Modern family of four reading Christmas stories

The Best Christmas Book Ever

In the crush of holiday wish lists, gadgets, toys and media hype, it’s easy to overlook the four things experts tell us that children really want for Christmas. 


Modern family of four reading Christmas stories

  1. Relaxed time with family 
  2. Realistic expectations about gifts
  3. An evenly paced holiday season
  4. Reliable family traditions

Today I have a recommendation for you—a way that you and your family can accomplish all four things, even at this late date. 

Read a book. A very special book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. 

If you don’t have this title already, get it. This classic is available online , in libraries, and bookstores everywhere. 

Never mind that the publisher calls this a children’s story. It isn’t, although children and grandchildren will want to hear this one year after year. 

The vision it has to offer is hilarious, while deeply touching in a profound yet innocent way. 

So, whether there are few or many in your home this holiday season, curl up in your warmest flannel with cozy blankets to read this one aloud.

Here’s a quick overview …

The Herdmans are absolutely and without question the worst kids “in the history of the world.” 

They lie, they curse and have a propensity to set things on fire. 

One time, they set fire to a building accidentally and when the firemen came the Herdmans stole their doughnuts. 

The Herdmans are so bad the teachers don’t even let them stay back a year in school. 

They are guilty of every unmentionable childhood crime and have come up with more than a few originals on their own. 

When the Herdmans hear about the refreshments, the seven of them show up at church and Sunday School and hijack the annual Christmas event (although none of them has ever attended church, much less heard the Christmas story before). And that’s when the first Christmas becomes new and real in some pretty surprising ways.

The idea of grace—that the “glad tidings of great joy that shall be to all people” includes the likes of the awfuller-than-awful Herdmans—is humorously and poignantly conveyed by the narrator, a classmate of one of the older Herdmans.

Once you’ve read this book, you will never look at the Christmas story again in the same way. 

Stock up on copies for Christmas gifts for teachers and friends. This is one of the few books that makes you cry and laugh at the same time. Read it, and let it touch your funny bone and your heart.

Give it to a friend who complains that Christmas has become too commercial or to the harried mother of her own lively brood or to someone who dreads the holidays. ook

Make sure you pack this book away with the holiday decorations, to be brought out and enjoyed year after year. It’s almost more fun each time you read it. 

“Hey! Unto you, a child is born!”



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5 replies
  1. De Jenkins says:

    I must have heard about this book from you years ago because I bought several copies to give as gifts. The next year, while my sister and her family were visiting, we planned to attend a stage play of the story. Unfortunately, I thought the Sunday matinee was at 2pm, but it was at 1, so we missed it…but we still had one of our best Christmases ever because we were together. 🙂

  2. Sherie Clark Bumgarner says:

    We read this at Christmas when my daughter (now 54 yrs old) introduced it to us. We have read it to our grandchildren as well. We all loved it. I’d say it’s a “must read”. The kids and even the adults will love it.


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