This time of year, one of my favorite discussion starters with friends, family, and even strangers met in line at the post office is to ask their favorite Christmas movies, books, and songs. There are always the classics that everyone seems to agree on (I’m looking at you Elf and O, Holy Night), and it is fun to connect over shared favorites. But I especially love hearing unexpected under-the-radar favorites that speak to each of our unique upbringings and Christmas experiences. Today I am sharing a few of my own underrated gems from a few different Christmas categories.
CHRISTMAS PICTURE BOOKS
Picture book classics (NOT unknown but worth the hype) you need in your library are Polar Express, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Velveteen Rabbit, and at least a few versions of The Night Before Christmas.
14) Emmanuel: An Invitation to Prepare Him Room at Christmas and Always, by Ruth Chou Simmons This is the Advent devotional I’m reading this year. Full review coming next week!
A well-known family devotional that our family has read for years is Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift. Treat your family to this book this year if you don’t already own it! (It’s designed with kids in mind but excellent for readers of all ages.)
19) The Magic Christmas, by Fancine Pascal I wasn’t even a Sweet Valley Twins fan, but I read this every Christmas for most of my elementary and middle school years.
20) Christmas Jars, by Jason F. Wright I’m reading this now and love it.
21) Jack Frost My dad’s favorite movie of all time. Charleston is in part named for the young protagonist, Charlie.
22) The Family Man
23) The Star
25) Spirited New this year. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this.
Not under the radar, but not to be missed: White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, The Santa Clause, the original Miracle on 34th Street and the new The Grinch.
Popular albums I also love include Josh Groban’s Noël, Michael Bublé’s Christmas, The Carpenters’ Christmas Portrait, and everything from Celtic Woman and Pentatonix. I compiled a playlist of my favorite versions of all of my favorite Christmas songs here.
You know I’m going to ask: what movies, songs, or books are a central part of your Christmas that not everyone may know about?