All Wrapped Up (Edible Presents and Party Preserves), A Christmas Brunch for 6-8, A Bevy of Hot Drinks, Dr Lawson Prescribes (Let Food be your medicine....). Punctuated throughout with gorgeous photos - it's a delight just to flick through. I'm certainly thinking on moving away from traditional turkey for Christmas dinner after reading the Main Event chapter! Basically Nigella has the whole Christmas covered - this will certainly be one of the front runners in my arsenal for dealing with the Christmas season. 

"The Womens Institute Complete Christmas" The Women's Institute Complete Christmas" by Sian Cook, Anne Griffiths & Margaret Williams

This new accessible revised and updated paperback version of The WI Complete Christmas is packed with over 130 failsafe recipes and ideas for Christmas from traditional favourites such as Buttered Roast Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing, Gran's Christmas Pudding, Star Mince Pies and Jewelled Christmas Cake, to modern variations, including a Rosti Topped Halibut with Smoked Salmon and Avocado, Quail's Eggs with Sea Salt and Chilli Dip, Italian Plait and Banoffee Tarts. Chapters include a Cheat's Christmas to help the truly time-starved cook create the best Christmas ever, an invaluable section on using up your Leftovers and a guide to Parties and Celebrations that will enable even a first-time cook to provide for large gatherings. This book takes the stress out of having to organise everything an is the definitive guide to cooking for Christmas. It contains detailed advice on cooking ahead, planning for the big day and useful menus to cover the whole festive season. Newly photographed chapter openers, an updated design and a new cover photograph bring this invaluable book right up to date. WI Complete Christmas is the ultimate festive survival guide.

"Delia Smith's Complete Christmas"  by Delia Smith. 

In this collection of her Christmas recipes, Delia Smith demonstrates how you can easily cope with the whole gamut of Christmas entertaining, whilst still having plenty of time to relax with your family and friends. Delia gives advice on how to choose the very best produce from turkeys to chocolates, from glacé fruits to smoked salmon. She shows you how to organise yourself so that you've got plenty of time when the family and friends arrive. With her help you can prepare many dishes in advance and with her 36-hour countdown to Christmas lunch you can make sure nothing goes wrong for that most difficult of meals to get right. She gives lots of unusual ideas for Christmas parties from fork buffets to drinks parties, including Cheese Tartlets with Wild Mushrooms, Quails Eggs and Hollandaise and Iced Christmas Pudding topped with glacé fruits marinated in madeira. Over 100 new recipes include 5 different kinds of Christmas cake and foolproof ways to ice them, a complete vegetarian Christmas including Cheese Terrine with Apricot Chutney, and recipes for Christmas gifts such as Chocolate Truffles.


"Classic and Contemporary Christmas Cakes" by Naden Hurst & Julie Springall.  

Christmas brings out all the creative and traditional elements in all of us, and nowhere is this more evident than in the cake that takes centre place in your festive feast. Here, Nadene Hurst and Julie Springall present over 20 exquisite cake designs to suit every taste and style. From classic, traditional designs to contemporary cakes with a modern feel, this book has the perfect cake for any Christmas party.

Classical and stylish, but always conveying a festive theme, these cakes will provide ideas and inspirations for cake decorators of all abilities. Winter scenes, religious themes and Christmas wreaths and flowers are all featured, together with complete sugar-paste cakes and individual slices. Many of the cakes have been designed with the time-conscious decorator in mind, ensuring that even the most busy sugar-crafter can create something simple but attractive when time is at a premium.

Simple step-by-step text, together with beautiful, full colour photography demonstrates every stage of the cake decorating process. Covering a range of skills, from cutting and modelling to moulding and ornate royal icing, Classic & Contemporary Christmas Cakes has designs to suit beginners and experienced decorators alike.

No matter how traditional or contemporary you like your Christmas table, this book is sure to have the perfect cake design for you.


