Books

Popular Christmas Movies That Started as Books

By Haley Saffren  ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer

Happy holidays! Here are some favorite Christmas books that are loved at the movies! A lot of popular Christmas movies started out as books and offer an excellent read and more at Christmas time:

A Christmas Carol

Photo Credit: Modify Lifestyle
Photo Credit: Modify Lifestyle

This classic Christmas story has been adapted over and over again in countless movie versions. There are various live action versions of the story and an animated version with Ebenezer Scrooge creatively voiced by Jim Carrey. What movie goers may not realize is that this popular story started as one of Charles Dickens’ famous novels. The basic storyline has never changed; a bitter old man is visited by the ghosts of the Christmas holiday’s past, present, and future to possibly improve his outlook on life. Dickens is a wordy author who loves to go into excessive detail when it comes to imagery, but this story is a classic with a brilliant concept.  It is worth reading and is one of the most well-known Christmas stories out there.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment

Another Christmas classic!  Everyone knows about the Grinch, the lovable, miserable creature, who hates Christmas so much he tries to ruin the holiday for all the sweet and gullible citizens of Whoville.  Much like A Christmas Carol, this story has a live action and an animated version. Jim Carrey is in the live action version of this classic. He definitely revels in playing the Christmas grump!  The story of the Grinch is actually a classic kids story written by the one and only Dr. Seuss. The movies stay true to Dr. Suess’ unique storyline.  The Grinch epitomizes the type of person who, for whatever reason, cannot stand the holiday season and does not appreciate the positive messages of the holidays. It is a beautiful story, and reading Dr. Seuss’ version brings back many childhood memories.

The Greatest Gift (It’s a Wonderful Life)

Photo Credit: ScriptShadow
Photo Credit: ScriptShadow

This is one of the most tragic and heartwarming Christmas stories ever written. Yes, that’s right, the classic film, It’s a Wonderful Life, is based on the lesser known short story titled The Greatest Gift. This story was written by Philip Van Doren Stern. It follows the life of a man named George Pratt who is depressed and contemplates ending his life on Christmas Eve, only to be approached by a stranger who grants his wish to never have been born. The movie adaptation stays true to the story, adding a few new details that were not in the short story.  Admittedly, this story is a real tear jerker, but the promise of a satisfying ending and the message behind it is powerful; people should appreciate what they have and not waste time wondering what could have been. This book may seem too sad to crack open at a time of happiness and celebration, but it’s a wonderful story (pun intended!), and is worth looking past the themes of heartache and despair to find a story about hope.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Photo Credit: Smore
Photo Credit: Smore

Surprise! The most famous reindeer of all time originated in the pages of a book!  The story was written by Robert L. May. It is the story of Rudolph, one of Santa’s reindeer. Rudolph stands out from the rest of the reindeer because he has a shiny bright red nose and gets picked on by other reindeer. The story is quite adorable but also emphasizes the negative aspects of bullying. Overall, it’s positive message shines through by highlighting the importance of appreciating the differences in people (or reindeer) instead of taunting them for their differences. The movie adaptations accurately portray the premise of the story while including some new characters and details. Rudolph is a classic Christmas character, and it would be interesting to find the book that started his legacy. After all, who wouldn’t love the story of an outcast reindeer who becomes a hero? Rudolph is awesome!

These are some of the Christmas stories that started as books, and they are great reads too. The stories are complex with valuable and interesting concepts. Open up some of these books and learn some the true meanings of Christmas through these classic stories.

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