There’s something special about Christmas. Christmas is the time when children all over the world are showered upon with gifts from their parents, relatives and friends. It is one of their favourite festivals as they look forward to holidays, cookies, Santa Claus, and gifts, of course! The beginning of December marks the preparations for the actual festival, and the celebration starts a few days before the actual day. Christmas Eve has its own special place in the holiday season; many families follow the tradition of reading Christmas stories on Christmas Eve. Reading Christmas stories to kids can help them learn about the festival, and it’s a great way to spend time with family. So if you want to read Christmas stories to your kids, start with the story of the birth of Jesus.
The Story of the Birth of Jesus
Christmas is the perfect occasion to narrate the story of the birth of Lord Jesus. Here goes the story. A young woman named Mary lived in a town called Nazareth and was engaged to a man called Joseph. One night, God sent an angel named Gabriel to visit Mary. The angel said to Mary, “God is extremely pleased with you and you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a baby boy. Name him Jesus for he shall be God’s own son.” Mary was afraid but believed in God and trusted that all would be well. The angel told Mary to live with her cousin Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah as they would soon be the parents of a child who would prepare the way for Jesus. Mary lived with her cousin for three months then returned to Nazareth.
Meanwhile, Joseph was worried about Mary having a child before they get married, but an angel appeared in his dream and told him that Mary would give birth to the Son of God. He also told him not to be afraid and take Mary as his lawfully wedded wife. Jesus means Saviour and the baby would indeed be a saviour for his people. Joseph woke up from his dream and the next day Joseph and Mary got married.
Sometime later, Joseph and Mary had to travel to Bethlehem, which was a long way from Nazareth. Mary’s baby was soon to arrive and hence they travelled at a slow speed. When they reached Bethlehem, they had no place to stay as all the inns and lodgings were occupied by other people. The couple took refuge in a stable with cows, goats and horses, and the same night Jesus was born. Jesus was put in the manger (a place where the animals ate from) after he was born and wrapped in swaddling clothes.
On the outskirts of Bethlehem, shepherds who were tending to their sheep saw an angel appear before them. The angel told them, “Your saviour was born in Bethlehem today. He is lying in a manger.” When the shepherds rushed back, they found Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus in the stable, and were surprised and happy.
At the time of Jesus’s birth, a bright new star appeared in the sky. There were three wise men in a faraway country who knew that the arrival of Jesus was a sign of the arrival of a great king and they rushed to find him. King Herod heard that the wise men were looking for the great new king who he knew would take his place. King Herod planned to kill the baby but no one knew about it yet.
The three wise men followed the bright star until they came to the stable where the happy family lived. They showered him with gifts and worshipped the Son of God. They also knew that the king was evil and hence did not inform him of the location where baby Jesus was. Joseph was warned by an angel in his dream that King Herod would search for Jesus in order to kill him, so it was better if they went to Egypt. This was where they lived until the evil King died. As Herod couldn’t find Jesus, he ordered all the young children in Bethlehem to be killed.
After Herod died, Jesus and Mary left Egypt and travelled to Israel. They stayed in Nazareth for the rest of their lives. This is the story of the Birth of Jesus.
Best Christmas Stories for Children
Now you know the story of the birth of Jesus, so read it to your kids – we are sure your kids would love to listen. And if you want some more Christmas stories to narrate to your children, we have got it covered for you. Here is a compilation of some of the best Christmas stories that you can read out to your kids.
1. The Elves and the Shoemaker
‘The Elves and the Shoemaker’ is a classic Christmas fairy tale, your kids will love to hear. This tale by the ‘Brothers Grimm is about two elves that sneakily help a poor shoemaker. This story is about a shoemaker who lives with his wife in a small house. He is very poor and doesn’t have any money left with him. He only has some leather left to make one pair of shoes. One evening, he cut the leather for a pair of shoes that he thought he would make in the morning, and prayed to God for a good day and goes to sleep. The next morning, the shoemaker finds a beautiful pair of shoes on the table in his shop and sells it for a hefty price.
