The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian AndersenRead about another entry on the list.
This is one of the most poignant stories ever told, about a poor girl selling matches in the cold and dying from hypothermia. On New Year’s Eve the girl lights matches to warm herself and in the flame sees visions of a Christmas tree and a holiday feast. The ending is devastating, even though Andersen believed it to be a happy one, as the girl ends in heaven. But it is an unforgettable tale, about the power of imagination to warm us like fire, and fits the Christmas spirit perfectly in the sense of us needing light and hope amid the dark of winter.