iPhone and iPad

6 Christmas Stories Brought to Life on the iPad

Dann Albright 16-12-2014

There are a few traditions that are crucial to the full Christmas experience: listening to Christmas music Top 8 Sites to Listen to Free Christmas Music Online Here are some free ways to listen to Christmas music online this holiday season! Read More , putting up Christmas lights 10 of the Best Animated Christmas Lights Displays for the Holidays It has arrived. There is no doubting it now. We are in the holiday season, with Thanksgiving and Black Friday signaling its starting point. It's less than a month until Christmas, when cards, gifts, and... Read More , making your favorite Christmas desserts The Top 5 Websites With the Best Christmas Dessert Recipes Read More , and, of course, reading Christmas stories.


The following six stories are sure to make your family smile at Christmas — especially now that they’ve been brought to life like never before on the iPad. So sit around the fire, pour yourself some mulled wine or hot chocolate, and enjoy these Christmas classics!

A Charlie Brown Christmas ($5.99)

Charles M. Schultz’s wonderful story about the Peanuts gang and their Christmas antics is one of the most beloved Christmas stories of all time; it’s such a cultural icon that “Charlie Brown Christmas tree” is now a phrase used to describe any small, bare-looking pine tree around Christmastime. The movie won an Emmy and a Peabody Award, and the soundtrack went triple platinum in the US—there’s no denying it’s an absolute classic.

The iPad app recreates the original movie as an interactive pop-up book, allowing users to play the piano, decorate their own Christmas tree 8 Geeky Ornaments For Your Christmas Tree Christmas trees may all start out looking roughly the same (fake fiber-optic enhanced options aside), but once decorated, they show the personality of their owner. There are some excellent ornaments that will allow you to... Read More , participate in the Lights and Display contest and more. It also includes a couple of educational features, like word and note highlighting. Maybe best of all, it’s narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown. It may seem expensive for an app, but it’s absolutely worth it.

The Night Before Christmas ($1.99)


Instead of adapting a TV movie, this app brings a classic Christmas poem to life. The updated, modern look of this app sets it apart from many other Christmas books and apps — but it doesn’t stray too far from the classic look of Christmas stories (unlike the Twas the Night Before Christmas app, which would have given me nightmares as a child).


Fantastic illustration, options for narration, “read to myself” mode, and an affordable price tag makes this an unbeatable Christmas app.

Note: At the time of writing, The Night Before Christmas is free to download from the App Store!

The Nativity Story – Popup Deluxe Edition ($3.99) [No Longer Available]


There are loads of Christmas stories about Santa, snowmen and presents, but the original Christmas story has some different characters at the forefront. This rendition of the nativity is beautifully recreated in the style of a pop-up book, adding interactivity that can only be achieved via a digital medium.


Knocking on doors, ringing bells, and even playing music with an angel choir lets kids (and adults!) get in on the fun and help Joseph and Mary make it to their destination.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! [No Longer Available]


Another must-watch at Christmas is Dr. Seuss’ story of the Grinch and his transformation from Christmas killjoy to holiday hero. This app brings the experience to the iPad, and while it’s not as interactive as the Charlie Brown app, it does help young ones learn with word highlighting and the ability to learn words through pictures.

You can even record your own narration and send it to others, which could make a fun Christmas surprise for relatives! Of course, if you’d rather leave the narrating to a professional, the app offers that, as well.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer ($3.99)

6 Christmas Stories Brought to Life on the iPad rudolph ipad app

Another app by Oceanhouse Media, the developer who created the above-mentioned Grinch app, Rudolph is a long-time children’s favorite. As with Grinch, word highlighting and visual word learning make it great for helping young kids learn to read, and the ability to record your own narration is a fun addition.

The narration flits back and forth between clips from the TV movie and professional narration, making for a bit of a strange mash-up, but the animation is great, and the story itself is a good addition to your Christmas iPad collection.

The Berenstain Bears Trim the Tree ($1.99)



The Berenstain Bears children’s books The 10 Best Sites for Reading Free Children's Books and Stories Online Looking for free children's books online? Dive into these websites which have a growing collection of children's books. Read More are long-time favorites of many families (my own included), and their tree-trimming story is another Christmas classic. The app adds interactivity by letting young ones “lift the flap” to find hidden items and treasures.

As with the other Oceanhouse apps, you can also record your own narration, save it, and share it with others. And if you’re looking for more Berenstain Bears Christmas fun, check out The Berenstain Bears’ Christmas Tree ($4.99).

What’s Your Favorite Christmas Story?

These Christmas stories are great for sharing with your family around the holidays, and will appeal to a wide range of ages–  but there are plenty of other options, too. My personal favorite is Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree (though, lamentably, there’s no app version yet). What’s your favorite Christmas story? Share your thoughts below!

Do you read Christmas stories on the iPad, or do you stick to books?

Image Credit: lovely family sharing digital tablet (edited) via Shutterstock.

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  1. Ctownbos2
    December 17, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Or you can watch them all free in youtube.