I’m a sucker for a media tie-in/novelization, and at Christmas time it seems like nearly all the Christmas movies are in someway or somehow created directly from, or inspired by Christmas books.
Some of these movies won’t be surprising to most, they’re either classics, or they don’t hide that they’re from books. But, with a lot of them, the only way you can tell is from a quick flash of an author’s name and their book’s title during the credits.
They fall into three categories:
The Famous Ones
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
There are three, count them, three movies with this title or a title very much like it that you can watch. I’m talking about the original 25 minute short with Boris Karloff and Thurl Ravenscroft (speaking and singing respectively).
It’s based on the book by Dr. Seuss, and, you can’t go wrong with either watching the movie or reading the book because the two stories are so similar. Just, I beg you, don’t watch the Jim Carey version!
A Christmas Carol
Definitely go read this book if you haven’t yet. There are a bunch of different and great versions of this. Personally, the one with Patrick Stewart, and the Muppet Christmas Carol are my favorites.
Luckily, whether you like George Scott, Jim Carey, or any of the other takes on the classic story, there seems to be a Christmas Carol for everyone.
The Polar Express
This (at the time) was a groundbreaking movie because it melded live action motion capture with animation.
Like the Grinch, the author, Chris Van Allsburg was one of the producers, and, you can tell that in how close the book and movie are in theme, tone, and plot.
It’s a Wonderful Life
In the final one of the famous movies, this is a definite classic, and, the only one on this part of the list that I didn’t know was based on a story. It’s based on “The Greatest Gift” short story by Philip Van Doren Stern.
The Surprising Ones
Ah, we’ve gotten to the Hallmark/Lifetime/Up/Etc. movies. Quite a few of these are based on one book or another. Some of them tout that, but, a lot of them don’t.
Here are just a smattering of them:
Christmas Wishes & Mistletoe Kisses
The movie is a Hallmark one, and, we’re starting with an easy one because it’s based on a book of the same name by Jenny Hale.
It’s about Abbey and Nick. Abbey gets hired to decorate Nick’s family’s mansion, and, well, Nick is a bit of a grump about it at first.
Hale writes a lot of Christmas romance books, but, also has some set in the summer as well. She also has “Coming Home for Christmas” which was on Hallmark in 2017 and also based on a book of hers of the same name.
Debbie Macomber’s Dashing Through the Snow
When you’re Debbie Macomber, you get to have people know from the outset that the movie is based on your book.
This movie (and book) is about Ashley and Dash, who wind up having to share a car so that Ashley can get home. There’s even a bit of a suspenseful subplot that goes on, and –the– cutest dog ever on television.
She also has at least two or three other (very obviously titled) Christmas movies.
The Nine Lives of Christmas
Based on a book of the same name by Sheila Roberts. Zach is a fireman and committment-phobe who adops a stray cat (yay, it’s a cat and not a dog movie!!) and then happens to meet a Veterinary Student who may just break his phobia.
And, it also looks like Sheila Roberts has gone cross channel, and has a Lifetime Christmas movie as well called, “On Strike for Christmas”. Gutsy.
The Mistletoe Secret
The Mistletoe Secret is based on a book of the same name by Richard Paul Evans. Aria convinces a famous travel writer to come to her hometown for Christmas, but, instead there’s some big ole twists and turns in there when the travel writer’s ghostwriter shows up first.
The Book/Movie being Semi-Simultaneous Published
Miracle on 34th Street (the 1947 version, also known as, the only one that I will acknowledge).
I did not know that the film and book came out at the same time. I guess if Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick can do it, so can Valentine Davies (he wrote the movie and the novelization of it).
If these aren’t enough movies to keep you busy until the 25th, here are a couple of good links for this years (and previous years) Christmas movies that are based on books: