The Little Match Girl, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
Perhaps the saddest holiday story ever written...the story of a young girl sent out to sell matches on an icy, freezing New Year's Eve...She lights her matches one by one in an effort to keep warm and with each match sees a vision of warmth and comfort. Her last match reveals a vision of her grandmother coming to take her to heaven and she dies in the street on that cold winter's night. A profound story which is heartbreaking, moving, and makes one pause.
If you liked this, try:
The Gift of the Magi
Little Red Riding Hood
The Little Drummer Boy