Classic Christmas Literature for High School Students
By Lee Binz
Relax and smell the peppermint mocha! Christmas is a great time to snuggle up with a warm beverage and read some classic literature. Sure it’s a frantic time for parents, but you can still slow down and enjoy quality academics in a relaxed home environment. During your busy season as a parent, your teen can spend time relaxing with a book or audio book. Allow time for your teen to spend a relaxed, low-key afternoon with independent reading. Create special memories while reading aloud together. Make use of your car trips by listening to audio books with your teens. Take time to read aloud together or listen to an audio book together. If you celebrate advent, incorporate readings into your daily or weekly advent celebrations.
I have my favorites that I used in my own homeschool. Every year we read selections from Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book. Each December I chose classic Christmas literature for our high school reading list, including O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. These are inexpensive books to include in your homeschool that add a fun holiday flair to your regular studies.
Are you looking for some book ideas? I’ve compiled a handy list just for you! This list includes literature, compilations, music and art suggestions, so you are sure to find the perfect book to enjoy during your Christmas School season. This article contains affiliate links. If you click and buy I may make a few pennies, but not enough for a latte.
Classic Christmas Literature for College Bound Students
Alcott, Louisa May Little Women
The delightful story of sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The author based it on her childhood in the 19th century. While the entire story doesn’t center around Christmas, a very memorable part of it does. "Christmas won't be Christmas without any presents."
Andersen, Hans Christian A Christmas Greeting
A collection of stories including The Little Match Girl, the story of a starving child on the street at Christmas time.
Armitage, Simon Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
This medieval tale begins at a Christmas feast in Camelot, interrupted by the mysterious Green Knight.
Austen, Jane Jane Austen's Christmas: The Festive Season in Georgian England
This collection includes selections from Jane Austen’s works, "Mansfield Park," "Lady Susan," "Emma," and more, as well as works from other authors demonstrating what Christmas was like in Georgian England
Baum, L. Frank The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
A fictional history of Santa Claus written by the author best known for creating the land of Oz.
The Bible (Matthew and Luke)
Christmas is a great time to read together, memorize, and compare these scriptures sharing the birth of Christ.
Christie, Agatha Hercule Poirot's Christmas
A mystery set during the Christmas season. If you enjoy mysteries, The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is a collection of short stories also penned by the queen of murder mystery.
Davies, Valentine Miracle on 34th Street
The novelized version of the timeless classic 1947 movie of the same name.
Dickens, Charles A Christmas Carol
Classic 1843 Short novella tells the story of Scrooge, visited by three ghosts, and the true meaning of Christmas. And as Tiny Tim says, “God Bless us, every one!”
Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - The Blue Carbuncle
A classic Sherlock Holmes mystery, set during the Christmas season.
Evans, Richard Paul The Christmas Box
A heartwarming and inspirational Christmas story. It was originally written for the author’s two little girls and is now a modern classic.
Evans, Richard Paul The Christmas List
A tale about the true meaning and spirit of Christmas from a beloved award-winning Christian author.
Frost, Robert Christmas Trees
A classic Christmas poem. “He asked if I would sell my Christmas trees; My woods—the young fir balsams like a place, Where houses all are churches and have spires. I hadn’t thought of them as Christmas Trees.”
Holmes, Marjorie Two from Galilee: The Story of Mary and Joseph
The greatest love story of all! The story of Mary and Joseph, a teenage girl and a young carpenter, who would become the earthly parents of Jesus Christ.
Irving, Washington Old Christmas
An idealized celebration of an old-fashioned Christmas. “Of all the old festivals, however, that of Christmas awakens the strongest and most heartfelt associations.”
Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Book two (chronologically) in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Enjoy the Pevensie children’s first foray into the land of Narnia. “It is always winter in Narnia—always winter, but it never gets to Christmas.”
Moore, Clement C. Twas the Night Before Christmas
In 1823, this now famous poem was published anonymously under the title "A Visit from Saint Nicholas." It helped to establish America's popular conception of Santa Claus.
Porter, William Sydney The Gift of the Magi
1906 short story. A poor young woman sells her long hair to buy a Christmas present for her husband. This parable has one of the most famous plot twists in literary history.
Stowe, Harriet Beecher Christmas or The Good Fairy
In this short story, Harriet Beecher Stowe criticizes the commercialization of Christmas. "You have means of buying everything you can fancy; and when every shop and store is glittering with all manner of splendors, you cannot surely be at a loss."
Tolkien, J.R.R. Letters from Father Christmas
Awesome stories about life in the North Pole from the author of The Lord of the Rings.
Twain, Mark A Letter from Santa Claus
Mark Twain wrote this letter to his daughter, Suzy, from Santa Claus.
Van Doren Stern, Philip The Greatest Gift
This 1943 short story is the basis for one of the most popular Christmas films of all time, It's A Wonderful Life.
Classic Christmas Collections Including Art, Music, and More
Boyd, Bill The Easy Piano Christmas Collection
59 Christmas songs arranged for easy piano, by Bill Boyd and Hal Leonard Corp.
The Christmas Suite Collection: Intermediate to Late Intermediate Arrangements of Holiday Favorites for Solo Piano
Alfred’s collection for intermediate pianists includes carols such as Coventry Carol and Joy to the World.
Kinkade, Thomas Come Let Us Adore Him
Scripture selections, stories, and paintings by award-winning devout Christian and modern-day impressionist, Thomas Kinkade.
Morgan, Robert J. Come Let Us Adore Him: Stories Behind the Most Cherished Christmas Hymns
Stories about the history, writers, and composers of great Christmas hymns. Comes with a CD collection of instrumental Christmas hymns.
Piano Christmas - Keepsake Edition: The Complete Christmas Collection
60 classic Christmas carols, from O Little Town of Bethlehem to Jingle Bells, in a convenient spiral-bound edition.
Rockwell, Norman Norman Rockwell's Christmas Book
Originally published by Abrams in 1977, this book is a holiday classic. In addition to Norman Rockwell’s distinctive art, you will find music, scripture, poetry, classic literature, and fictional fun.
Word of Caution
All families are different, and therefore all families must decide their own standards for the books their children read. Some of these books are listed on almost every college bound reading list, but that doesn’t mean they are perfect for you. Some children aren’t ready for an Agatha Christie murder mystery, and some families loathe the Santa Claus tradition, so use your best judgment. Parents assume all responsibility for their children’s education. If you are not familiar with something on this list, please review the book first.
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The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships:
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There’s nothing more stressful to parents than college admission and scholarships. Many parents question whether it’s even possible to find a college that is satisfying to both parent and child, a college that will love their student and offer them scholarships to attend. “The HomeScholar Guide to College Admission and Scholarships” puts these concerns soundly to rest. Author Lee Binz shares the principles she followed to help her own students achieve admission and full tuition scholarships to their first-choice universities.
Homeschooling the Holidays
Sanity Saving Strategies and Gift Giving Ideas
(Coffee Break Books) [Kindle Edition]
Holiday seasons—especially between November and January—are busy times. Celebrations like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Hanukkah, and more seem to tumble on top of each other, with no time in between. For many homeschoolers, it seems that any idea of homeschooling just goes out the window during these times. Is it even possible to stay sane and continue to homeschool, even a little?!
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Lee Binz, The HomeScholar, specializes in helping parents homeschool high school. Get Lee's FREE Resource Guide "The 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make Homeschooling High School" and more freebies at www.HomeHighSchoolHelp.com.