For many days, this continues and the shoemaker turns rich by selling the shoes made by the elves. The shoemaker and his wife are pleased; they decide to find out who their helpers are and express their gratitude towards them. They make clothes for the elves in order to thank them for their service. The two little elves come at midnight and are happy to see the clothes. They wear it and go only to never return again. The shoemaker lives a happy and prosperous life thereafter and little elves are pleased, too. This is a remarkable story to teach your children about the importance of hard work. Hard work always reaps its rewards. It is because the shoemaker worked hard that the elves came to help him. In return, he also gave the elves wonderful new clothes made with love.
2. The Carol Singers
There are four penguins named Micky, Fred, Rob and Eve who are fond of singing Christmas carols before the inhabitants of the ice pack, where they live. Every time they sang, they received a golden star which they put up on their Christmas tree. One Christmas eve, Micky catches a terrible cold and starts sneezing. He tells his fellow singers that they will have to sing without him that year as he is unwell. “No, that’s not possible,” said the other three. But they realise that the inhabitants of the ice pack looked forward to their performance every year and would be terribly disappointed if they didn’t sing.
The penguins decide to approach Doctor Lolo and ask to heal Micky soon. The doctor thinks for a while and tells them that the only way to get Micky better was by using the golden seaweed which could be found in the Indian Ocean. The penguins realise that the Indian Ocean is far away from them and that it would not be possible for them to get the seaweed in such a short time. Fred is tearful, and his tears fell in the water below, which Pincho, an ice fish, feels on his body. He swims up to the penguins and asks them the reason for their sadness.
On hearing their problem, Pincho says, “Wait! If it is the Indian Ocean, I have an idea.” He has friends and family spread across all the great seas of the world and begins to send messages to them. The message is passed on from one fish to another, across the Arctic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, before finally reaching the butterflyfish in the Indian Ocean. The butterflyfish looks for the golden seaweed, high and low. When he finally finds it, he passes it across till it reaches Pincho. The penguins are overjoyed, and they ask the doctor to prepare the medicine from it. Micky drinks the medicine in one gulp and his original voice returns in a jiffy. The Christmas carol show is a hit, and the penguins tell everyone how Pincho helped them in finding the golden seaweed. Through this story, your kids can learn about teamwork and how by helping each other, we can bring true happiness in the world.
3. The Fir Tree
‘The Fir Tree’ is a tale by Hans Christian Anderson. This story is about a young fir tree that wants to grow up soon. The tree is obsessed with the idea of growing up and doesn’t like it when someone reminds it of its diminutiveness. One fine day, the little tree is cut down to serve as a Christmas tree. It is carried to a house and is decorated with coloured apples, toys, candies, and a gold star on Christmas Eve. Children come and play around the tree and strip the tree of its candies. The next day, the tree is carried into the attic and is now lonely. Rats come and leave, but the tree is left alone. At last, in spring, the little fir tree is carried to a yard and cut and burned. This is how the life of a little tree ends. This story can teach your kids to appreciate the little things in life and be happy with what they have.
4. The Polar Express
‘The Polar Express’ is a children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg. This story is considered a classic Christmas story. The story begins on the night of the Christmas Eve-. A young boy wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a train, that which is waiting for him outside his house. He gets on the train and is surprised to see other children aboard. The train takes them to the North Pole, where they see Christmas elves and meet Santa Claus. The boy is handpicked by Santa to ask for a Christmas gift first. He can choose anything he wants – the boy asks for a bell from one of the reindeer’s harnesses.
When he returns home, the train pulls away, but his bell is lost. The next morning on Christmas, his sister finds a small gift for him under the tree. On opening the present, he finds that it is the same bell that was given to him by Santa. On shaking the bell, the little boy and his sister hear its sound, but his parents cannot. Years pass and the little boy grows up. The boy recalls that over the years, his sister and everyone else stopped hearing the sound of the bell, but he did not, and it was only because his belief in the magic of Christmas remained as is.
Read this story to your kids to teach them that if they wish for something from their heart, they will find it.
5. Santa Claus Does Not Forget
This story is about a little boy who lives with his father and mother. He is kind and obedient and shares all his toys with his friends. However, he has one fault: he always forgets to carry out errands and other important work he is told to do. Every time he is is asked to do something and later questioned, he has one answer, “I forgot.” If he is sent to the tailor to remind him of an urgent alteration, he would forget to tell the tailor about it. If he is given money to pay the electricity bill, his mother would find the money and the bill in his pocket that night. The reason for not doing a particular job remains the same. You guessed it right – “I forgot.”
