Non-Religious Christmas Stories

9 Secular Christmas Stories [Non-Religious]

Are you looking for some non-religious stories for the Christmas period? As a professional storyteller, I collected a treasure trove of free secular Christmas stories that you can tell to a mixed-faith audience.

What are secular Christmas stories?

Secular Christmas stories are stories about the Christmas period that don’t feature any religious elements. For example, they don’t contain any references to the nativity story from the bible.

Many elements of Christmas are not typical religious. For example, you don’t need to believe in God to give and receive meaningful gifts, celebrate the light in the dark with family, or do good to a stranger.

Most of the stories below are equally enjoyable for children as for adults.

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πŸ’‘ As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I get a little percentage whenever you buy something after clicking one of my affiliate links. Thanks!

1. The Little Girl and the Winter Whirlwinds

There are many stories about winter and spring told around Christmas time. It’s cold and these (often mythical) stories used to be told to reassure people that there would be warmth and new life again in spring.

It was winter, and it stayed winter. The wicked Winter Witch prevented spring from coming.

As snow and darkness filled the earth, the people planned to send a messenger to Father Frost. But who could go through the icy cold?

A girl volunteers because, she says: “my warm little heart, full of love, will keep the cold away from me.”

She overcomes many obstacles but is finally put to sleep by a disguised Winter Witch. Luckily, all the fluffy animals of the forest come to her rescue, and she reaches Father Frost, who proceeds to put things right again.

Read the entire fairy tale at

πŸ’‘ I made a collection of amazing Christmas fairy tales.

2. The Fir Tree

It’s big and shiny, towers above the gifts, and we gather around it: the Christmas Tree. There are quite a few stories about Christmas trees…

The great Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen wrote quite some famous fairy tales. They are often melancholic, like this one about a poor fir tree.

A little fir tree in the forest is anxiously waiting to become bigger.

One day he is cut down for Christmas. He is sold, taken to a house, and decorated. He shines and sparkles during the whole Christmas Eve. He even listens to an uncle tell a story.

However, he is taken down the next day and stored in the attic. He is sad and disappointed, the only highlight being that he can tell the story he heard to a group of mice. Then, in spring, he is carried into the yard and burned.

Read the entire fairy tale at The Hans Christian Andersen Centre

3. The Christmas Fairy of Strasburg

This fairy tale is lovely, but reading it, I so much wanted a happier ending…

One day Count Otto, hunting in the forest, came upon the Fairy Well. As he washed his hands in the water, it felt like a hand touched his, and his ring was softly taken from his finger. Delighted, he returned home.

As he was sitting in his castle, suddenly many beautifully dressed fairy beings arrived, who started dancing around a beautiful tree they set up in the middle of the main hall. The whole tree sparkled and shined.

Ernestine, Queen of the Fairies, greets him and gives him his ring back. He asks her to marry him, and she agrees under the condition that he will never say the word ‘death’ in her presence.

They live happily together until one day, the Count uses the word death, and she vanishes. Since then, the Count sets up a lighted tree every Christmas Eve, waiting for his beloved. And that’s the origin of the Christmas Tree.

Read the entire fairy tale at

4. The Elves and the Shoemaker

Giving gifts is a central custom of Christmas all over the world. In these stories, often, gifts are given two ways.

Now, this Grimm tale is widely recognized as a bonafide Christmas story.

A shoemaker has nothing left. Only the leather to make one pair of shoes. So he goes to bed, and the following day he finds the shoes finished…

He finds out that elves are helping him. So, with his wife, he prepares some gifts for them to give back on Christmas: shoes and clothes. They are grateful, and everybody lives happily ever after.

Read The Elves and the Shoemaker at

πŸ’‘ Read more Brothers Grimm winter fairy tales.

5. The Gift of the Magi

On Christmas Eve, a wife discovers she has only a few dollars to buy a present for her husband. So she sells her beautiful long hair and buys a gift: a pocket watch chain.

Her husband comes home, and she gives him her gift. Jim gives Della a set of combs and tells his wife that he sold his watch to buy the combs for her.

Both received gifts they could not use, but they felt deeply loved.

6. The Set of Poe

This is a gem of a story that I had never heard before. You can guess the ending, but that does not matter because the feelings of Mr. Waterby are so relatable.

Mr. Waterby wants to buy a set of Edgar Allen Poe books for Christmas. However, when he tells his wife, she discourages him from buying the set.

He starts to wonder why she does not let him buy the set. Does she want all money for herself?

Grumpily, he decides that he also will not buy anything for her.

In the end, she gets him the Poe set as a gift. And he runs off at the last moment to get her a beautiful ring.

Read the entire story at

7. The Cat on the Dovrefjell

There are Christmas stories that don’t fit in any category. They stand on their own.

I love this story. It’s a bit bonkers with trolls and a bear, and I think it will be great fun to tell.

One Christmas Eve, a man arrives with a white bear at the Dovre mountain. He asks for shelter, but Halvor tells him to stay away because trolls visit every year on Christmas Eve.

The man stays. The trolls come, feast, and try to play with the bear. They call it ‘Kitty,’ and it ends up kicking them out of the house.

A year later, the trolls come back. Halvor has stayed behind this time and assures them that Kitty has gotten seven kittens, even more dangerous than their mother. The trolls decide that from that year, they will celebrate Christmas elsewhere.

Read the entire fairy tale at

πŸ™‚ This folktale makes me smile. You might also like these funny true Christmas stories.

8. A Kidnapped Santa Claus

Forget the yellow brick road, the witches, the Wizard of Oz; here comes Santa!

L. Frank Baum writes about a Santa living in his Laughing Valley castle. On Christmas Eve, five daemons capture and kidnap him.

He makes the children too happy, and something needs to be done about it. Luckily his fairies and reindeer manage to take over his job in his absence, and in the end, Santa is free again.

Read the entire fairy tale at Project Gutenberg

➑ There are a lot of non-religious Christmas reindeer stories.

9. The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle

This is not truly a Christmas story, but it takes place during Christmas. And it features the beloved detective Sherlock Holmes.

So what more could you wish for?

In this adventure, a jewel is stolen, and it is up to Holmes to figure out who did it!

Read the entire story at Project Gutenberg

Recommended books with secular Christmas stories

Photo credits: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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