There’s no denying that Christmas is a time to be with family and making memories that kids will cherish long after they grow up. Once you’ve chosen the perfect tree and the Christmas tree delivery is complete, there’s no better time begin a new family tradition. Once you get the kids to put down their phones, iPads, and other electronic devices, there are classic holiday stories that are perfect for reading aloud.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Anyone with smaller children will find it hard to find a better book than Dr. Seuss’s classic “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” Though the story is familiar to adults from the classic cartoon, children experiencing the blend of rhythmic rhymes and outlandish illustrations that make up the book will be transported. Also, due to its familiarity, it’s an easy book for parents to read aloud, as so much of the book was simply transcribed for the cartoon. Most importantly, it’s theme about Christmas’s true meaning is eternal.

A Christmas Carol

Though the story has been retold innumerable times, with Scrooge portrayed by actors as disparate as Bill Murray and Mr. Magoo, Charles Dickens’s original story is much richer than anything you likely remember. Scrooge is more unlikable through most of the story, the living conditions of Bob Cratchit and his family are much worse, and the ghosts much more fearful, making for a novella that fully deserves its place in history. Due to its length, though, be advised that it’s not a story that will be completed in a single night; plan for at least a week to tell the story of Ebeneezer’s redemption.

The Gift of the Magi

As short as the previous item was long, O’Henry’s classic story is the briefest of Christmas parables, about a poor man and his wife attempting to get the perfect present for their spouse and the sacrifices that each makes along the way. The message is simple and worth teaching to children at Christmas time, that it’s far better to give than to receive.