Christmas has inspired many authors over the years to write about its spirit and significance. The spirit that embodies charity, forgiveness, friendship, unselfish love and generosity are in the best stories of what makes the Christmas Spirit so profound and special. Though these Christmas stories have been written for children, readers of all ages will enjoy these skillfully told tales and the significance of their telling.

The Gift of the Magi – O. Henry

O. Henry was the pseudonym of the American writer William Sydney Porter (September 11, 1862 – June 5, 1910). O. Henry’s short stories are well known for their wit, wordplay, warm characterization and clever twist endings. The Gift of the Magi is one of O. Henry’s most famous Christmas stories. The story contains many of the elements for which O. Henry is widely known, including poor, working-class characters, a humorous tone, realistic detail, and a surprise ending. A major reason given for its enduring appeal is its affirmation of unselfish love. Such love, the story and its title suggest, is like the gifts given by the wise men, called the Magi, who brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the newborn Jesus.

The Holy Night – Selma Lagerlof

One cold winter’s night, a cruel and hard-hearted shepherd is amazed by some strange happenings. A man comes looking for wood for a fire to warm his wife and newborn baby, and following the man back to his cold grotto, the shepherd discovers the true spirit of Christmas. Selma Ottilia Lovisa Lagerlöf (20 November 1858–16 March 1940) was a Swedish author. She was the first female writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and most widely known for her children’s book The Wonderful Adventures of Nils.

The Christmas Rose – Lizzie Deas

On a cold December night, everybody was coming to see their new Savior and brought Him all kinds of gifts and presents. A shepherd maiden had also come to see the Christ Child but she was very poor and had nothing to offer the child. She felt helpless and was quietly weeping outside the door. An angel took pity on her and gently brushed aside the snow at her feet, from where a beautiful cluster of waxen white winter roses sprang up with pink tipped petals. He softly whispered to her that these Christmas roses are more valuable than any myrrh, frankincense or gold for they are pure and made of love.

Spend a quiet and cozy evening with your loved ones and read these delightful Christmas stories. They are a great way for kids and adults to learn more about Christmas, its meaning and message, and why it is the most significant holiday of all.