The 6 Best Christmas Movies That Were Books First

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for movies! But when you’re cuddling up under a blanket with a cup of cocoa and cookies, do you ever wonder what inspired your favorite Christmas movies? While some films share the same name as the books they came from, you might be surprised to know what inspired some of the best Christmas movies of all time. Here are six of the best Christmas movies that were actually books first!

6 of the Best Christmas Movies That Were Books First!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Most people know that these movies (yep, more than one version!) are based on the children’s book written by Dr. Seuss, also called How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

It’s a Wonderful Life

This beautiful 1946 film follows a businessman who wishes to end his life only to be confronted by a guardian angel who shows him what an amazing impact his life has had on the people in his community. It’s a true Christmas classic, but not many people know that it was actually based on the book The Greatest Gift by Philip Van Doren Stern.

The Polar Express

Another excellent movie based on a children’s book! The Polar Express, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, follows the story of a young boy who gets on a train headed for the North Pole on Christmas Eve. 

A Christmas Carol

There have been so many film versions of this wonderful story (such as Bill Murray’s Scrooged) but it was originally written as a book by Charles Dickens.

A Christmas Carol, first published in 1843, tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a man hardened both by his experiences and for his love of money, who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. After the spirits’ visits, Scrooge decides to be a kinder and gentler man.

The Year Without a Santa Claus

This gorgeous stop-motion film is based on a book by the same name, written by Phyllis McGinley. The story follows Santa Claus who is riddled with doubt about his significance in the present world. Demotivated, he decides to take a break and abandon his annual Christmas Eve run. Can Mrs. Claus and the little elves restore Santa’s shaken faith?

A Christmas Story

We “double dog dare you” to guess the origin of one of the best Christmas movies in the past 30 years. This movie tells the story of Little Ralphie’s dream of possessing a Red Rider BB gun. He soon runs into trouble when his parents, teacher and even Santa Claus express their dismay at Ralphie’s idea of a perfect gift. However, unbeknownst to Ralphie, a surprise is waiting for him on Christmas Eve. But did you know it was based on TWO different books?

A Christmas Story was based on In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories, both written by Jean Shepherd.

Now you can extend the Christmas spirit and read the books that inspired the best Christmas movies ever!

Reading the books that started it all is a great way to expand your Christmas traditions this year. Get the whole family involved! Find out all of the differences and similarities between these classic novels and these incredible Christmas films.

Looking for a brand new novel to add to your list of Christmas gifts? Dive into The Sieger Chronicles! This latest dystopian saga will have you (and your teens) gripping the edge of your seat at every page. Buy on Amazon today!