I love short stories during the holidays and the tales listed below are some of my favorite to read to the kids (and dogs) around Thanksgiving.

All of the stories I chose for this list are in the public domain and are written by some of my favorite authors such as O’Henry, LM Montgomery, and Louisa May Alcott. They all deal with topics like humility, gratitude, and love, and each one has a happily ever after. Although a few of them (like the O’Henry story) have some great twists at the end. Reading these stories aloud is a perfect way to end a busy day of cooking and feasting and spending time outside in the last, lovely days before winter. I hope you enjoy them!


  1. “The Night Before Thanksgiving” by Sarah Orne Jewett
    • About a woman who finds herself desperately in need of help and receives it in an unexpected way.
  2. “Captain Christy’s Thanksgiving” by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey
    • After a man risks his life to save others, young children decide to show their gratitude with a charming, unforgettable act of kindness.
  3. “Bert’s Thanksgiving” by J. T. Trowbridge
    • Two men seek approval and acceptance from each other with a humble, heart-warming twist of fate.
  4. “Why He Carried the Turkey” by James Baldwin
    • A lovely story about humility and the true meaning of gratitude.
  5. “Aunt Susanna’s Thanksgiving Dinner” by Lucy Maud Montgomery
    • After the death of their parents, two young women attempt to please their only living relative–an ornery, hard-to-love aunt.
  6. “Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen” by O. Henry
    • An O’Henry classic about two men who meet once year on Thanksgiving Day with a twist that will melt your heart.
  7. “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving” by Louisa May Alcott
    • A classic Thanksgiving story about a group of children who attempt to make their own family Thanksgiving feast.

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