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Classic Christmas Books: Six Great Gift Editions

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Lisa Pen found this witty

It’s like hearing the opening notes of a Christmas carol: some stories, with just a few words, can bring back the spirit of every Christmas past. Memories of sharing these stories with family, whether gathered around the tree, or nestled all snug in your bed, are part of the magic of the season.

Gift-givers, take note: While many book-loving families already have versions of these tales in their collections, they’ll be thrilled to receive a beautiful or fun new take on a beloved story. So, if you’re looking for a Christmas gift that will be treasured, consider a special edition of a favorite Christmas classic.

For more gift ideas for book lovers, check out these new Christmas classics and wonderfully wintery picture books.

The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me

A partridge in a pear tree...

What’s special about this edition? Illustrator Liz Catchpole selected twelve William Morris patterns from the V&A museum’s collection and then added her own partridges, turtle doves, and… French hens… a lot of other birds and people, and... definitely five golden rings.

The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...

What’s special about this edition? Illustrator Amanda Brack has built Clement C. Moore’s whimsical scenes out of LEGO bricks.

A Child's Christmas in Wales

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six...

What’s special about this edition? Released for Dylan Thomas’ centenary, this cloth-bound hardback features sweet, full-color illustrations by Peter Bailey.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot...

But the Grinch, who lived just north of Whoville, did NOT!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!

Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason...

What’s special about this edition? It comes with a Grinch!

The Nutcracker

During the long, long day of the twenty-fourth of December, the children of Doctor Stahlbaum were not permitted to enter the parlor, much less the adjoining drawing-room...

What’s special about this edition? Finnish artist (and Marimekko designer) Sanna Annuka brings new life to the story with her striking contemporary style. If this Nutcracker makes you swoon, have a look at Annuka’s work in winter favorites The Snow Queen and The Fir Tree.

A Christmas Carol

Marley was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by the clergyman, the clerk, the undertaker, and the chief mourner. Scrooge signed it: and Scrooge’s name was good upon ’Change, for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail...

What’s special about this edition? Classical Comics has turned Dickens’ cautionary tale into a full-color graphic novel.

Top image from a Peter Bailey illustration for A Child's Christmas in Wales


Katie is a reader, editor and note taker who works as a Content Writer at Bookwitty. Originally from Wisconsin, she's at home in Dublin.

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