His parents are worried that this habit of forgetting to do things would spill over into his adult life too, which would prove to be difficult for him. They decide to do something about it to make him remember things. Christmas was nearing, and like other children, he also got busy preparing notes for Santa, asking for his favourite things. His mother says, “Santa may forget to bring those things for you.” But the little boy is sure that Santa wouldn’t as he would put them in his stockings so he wouldn’t miss the list.
On Christmas morning, he wakes up early and rushes to check his stockings, pretty sure that Santa Claus would have delivered all that he wanted. His mother knew what was going to happen and keep away from him. The boy stands in front of his mother holding a long list of all the errands he was asked to run during the past year. At the end of the list, in bold letters was written, “I FORGOT.”
The little boy is heartbroken and drags himself to visit his grandfather with the rest of his family. On his grandfather’s Christmas tree, the boy finds all the things he had wished for! Though he does not change immediately, his mother reminds him when things got out of hand – “Santa Claus does not forget!” He slowly understood why it is so important to remember one’s duties and responsibilities in life.
6. The Gift of the Magi
‘The Gift of the Magi’ is a popular Christmas story by American writer ‘O. Henry’, which was first published in the year 1905. This story is about a young married couple, Jim and Della, who are poor but very much in love. It’s Christmas time and Della wants to buy a nice Christmas present for her husband- however, she has very little money. One of Della’s prized possessions was her beautiful, cascading hair – but because she did not have enough money saved for Jim’s Christmas present, she cuts and sells her hair for $20 and buys the perfect gift for Jim. Jim too sells his grandfather’s precious gold pocket watch – something he held close to his heart – to buy a gift for her.
On returning home, Jim is dumbstruck on finding the new haircut of Della. Della buys a watch chain for Jim’s favourite pocket watch, and he buys precious hair combs for her long hair. On receiving the gifts, they realise they are no longer useful for them. They had both sold their prized possessions to make the other happy, which shows their love for each other. They sit for dinner together but aren’t angry with each other. The story ends there, but the narrator compares the gifts Jim and Della got for each other with those of the Biblical Magi. This story is about the personal sacrifices that people make for their loved ones.
7. Papa Panov’s Special Christmas
This story is about Papa Panov, who is an elderly cobbler living alone in a tiny village of Russia. His wife is dead, and his sons and daughters are all grown up, living far away from his home. It’s Christmas time and since his wife is dead, he sits alone and sad in his little shop. He decides to read the Bible and the story of the birth of Jesus.
He reads the Christmas story but reading it continuously, he feels tired. The further he reads, the sleeping he becomes. Finally, he falls asleep and has a dream. In his dream, he notices a man in his room; he realises that it is Jesus. The Lord tells him that he can come and visit him the next day. However, Jesus would not reveal his identity to him. The next day is Christmas. Papa Panov wakes up early and is excited about meeting the Lord in person.
He notices an old sweeper cleaning the street diligently, despite the cold weather. Touched by his hard work, Papa Panov calls out to him and offers him a hot cup of coffee with a plateful of cookies. Later on, he notices a young mother with her baby in a sad mood, looking dejected with life in general. He calls them and shares his lunch with them. While they wait, he crafts a beautiful pair of tiny shoes for the baby.
The day passes quickly, but there is no sight of the holy visitor whom he was so eager to meet. Beggars came and went too, and Papa Panov fed them without having second thoughts. As the night approaches, he returns home, disappointed that Jesus did not come to meet him. Just as he was about to say that it was only a dream, he heard Jesus’s voice. “I did come to meet you,” said Jesus. Jesus had visited him in the guise of every person whom Papa Panov helped, right from the sweeper to the young mother to the beggars! Papa Panov is very happy that Jesus came to visit him after all.
This is a wonderful story to teach kids that it is our duty to serve those who are in need. Serving mankind is the most important task of our lives, and through this service alone, we can meet the Lord.
Reading stories to kids is a great way to teach them about good things of life and the right way to treat people. So this Christmas, read some engaging stories to your kids from the above list. Read these stories to your kids and watch their faces as they get engrossed in the story. We are sure that kids being inquisitive in nature will ask your many questions about the characters of the stories. So, be prepared with the answers to feed your little ones’ curiosity. Most of all, enjoy this special time with your kids.