"The Hairy Bikers' 12 Days of Christmas"

Make this year's Christmas dinner your greatest and most relaxed ever with Hairy Bikers Si King and Dave Myers, authors of the number one runaway bestseller MUMS KNOW BEST: THE HAIRY BIKERS' FAMILY COOKBOOK. With their irrepressible enthusiasm for great food and all things festive, Si and Dave have put together the definitive Christmas cookbook. Combining foolproof versions of the nation's favourite Christmas dishes with new and inventive festive recipes they love to cook for their friends and families, the Hairy Bikers will ensure you serve up cracking meals with ease throughout the holiday season. As well as covering what to cook on the big day itself, the Hairy Bikers also give you tasty dishes for Christmas Eve, delicious cocktails to tame your in-laws, ingenious recipes for all those leftovers and fancy snacks to nibble on in front of the telly. They even show you how to make your own Christmas crackers - and help keep the kids distracted. This is the perfect companion to your festive celebrations.


"The Night Before Christmas" by Clement Clarke Moore

Here is a selection of  visual interpretations of Clement Clarke Moore's classic poem,  by four outstanding illustrators. It recounts the coming of St Nicholas to a New Hampshire village one Christmas Eve in the 1840s. It is a wonderful story known by many us since childhood and captures the timeless magic of that very special evening of the  year. All of these books are beautifully illustrated that will add to the delight of the on-looking child as this wonderful poem is read to them. Every home should have a copy.  

"The Night Before Christmas" Illustrated by Mary Engelbreit



"Twas The Night Before Christmas"  Illustrated by Jessie Wilcox Smith


"The Night Before Christmas"  Illustrated by Ruth Sanderson


"The Night Before Christmas"  Illustrated by Christian Birmingham






"Christmas Poems"  by U.A. Fanthorpe  

This collection brings together the poems U.A. Fanthorpe has been sending out to friends as Christmas cards since 1974. Now readers can enjoy Fanthorpe's yearly output in its entirety, including some previously unpublished poems. Her subject matter covers a broad range of seasonal characters, from angels to personified Christmas trees, and a variety of styles to match.
"If you love or hate Christmas, believe or disbelieve passionately, or simply value short, pithy poems, this book will surely be a treasure for you. It's funny, irreverent and godly all at once. Can be given to the aged aunt or the stroppy brat in the sure knowledge that it will make both chuckle and feel it was written for them. I have bought 3 copies (and no, I don't know the author!)"

"Christmas Poems" An Anthology by Gaby Morgan 

A wonderful anthology of beautiful new and classic poems, carols and hymns for Christmas. It captures all the emotion and excitement of the festive season, from anticipation to enjoyment, to the joy of the New Year. Christmas is coming, The geese are getting fat, Please to put a penny In the old man's hat. If you haven't got a penny, A ha'penny will do; If you haven't got a ha'penny, Then God bless you! Anon.



"Father Christmas" by Raymond Briggs  

Father Christmas awoke from his dream of summer in the sun, and there it was on the calendar, December 24th, Christmas Eve, the start of his longest night's work of the year. This book was awarded The Library Association's Kate Greenaway Medal.



"Christmas Book at Bedtime" Featuring Patricia Routledge, Joss Ackland, Miriam Margolyes, Judie Dench and Richard Briers. 

Perhaps I shouldn't have included this excellent collection of Christmas readings in the Christmas Books section; but such recordings are often sold as 'talking books', so why not.  These CDs contain ten seasonal stories from BBC Radio 4's "Book at Bedtime". Each has a Christmas theme, and range from the intriguing to the funny to the poignant. They are written by an array of literature's best-known names, including Laurie Lee and Charles Dickens.


"My Very First Christmas Story Book" by Lois Rock and Alex Ayliffe 

All the episodes of the traditional nativity, such as Jesus' birth in the stable and the shepherds' visit are told in the simplest words, accompanied by 12 bold and stylish pictures.




