Seven laugh-out-loud stories for Christmastime

Published on: 20 December 2021

Everyone's Christmas is different - some people can't wait for mince pies and carols, and others have a little more in common with the Grinch! Kieran Crowley, author of The Santa List, shares his top funny books to read together at Christmas - no matter who you are.

Christmas is often when people strive for perfection – the flawless dinner, an exquisite gift - but sometimes everything goes wrong and all you can do is laugh. In my book The Santa List I wanted to write a funny, festive story that reflects the different feelings people have for this time of year. The seven books listed here are some of my favourite humorous yuletide reads, featuring characters that range from sceptics and grumps to those who celebrate Christmas every single day.

Rover Saves Christmas by Roddy Doyle

Roddy Doyle has written both a Booker Prize-winning novel and a children’s book that features a cash-for-poo scam; now that’s what I call range. Rover first appeared in The Giggler Treatment and here he’s back for another adventure. When Rudolph is unable to fulfil his duties (he only works one night a year!), it’s up to Rover to step in and save the day.  

A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

I love Snoopy’s approach to life (and was inspired by his attempts to become a published writer) but what about his friend, Charlie Brown? Surprise, surprise, Charlie isn’t happy. Can the gang help him find the true meaning of Christmas? This delightful book features Schulz’s fabulous drawings and the trademark Peanuts humour.

Illustration: Charles M. SchulzIllustration: Charles M. Schulz

How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan (illustrated by Lee Wildish)

This funny and warm story has tips on how you might try to catch Santa, but also the kinds of questions you might ask him if you met him on Christmas Eve: ‘Who invents new toys at your workshop?’; ‘How fast do reindeers fly to get everywhere in one night?’. Full of clues, lists and mischief.

The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle

The title itself and the early mention of a shop called Marley’s Christmas Curiosities gives a strong hint as to the inspiration behind this hugely enjoyable and funny adventure that transports George to the past, present and future. There are some tears to go along with the hilarious moments, but overall this is a big hot chocolate and roaring fire of a novel.

Image from the cover of The Miracle on Ebenezer StreetImage from the cover of The Miracle on Ebenezer Street

The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

An antidote to the cosiness of Christmas, this tale (based on the film rather than the other way round for once) features Jack Skellington who, tired of life in Halloween Town, sets off looking for something more and finds Christmas Town. If only he could re-create Christmas himself! Madcap and inventive, but perhaps not for very young or sensitive readers, this will appeal to someone with a darker sense of humour.

The Christmas Carrolls by Mel Taylor-Bessent (illustrated by Selom Sunu)

The newest book on the list, but one which is destined to become a favourite. Holly Carroll not only has a very festive name, but her family loves the holiday season and celebrates it all year round (they even have a carol-singing toilet). To her surprise though, not everyone loves Christmas as much as she does. Will she remain positive and spread some Christmas cheer?

Illustration: Selom SunuIllustration: Selom Sunu

Rabbit and Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits by Julian Gough (illustrated by Jim Field)

Technically, this may not be a Christmas book, but it does feature snowmen, rabbits and bears so I’m going to sneak it in. And it is very funny. Bear wakes up one morning to find his food has been stolen and sets off to investigate. A warm and wise tale of the importance of friendship (and gravity!).

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