How To Write a Christmas Story

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I was driving back home through one of the worst winters on record. That’s when I saw the red light flashing off to the left of the road. Thinking someone was in trouble, I pulled up next to the light and hopped out. 

It was an overturned sleigh. It was attached to several reindeer that were tangled between the trees. To my surprise, the flashing red light was coming from the lead reindeer’s nose. 

Before I could react, an extremely strong hand reached out from underneath the sleigh and grabbed one of my legs. Images flashed through my mind – Red coat: Check. White hair: Check. It was Santa alright. 

Before I could speak (OK, scream to be honest) Santa said, “Please…check on my team.” Then he said, “You’ve got to help me save Christmas…”

What Happens Next? You Tell Us

A Christmas story is a creation that has many elements of a Christmas celebration in the story. Besides being fun, the story can be written for any age. But where do you start? What’s the theme? Do you have an outline?

In this article we’ll take a look at how to write a Christmas story.

What are Christmas Stories?

A Christmas story is designed to be read during the holiday season. It can be fiction or nonfiction, or set in any time period in the past, present or future.

Most are set around a central figure (called Santa Claus) who brings gifts to the homes of all the good children in the world.

Christmas stories normally stick to three main rules:

  • It needs to be about Christmas, obviously
  • The timeframe should be set around the holiday
  • It should include a host of themes related to the holiday 

How To Write A Christmas Story

Be Original

  • The best Christmas stories have an original idea, yet blend in more traditional themes and elements. It‘s not too complicated, yet not too short. It makes you want to know more, yet is not too predictable. 

Choose Your Genre

  • Will your holiday story be set in a fantasy, science fiction or reality? Choosing your genre early on will help you form the perfect outline for your Christmas story. 

Describe Your Story In A Sentence

  • If you can sum up your story within one sentence, you’ll probably have a Christmas masterpiece on your hands. If not, it’s best to start with an outline.

Use Worldwide Themes

  • Throw a twist in your story. Christmas in Japan can be totally different from one in Germany. Your story can incorporate different foods and songs from around the world too.

Plan Your Story’s Plot

  • Plan out your story before writing it. This is a crucial step that can often be overlooked. You’ll know exactly what you need to accomplish in order to reach the climax in your story.


  • Include a lesson in your Christmas story: The lesson must be: 
    • Something the characters learn, not the reader
    • Something the characters have to work through which shows the change in the characters
    • It must have a happy ending

Showing Versus Telling

  • “Telling” is simply describing what happens in a story. There’s  little or no room for imagination on the part of the reader. It’s the easy route.
  • “Showing” what the characters are doing is different. For example, you have to use imagination without “telling” your audience the exact date and time of the story.

Characters & The Holidays

  • Think of it this way: Santa to an American might not mean the same Santa to someone who lives in Switzerland. Still, Santa is Santa. Different characteristics and traditions can be combined to make Santa familiar to both.

Christmas Shouldn’t Be Overwhelming

  • Your Christmas story should be interesting, but you don’t have to make it as detailed as a volume of encyclopedias. Have fun with it, make it feel natural. Your readers will truly enjoy it without feeling bogged down by the storyline.

Beware Spoiler Alerts

  • The reason you want your story to be original is because you don’t want someone to simply go to a search engine and discover the end of the story. An original plot or even a twist to a theme is recommended. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of People Read Christmas Stories?

Nearly everyone has read a Christmas story before. We don’t necessarily mean something from a Dickens’ tale or even straight up Santa Claus. It’s more about something that happens near holiday times, whether fictitious or not.  

When Is the Best Time To Write a Christmas Story?

The Christmas season is the best time to do it. Christmas is a magical time of year and has everything a story needs: romance, dreams, and of course, happy endings. 

Does a Christmas Story Always Have To Be Fiction?

Not all Christmas stories are fiction, as it turns out. They can easily be based on real life events involving the holidays.

Wrapping Up

We hope you enjoyed and will follow our tips and tricks on how to write a Christms story. With a bit of imagination and a lot of fun, you’ll be writing a holiday masterpiece in no time. 

Happy Writing.

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