"Christmas Is Coming" by Ailie Busby  

"Christmas Is Coming" is full of Christmas rhymes that children have read, enjoyed and sung for years, accompanied here by large, amusing, brightly coloured and lively pictures. This book can be enjoyed by children of different ages, albeit on different levels. Preschoolers will enjoy it being read to them, while older children will read it and enjoy the words for themselves. These favourite Christmas rhymes, such as "I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing By", "Little Donkey" and "Frosty the Snowman" combine the traditional with the modern, never date and can be read and sung time after time, year after year, making this a book to be used and enjoyed every Christmas. The whole book is brought to life by the  vibrant and enchanting illustrations created by children's artist, Ailie Busby.--Susan Naylor

"Things to Make and Do for Christmas" by Fiona Watt and Ray Gibson  

Here is an excellent selection of ideas for drawing, painting and printing cards, wrapping paper and gift tags for Christmas. It includes an advent calendar and tree decorations. There are illustrations and photographs of the finished items, along with over 50 stickers to use with the projects.

There are many simple Christmas projects to keep children occupied in the run up to Christmas. The instructions are clear and simply written and the illustrations are excellent. There are sheets of stickers included with the book which could have been a bit more comprehensive but these are useful none-the-less.


"The Earth From The Air"  Photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand.
also available
"The Earth From The Air - 366 Days"  

This is not a Christmas related book. So, you may be wondering why I have
included it in the Christmas Books section. Well, I have done so because I already have a copy and can tell you without reservation that if you buy anyone this book for Christmas it will undoubtedly be the best book they have ever received. It is stunning and at the same time awe inspiring. It is a truly breathtaking record of the features - natural and man-made - of our planet. 

"The Earth From The Air" has been translated into nineteen different languages and has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.'  Yann's  photographs are so good that the Natural History Museum in London has devoted a department to them.

"This is easily one of the most beautiful books ever seen in print ...... if an alien visitors were to ask for one item to sum up life on earth, this book would be the best thing to give them ...." Focus - Book of the Month. 


"The Truth About Christmas" Compiled by Philip Ardagh 

Who decided to celebrate Jesus' birthday on 25th December... and why? Who exactly was Saint Nicholas (Santa Claus)? Why do we kiss under the mistletoe? When was the first Christmas card sent? What on earth has a Yule log to do with Christmas? What does "nativity" actually mean? Did Father Christmas really used to wear green? Who invented the advent calendar? What do frankincense and myrrh look like? What do crackers have to do with Christmas? Where do the flying reindeer come from? Was there really once meat in mince pies? What's all the holly and ivy for? Why are carols called carols? What exactly is a manger? Why are Christmas puddings Christmas-pudding shaped? Why hang Christmas wreaths to celebrate Christ's birth? Were Christmas trees really introduced to England by Prince Albert? Why have a fairy, not an angel at the top of the tree? These are just some of the questions you'll find answered in this fact-filled book.

"The Story Of Christmas" by Mary Packard, Carolyn Croll (Illustrator)

An illustrated retelling of the story of Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus through the keeping of an advent calendar. 24 miniature board books are arranged in sequence and nestled in a backer. The book are numbered 1-24 and are meant to be opened one per day from 1st December through to Christmas Eve. Read in sequence, the four-page books capture the mystery of the first Christmas, from Gabriel's visit to Mary to the three wise men gazing at a prophetic star to Jesus's birth in the manger. In addition, children can use the tiny books to adorn the Christmas tree.


"Christmas"  by Stella Ross Collins. 

