Are you looking for a great seasonal read? Try these 30+ Christmas books to enjoy in midlife!
As I finished reading a book on this list, I decided to create a book list post from suggestions in a couple of Facebook groups that talk about books, and I asked some of our NPP friends what their favorite holiday books were, and so… Here are the best Christmas books to enjoy in midlife that I came up with from these sources.
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One great thing about the empty nest/midlife season is that we have more time to relax and for me, that means more time to read!
Here are the best Christmas books to enjoy in midlife!
Christmas books to enjoy in midlife: In no particular order
These are in no particular order because I have not read them all. They were all recommended by either a good friend, a NPP reader or from one of the Facebook groups that I follow…
*Please note, that I like a little cheesy, but many of these seemed more cheesy than my than my taste just from the descriptions. I even eliminated a few if the hometown was something like Mistletoe or Jolly Springs….😂
Skipping Christmas by Grisham
This one is what the movie Christmas With the Kranks was based on. Story is that a midlife couple decide to skip Christmas to take a Caribbean cruise with some funny consequences.
A Redbird Christmas by Flagg
Oswald is given a grim diagnosis and decides to change his scenery for the winter. In a place where time has slowed down, he meets a little redbird named Jack, and the magic begins.
A Christmas Memory by Evans
1967 is an awful year for a young Richard. He brother is killed in Vietnam, his dad loses his job, and they are forced to move from California to Utah, and final blow -his parents decide to separate. One good thing is that he meets a kindly older neighbor, Mr. Foster, who begins to teach him what life is all about in their new friendship.
The Santa Suit by Andrews
Ivy is newly divorced and moving into a new home, which is actually an old farmhouse in a new town. She finds an old Santa suit which has been left behind that has a note in its pocket. The note takes her on an adventure which is absolutely not what she had wanted.
A Christmas Memory by Capote
Truman Capote’s childhood memoir all about his memories with his cousin Miss Fook Salk and their family holiday rituals.
The Christmas Train by Baldacci
Forced to take a train from Washington to California, Tom is on course to meet some people, have some adventures, and rekindle a love along the way. This became a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie.
Wishin’ and Hopin’ by Wally Lamb
Annette Funicello, famed Mouseketeer, has a distant cousin, Felix. He’s a feisty 5th grader in Catholic school with Christmas wishes. Hilarious!
Winter Solstice by Pilcher
A tragedy brings together 5 strangers in an old, neglected estate house in a Scottish fishing town over the holidays.
Winter Street series by Hildebrand
The setting is Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn, Kelley the owner has 4 grown kids in various stages of disfunction. This book is full of mishaps -funny and not. Can he get his kids back on track before Christmas? (There are 3 more books in the series.)
The Light of Christmas by Kincade
Kinkade’s painting are accompanied by inspirational words from many, many great writers. (He has written other books with a Christmas theme in his Cape Light series. I did not include this because I wasn’t sure if the first book was actually about Christmas. Here is book 1, just in case.)
Comfort and Joy by Hannah
Joy, once a lover of Christmas, is reeling from a recent divorce. On a trip west, an unexpected detour happens, and she meets a broken hearted little boy. Together they might find a little happiness for the holidays.
The Christmas Dress by Cole
Meg returns home to deal with some property left by her father. She meets the tenants and makes a special friendship with an older lady who has a dress with a special memory attached to it.
Christmas of the Cherry Snow by Siddoway
Robert is barely a teenager and his father has a near fatal accident. His entire family relies on him to run the family business. This story covers healing, hard work, keeping up hope, and a mother’s love.
A Wish for Winter by Shipman
Susan’s grandmother and mother both met and fell in love with men dressed as Santa. As she faces turning 40, Susan would just like to meet anyone who makes her feel special. Then she briefly meets a man at the annual Santa run, but then he’s gone, and she has no idea who he was…
Catching Christmas by Blackstock
Miss Callie is an elderly client who often forgets to pay her favorite cabbie, Finn. She has a granddaughter who is an overworked first year legal associate. You do the math!
