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Christmas Movies Based on Books

Everyone has their favorite Christmas movies, but did you know that many are based on books and short stories?

If you didn't, they are a great addition to the overall story (and might answer a few questions).

Here are some of the best Christmas films based on books and short stories:

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This one is probably the most obvious of the bunch. Dr. Seuss's story is timeless, and will be part of our children's and our children's children's childhood.

A Christmas Carol

This is perhaps the most famous Christmas movie and story told in the English language. Three ghosts come to visit Mr. Scrooge. It's easy, it can be told in different ways, and it has a happy ending. What isn't to like?

The Polar Express

The Polar Express is one of those movies that just isn't for everyone. Some love it. Some hate it. The book however, is a different story. It is beloved by almost everyone who has ever read it.

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Almost everyone knows the poem, but the movie (a TV special to be exact) is actually quite good. The two are actually not that similar, with the poem being simply a secondary story in the film. Nonetheless, the movie has reached many throughout its history and continues to be played around the world during Christmas-time.

The Gift of Love - based on The Gift of Magi

This is a lesser known film, as it was a made for TV movie. However, it is based off the famous story about a man and woman who would do anything to please each other during the holidays. Don't worry, it isn't as dirty as I make it sound.

The Nutcracker - based on The Nutcracker and the Mouse King

This is probably most famous as a ballet, but it was also made into several different films. If you haven't seen one of them because you think it is "girly" due to the ballet, you're wrong. The story is about a child's toy nutcracker which comes alive and takes her to a magical kingdom. OK, so it sounds a bit odd. Nonetheless, it is a great story.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Ah, Rudolph. It's quite funny how many of the common Christmas themes of today have only been around for ~100 years. Rudolph isn't any different. Although he came alive in the hit song, the book is what allowed the television special to come to be.

Olive, the Other Reindeer

Olive is a new reindeer. She has only been playing games for a short time, but she is no less useful than any of the others. After the book was written, it was quickly made into a great Christmas film.

The Life & Adventures of Santa Claus - based on The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus

As the title states, this one is about the life of St. Nick. Like most book-to-films, this movie contains some differences in characters, climate, and other nuances. Don't get me wrong, this film is great.


You might be wondering "Where is Miracle on 34th Street?" The fact is, the book came out the same time the film did - they were written together. So the film isn't based on the book.