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5 Heartwarming Christmas scenes from beloved classic books

Young girl from 19th century in a red dress reading a letter with the background of a Christmas tree

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Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 12/18/23

If you’re looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane of Christmases past, check out these favorite holiday scenes from classic books.
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Who doesn’t love a classic Christmas scene, loved ones gathered around, candles lit, songs on all lips, and the air thick with love and joy? 

If you’re looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane of Christmases past, check out these favorite holiday scenes from classic books. Perhaps these heartwarming reads can inspire us to greater gratitude as we prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ.

And if we forgot one of your favorite Christmas scenes, let us know in the comments!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This book starts right before Christmas, with the iconic opening line, “‘Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,’ grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.” With several beautifully moving Christmas scenes retold over the years the book takes place, it’s perfect to read near the holidays. 

Truly one of the best books ever written, all ages can enjoy readingLittle Women again and again, finding food for the soul as well as the mind with Alcott’s uplifting and faith-building message. 

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

One of the most beloved books in our house, this is a “comfort read” for my kids as they listen to the audiobook at least once a year.

Every time we read it, I’m struck with how overjoyed Laura is to receive one (one!) piece of candy, a pair of mittens, and a homemade doll for Christmas. I try not to hammer it home too much to my kids, but I think this scene is a powerful example to them of detachment and gratitude — and a reminder to me of just how little is needed to create Christmas magic they’ll always remember.

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Another incredibly moving Christmas scene comes when little Sara Crewe, orphaned and heartbroken, is shocked to find a beautiful Christmas feast and luxurious gifts in her humble attic bedroom. 

It’s a magical story of generosity and friendship, beautiful to read around the holidays or any time of year. When I read it with my kids, we enjoyed seeing the 1995 film adaptation together, too, in case you’re looking for something fun to watch with the kids over winter break!

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Anne fans will remember the iconic “puffed sleeves” Christmas scene, when little Anne, an orphan starved for love and attention, finds the loving father figure she always wanted in kindhearted Matthew Cuthbert. As a parent, I find it hard not to cry during this beautiful part of the story.

This book is another popular repeat audiobook for my kids, and in our house, we like to watch the 1985 film adaptation at least once a year too. My husband and kids love this movie even more than I do, so I suggest getting the whole family snuggled up with popcorn and hot cocoa to enjoy this perfect film together. 

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

When we sing about the “triumph” of Christmas, few books bring home its rousing joy quite like this one, when Christmas comes with Christlike Aslan defeating the terrible White Witch. The rather unconventional Christmas scene — “Father Christmas” brings gifts while the children are on the run from the White Witch — makes the power of Christmas all the more memorable and thrilling. 

The winter ice cracking as Aslan brings new life to Narnia is an incredible visual representation of the way God brings his grace to our hearts, and to the whole world with Jesus’ birth at Christmas. 

And like the others on this list, the movie adaptation is a delightful holiday watch, perhaps lending itself to talking with our kids about the ways that God brings us joy as Aslan brings joy to Narnia. 

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