With all royalties going to the NSPCC, Stella Ross Collins' Christmas! would always be a worthwhile project. That it should be charming, informative and beautifully produced is therefore a bonus. A collection of traditions and recipes associated with the Christmas season from all over Europe. An introductory survey of Christmas practices country by country serves as a reminder that, across Europe, celebrations take place from St Nicholas' day at the beginning of Advent through to Twelfth Night. Explanations of the significance of the different festivals and the traditions associated with them are followed by similar discussions of the major Christmas motifs--trees, logs, wreaths, music, cribs, stockings, cards, presents and all. Nearly half the book is devoted to festive food and drink, and a cheering selection it is, with abundant recipes for goose and turkey, spiced beef and salt cod, hams, special soups, carp and venison, as well as any number of cakes, puddings, mince pies, rich breads and biscuits. A few warming drinks and cordials round off the selection. As a poet and a musician, Stella Ross Collins writes sensitively of the magic of ritual and tradition. Robin Davidson


"The Penguin Book of Carols"   Edited by Ian Bradley.  

This is a companion volume to "The Penguin Book of Hymns", that was also compiled by Ian. It 
features 100 classic carols lyrics, each accompanied by an account of the song's origins and history.




"Horrible Christmas" by Terry Deavy.  

All your kids need to know about Christmas in one small hardback book! Terry Deary certainly knows a lot about Christmas, from its ancient beginnings to the twenty-first century. But this is no dreary reference material, it's a fun book. You know, the kind that kids, and grown-ups for that matter, actually like to read instead of looking it up on the Internet!


"Christmas Fairy Tales"  Neil Philip editor. Isabelle Brent Illustrator.  

This collection of fairy tales aims to capture the true spirit of Christmas - a spirit of magic, fantasy and joy. It contains tales from Hans Christian Andersen, Ruth Sawyer, Mary de Morgan and Frank Stockton.

"Christmas Treats" by Sarah Perry. 

Sarah Perry has put together a magical array of recipes and craft projects for the whole family to create together.

"Collin's Christmas Treasury" Stephanie Nettell Editor. Ian Penny Illustrator. 

A selection of classic material dealing with the birth of Christ, the enjoyment of Christmas as a family event, the traditions of giving and receiving, and how Christmas is so different in other places and past times. The collection includes work by A.A. Milne, Ogden Nash and Charles Dickens.


"The Faber Book Of Christmas"  Simon Rae Editor. 

From the abundant writing on Christmas - historical, literary, popular, mythical - comes this eclectic anthology which includes familiar pieces by Betjeman, Auden, Hardy and Dickens, as well as more obscure extracts. The selection ranges from Milton's "On the Morning of Christ's Nativity" to Wendy Cope's rueful "A Christmas Poem", and from accounts of Christmas Day at the North Pole, and in the trenches in 1914, to Christmas as celebrated by the England cricket team in Australia.

'Simon Rae's brilliant The Faber Book of Christmas is a bold collection of musings on Christmas past, present and future and scopes the centuries for poems, stories, essays and anecdotes from the pens of the mighty, logging all the emotions that enforced merriment can bring on the hardworking soul. From musings on the traditional and sneaky peaks into the mindsets of those for whom Christmas is something of a chore, Rae pulls the likes of Wendy Cope and John Milton together with Auden and Dickens while scanning all things Jingle Bells across the world: Susan Harrison

"Images Of Christmas"  by Elaine Wilson & Dorothy Boux.  

Christmas means different things to different people. In this book the work of a number of British, European and American writers is used to evoke the traditions, memories and feelings associated with christmas, sometimes in prose, sometimes in verse, and at other times by carol complete with its musical setting. Using a quill pen to transcribe every page in calligraphy, Dorothy Boux has embellished each with an original drawing, making subtle use of colour to convey the different moods. The book opens with the mystic atmosphere surrounding the birth of Christ, followed by the tenderness and peace radiating from the cradle as the child is visited by the magi and shepherds. Then Christmas as a joyful family occasion round the fire, with the excitement of the children, the presents, the Christmas tree, the decorations and the food. In contrast there is the countryside in winter, the nostalgia and loneliness of a soldier at war and a sailor at sea on Christmas day. The book closes with a moving letter written during the Italian Renaissance which reads like a hymn to peace, life and love.


"Michael Foremen's Christmas Treasury"  by Michael Foreman.  

A treasury of Christmas stories and verse, chosen by Michael and illustrated in colour. 


