A Christmas Storytime Party: Frugal and Family-friendly Ideas

If you’re looking for a truly heartwarming theme to celebrate this Christmas, this has got to be a top choice! Imagine having a Christmas Storytime Party, with all of you gathered as a family—plus friends and neighbors, if you wish—to enjoy well-loved holiday tales together. The decor, food, sweet treats, and party favors could be inspired by one special book, or these could capture your favorite Christmas motif of the season.

The idea is to share a few hours snuggled up together on the living room couch (with or without a fireplace to keep you nice and toasty!), taking turns reading your choice of classic to fanciful yuletide stories. And enjoying mugs of hot cocoa, light holiday dishes, and sweet goodies, plus thoughtful Christmas favors to remember this occasion by! (*this post contains affiliate links)

Plan a Simple Christmas Party Menu

Depending on the Christmas book or books you’ve chosen to share, your holiday party menu could take its cue from there.

Frugal Christmas party for a storytime theme

It could be set up as a Christmas tea party with finger sandwiches and pastries, plus a selection of teas for the grownups and milk or cocoa for the kiddies. If other family members, friends, or neighbors are invited, why not make it a potluck gathering with each one contributing an appetizer, side dish, or dessert?

A cake and cookies spread would be such a treat for the little ones (see our next section on dessert ideas), while the adults could enjoy an array of wines and cheeses with wine bottles decorated in holiday style. Or perhaps a Christmas vegetable platter served with delicious homemade dips.

If your home happens to be in a seaside location—or you’ll be spending the holidays in a beach vacation house—you might consider having your storytime party menu with a unique coastal spin!

Serve Festive but Easy Holiday Desserts

For sweet treats, think easy prep or semi-DIY so you’ll have more time to enjoy the Christmas stories together.
Christmas storytime desserts

Desserts like cakes, pastries and other treats that are “no bake” or that you can make ahead are ideal. Then you just assemble and add the finishing touches and garnishes come party time. Consider desserts made with fruits, too. They’re easy but can look really fancy, plus their natural colors create an instant festive effect.

With kids around, make the wintertime desserts table extra special with holiday touches—like decorated cakes, peppermint bonbons, Christmas cookies, mini candy canes, gingerbread figures, crystal rock candy, chocolates wrapped in red and green foil, and more.

For a nod to tradition, include a selection of eggnog treats or set up an inviting hot cocoa bar for all to enjoy!

Deck Your Home in Yuletide Decor

To decorate for your storytime gathering, you can actually use items you already have at home. Rummage through your pantry, china cabinet, linens closet, and craft supplies stash, and get creative!


Since this is basically a family event, think of budget-friendly decorating ideas. A sure hit with the kids would be a winter wonderland motif or a snowflake theme, for instance. These can be easily improvised by choosing household items and decorative trimmings all in a chosen color palette—such as in all red, all white and silver, or icy blue and lots of sparkle!

Of course, if you plan to focus on one beloved Christmas storybook at your party, simply dress up your home with stylish decorations based on that theme. These could be classics like the Nutcracker, Santa’s Village, or the Elf on the Shelf, or possibly rustic woodland, Nordic, metallic, retro or modern. So many fun and festive possibilities!

Christmas Storybooks for Your Party Activity

Traditionally, a Christmas party with kids would have interactive holiday activities for them to enjoy. But with a storybook focus, this occasion will center around a book or books you’ve selected—whether timeless classics or creative spinoffs on the spirit of the season or some fanciful characters.

Christmas storytime books for kids

Here is a delightful dozen of Christmas-themed books we found on Amazon, just perfect for toddlers to 4th graders. They range from traditional to whimsical. Take your pick!

1 – A Vintage Christmas: A Collection of Classic Stories and Poems With stories by Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, L.M. Montgomery, Mark Twain, and more

2 – The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore  (Author), Holly Hobbie (Artist)

3 – Christmas Stories: Heartwarming Classics of Angels, a Manger, and the Birth of Hope by Max Lucado  (Author)

4 – The Story of Christmas

5 – Home by Another Way: A Christmas Story by Barbara Brown Taylor  (Author), Melanie Cataldo (Illustrator)

6 – The Tale of Elroy the Elf: A Christmas Miracle

7 – The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden  (Author), Christian Birmingham (Illustrator)

8 – Mouse’s Christmas Gift by Mindy Baker  (Author), Dow Phumiruk (Illustrator)

9 – A Charlie Brown Christmas (Peanuts) by Tina Gallo (Adapter), Charles M. Schulz (Author), Scott Jeralds (Illustrator)

10 – The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan Berenstain  (Author), Mike Berenstain  (Author)

11 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Grow Your Heart Edition by Dr. Seuss  (Author)

Christmas Story-inspired Gifts and Party Favors

In the spirit of the storybook theme, it would be lovely to send guests off with mementos related to the tales you’ve just enjoyed. Homemade and handcrafted ones would be best!

Crocheted booties as homemade Christmas favors.

Here are some suggestions to help get you thinking:

  • Make homemade party favors like crochet booties (like the cute car-shaped ones above) or mittens that you can then fill with candies.
  • Plan on giving sentimental favorites like gingerbread figures, cupcakes, mini loaves, and even granola mix.
  • Package hot cocoa mixes in jars or tins as welcome gifts for the chilly season.

“T’was the night before Christmas…” and you and your loved ones can be enjoying a cozy Christmas Storytime Party! Happy holidays!

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