Christmas By the Book by Ryan
A midlife bookshop owning couple are wondering if their shop will make it in today’s economy. They come up with a book giving scheme for those in need of comfort, and hope that they will have a happy ending.
An Irish Country Christmas by Taylor
Barry is looking forward to spend his first Christmas in the small village of Ballybucklebo. He and the senior doctor get to play Santa, deal with emergencies large and small, and enjoy the season. The only hitch is that he has just found out that his girlfriend may not be able to make it for the holidays.
This is actually book 3 in a series that I read long ago and loved. It’s echoes of All Creatures Great and Small, but instead of a veterinarian, it’s about a country doctor. If you are a purist, here is book 1 and book 2 in the series so that you can be all caught up for the Christmas book! There are 16 books in the series, which means I need to go back and read a bunch more! I think I read only 5.
The Christmas Pearl by Frank
Pearl was the maid of Theodora’s grandma. Theodora herself is 93, and missing her childhood and all those wonderful memories. As Theodora’s obnoxious family is about to arrive, someone else does too, and helps her to create a new Christmas worth remembering.
Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Andrews
Kerry moves temporarily into the big city to help her brother sell Christmas trees. She befriends her new neighbors, lives in a mini-camper, and becomes a great resource when an elderly new friend goes missing.
The Immortal Nicholas by Beck
Beck tried hard to convince his kids that Santa was more than presents to no avail. He created this back story of Santa Claus in great depth to show the true meaning of Christmas
Snowed in For Christmas by Morgan
Secrets, an unexpected houseguest, and a snowstorm combine for an interesting snowed-in adventure. (Morgan has written a number of other holiday books.)
The Christmas Bookshop by Colgan
Jobless Carmen comes to stay at perfect sister Sofia’s home for the holidays. She takes a job at an old bookshop just before the holiday season, and the challenge is to breathe new life into the old store. Add in a cute visiting author, and you have a holiday romance. This is book 1 of a series. (I have not read this one, but I have read another of Colgan’s series which I loved!)
Christmas in Peachtree Bluff by Harvey
This is book 4 in a series, which I hear is wonderful. This family is facing the storm of a century, a teen who is acting out, and a divorce. Which is the worst? And, will they survive?
The Road to Christmas by Roberts
Three sets of different family members are headed to the youngest daughter’s home for the holidays. They each have an adventure in store on their travels.
Christmas at the Shelter Inn by Thayne
Natalie’s sister, McKenna, has asked her for help while on bedrest for the end of her pregnancy. Help means returning to the family inn and diving back into all of the work that that will entail. At the same time, she also runs into her late brother’s best friend, which is not a comfortable situation.
Love, Holly by Stone
Holly is part of an anonymous lonely hearts Christmas letter writing club. The year though, she recognizes something from the letter she receives. She tracks down the letter writer, and ends up reuniting an estranged family.
Trading Christmas by Macomber
Emily, Ray, Faith, and Ray -not in the right place for the holidays -or aren’t they?
Island Christmas by Thayer
Nicole is the new wife to a retired attorney. Stepdaughter, Kennedy, is not a fan, and is determined to make things difficult.
The Women of Christmas by Higgs
Mary, Elizabeth, and Anna are all at a crossroads in their lives during Biblical times. This book brings them each to life, and we learn the stories of them around a very special Christmas that once was.
Last Christmas in Paris by Gaynor and Webb
Evie watches her brother and his best friend head off to war in August of 1914 thinking it will all be over by Christmas. History tells us that the end of that war was many years later. As Evie and Thomas, her brother’s friend, exchange letters, their friendship grows and they fall in love. Will he survive to come back?
The Secret of Snow by Shipman
Sonny has to move back home to as a 50-something due to losing her job. She’s stuck living with her mom, has a boss she has a history with, and to top it off, she is a meteorologist who hates snow and is now living in Michigan.
Claus Boxed: A Science Fiction Holiday by Bertauski
This was a different book for me to add, but I know that a lot of readers love sci-fi! The set has 3 books, but there are 6 more books in the series. They come rated almost 5 stars, so I thought, “What the heck?!”