"Vegetarian Christmas"  by Rose Elliot.

Rose Elliot brings together imaginative and tasty recipes for the festive season that, including: nibbles and buffet goodies; celebration centrepieces and vegetarian side dishes; Christmas puddings and desserts; sweet cakes and biscuits; and six fully planned-out Christmas Day menus.


"A Christmas Carol"  by Charles Dickens.  

This is the Classic Christmas story where phantoms of the imagination intervene to convert a mean and selfish old codger into warm and caring human being. Mind you, one cannot help but have a sneaking sympathy for the leading character, Scrooge, who intensely dislikes the indulgences of Christmas. Like George Bernard Shaw (See "An Absurd Institution" in the Christmas Prose section.) he's not happy with the idea of people wasting their money in order to swell the pockets of commercialism. He might also have said that many people have lost sight of the reason why we celebrate Christmas; but he doesn't.


"The Adventure Of The Christmas Pudding"  by Agatha Christie.  

First came a sinister warning to Poirot not to eat any plum pudding...then the discovery of a corpse in a, an overheard quarrel that led to murder...the strange case of the dead man who altered his eating habits...and the puzzle of the victim who dreamt his own suicide.

"Making of the Modern Christmas"  by J M Golby and A W Purdue  

The story of Christmas, from its beginnings as a pagan celebration with mistletoe, holly and wreath decorations and the old Saturnalian custom of cross-dressing - continued today with the pantomime's "principal boy". The book also covers the practice of superiors waiting upon those of lower rank during the Christmas season - still seen in the British Army - and the election of a Lord of Misrule which was a popular custom in the 14th century. The author reveals how the Victorians enlarged celebrations into something like the Christmas season of today, with singing, dancing, plum pudding, decorated trees, street carolling, Christmas cards and Santa Claus. The book also covers the history of Christmas through the 20th century, discussing the two world wars, the influence of television and film, the Queen's speech and the increasing commercialization of the season. The many illustrations include famous examples such as Roosevelt and Churchill leaving the White House for Christmas service in 1941 and the Christmas tree at Windsor.

"Trade Secrets: Christmas"  by Annie Ashworth and Meg Sanders 

From dinner parties to decorations, Christmas travelling to Christmas tension - the experts give the inside story on how to survive the festive season.

From dinner parties to decorations, Christmas travelling to Christmas tension - the experts give the inside story on how to survive the festive season.
Developed from BBC 2's hugely successful television programme - where professionals from a wide range of trades and occupations give hints and tips taken from a lifetime of doing the job - it is both practical and succinct. Beautifully illustrated throughout in colour, Trade Secrets: Christmas contains all the practical hints, tips and shortcuts to ensure that you can get the most out of Christmas!

"The Book of Christmas" by Thomas K Hervey, R Seymour (Illus.) & Steven Roud (Trans.)

Christmas and its festivities have drawn on many elements from many celebrations. This book aims to give a renewed sense of meaning and history to what, for some, is a banal commercial enterprise. In detail, it documents the practices and customs of each of the special days of the season.


"Skipping Christmas"  by John Grisham  

John Grisham has turned a satirical eye on the overblown ritual of the festive season, and the result is Skipping Christmas, a modest but funny novel about the tyranny of December 25. Grisham's story revolves around a typical middle-aged American couple, Luther and Nora Krank. 

An accountant, Luther estimates that "a year earlier, the Luther Krank family had spent $6,100 on Christmas", and had "precious little to show for it".  Consequently, he makes an executive decision, telling his wife, friends and neighbours that "We won't do Christmas". Instead, Luther books a 10-day Caribbean cruise. All goes well until people get wind of the Kranks' subversive scheme. Everyone, from Christmas card salesmen to horrified neighbours, besieges the couple with questions. 'What about the Christmas party, carols and the erection of Frosty the Snowman?' Then, things start to turn nasty in the local neighbourhood.



Top of Page

Back to Christmas-Time Home Page