The elven are an ancient race of small, hairy, and jolly elves hidden by supernatural powers in the North Pole. One of the elves is tired of hiding after hundreds of years, and is causing trouble. Can Nicholas Santa save the day? (The actual description is way better, and I am actually tempted to read these!)
12 Days of Christmas by Macomber
Julia begins a blog to chronicle her attempts to break through to her grumpy grinch of a neighbor. As the blog takes off, she is starting to see some progress in her project. (I have historically liked books by Macomber, especially her holiday ones.)
One Day in December by Silver
I randomly just read this book, and actually this is the reason for this post for Christmas books!
Laurie briefly sees a guy out of her bus window one December, and thinks that she can surely find him somewhere and sometime because he seemed like someone she could really like -in that one glimpse. What follows is a story of friendship, heartbreak, love, betrayal, all told around holidays for the next 10 years. I liked this one because it was not overboard on the cheesy Christmas story like so many can be.
Christmas books to enjoy in midlife: Childhood favs
These were either a favorite of mine, my students or my boys at a variety of ages… The books above are mostly listed as their Kindle version, but the following books are listed in hardback if available. These are classics to have in your home for any children or teens who might be around over the holidays! Christmas is the perfect time for nostalgia with these Christmas books to enjoy in midlife.
The Night Before Christmas by Moore
This is THE classic. I have 2 versions because of the graphics. This one is great, and the other is Jan Brett’s version.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Robinson
Oh my gosh! I don’t know of one person who didn’t read this and love it. You cannot say you don’t like it if you didn’t finish the book. The lessons, the love, the humor. My boys and students loved this every year!
The Polar Express by Van Allsburg
This was my boys’ hands down favorite every year. The pictures are wonderful. Combining trains with Christmas -genius! And, the story of belief is timeless. The movie is wonderful as well!
A Christmas Carol by Dickens
This is a classic. I never read the whole thing to my students, but we read many of the passages. Our kids today need to know that there is still so much poverty, and the lessons of love learned are what the whole story is about. My boys liked the pictures -not sure which version we have packed away in storage right now, but it was similar to this I think. A favorite recent holiday movie we have loved is The Man Who Invented Christmas -great story of how A Christmas Carol came to be written,
The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Guinn
Jeff is assigned to find out all he can about the Man -Santa Claus. All the secret details and important facts are shared with him by none other than SC himself after being whisked all the way up to the North Pole. We loved this book! (Fun fact: I didn’t know that there are 2 more books in this series!)
The Bird’s Christmas Carol by Wiggin
Think of this one as a Pollyanna for Christmas. Happy and sad and wonderful all at once.
Santa Mouse by Brown
My little boys loved this one -the pictures are wonderful! My preschoolers begged for this over and over when I taught them. *We had to start a new Christmas tradition each year to leave Santa Mouse a little gift on the tree! There are a couple of other stories about Santa Mouse.
The Gift of the Magi by O Henry
I loved this story when I was growing up. I have seen so many remakes of this tale, and I never get tired of the telling. When I taught middle school, I had my classes recreate this story with a partner thinking about what would the gifts be, and what would be the sacrifices?
Written by the same author as The Wizard of Oz, how could it not be good?! I read this to my boys a few times over the years, and we always loved it.
Who Is Coming To Our House? by Slate
A wonderful version of the birth of Jesus told from the animals’ point of view. My boys loved this when they were little.
Santa’s Favorite Story by Aoki
This might be my favorite of them all. The pictures, the story. I love how it has Santa loving the story of the birth of Christ.
Wooden Advent Calendar of the Nativity Scene **Not a book
My boys had a different set, but they played with these simple blocks when we would read the story, and they were able to recreate the story over and over! It would be great to have with grandkids or just to set out for yourself!
Christmas books to enjoy in midlife: Reading tools
What about a travel light for reading in bed and not waking your other person?? This one is rechargeable.
Tiny, fold-up readers that come in a tiny case for your keychain. You can choose the color and the strength.
A reading journal to track your books: progress, books to read, etc. (There is also an free app called Bookmory that does this digitally. I have struggled to keep up with this, but I love the idea of tracking all my book reading.)
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