Some people wait for winter and cold weather to come around in order to grab the chance to snuggle up with a good book and a warm drink. Others, like yours truly, do this all year round and merely adjust the layers we hide underneath and the temperature of our liquid companions.
Any excuse to treat ourselves to a good story is a good excuse, and should be taken as soon as possible—or as soon as productivity allows.
To help with the crucial task of deciding what to read, we’ve written a list of Christmas stories to get everyone ready for the holidays and to justify to our Grinch-y friends, co-workers, and neighbors our relentless Christmas spirit.
1) Christmas Stories By Diana Secker Tesdell
The ultimate collection for short story (and Christmas) enthusiasts. This book brings together an array of authors from different ages and continents, and each and every one of them does a wonderful job of painting their own picture of the festivities.
Extra points because it includes female writers, and because the short story format allows readers to pick up the book and put it down again without ever losing the thread making it the ideal companion for multiple snuggling sessions.
2) The Autobiography of Santa Claus By Jeff Guinn
Yes, you read the title correctly. Press pause on your rational history knowledge, put your suspended disbelief hat on, and let Guinn take you on a magical journey through continents and centuries, to find out how Christmas and Santa came to be. Yes, it is a children’s book. Yes, it’s awesome. The amount of (more or less) historical facts this writer links together and enriches with popular culture references is quite impressive, and definitely makes for a very entertaining tale. Plus, it just so happens to have 24 chapters. Keep warm milk and cookies on hand.
3) The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus By L. Frank Baum
Similar to book two in concept but very different in execution, this is another story of the becoming of Santa Claus. Except this one involves a lioness, nymphs, fairies, dragons, wicked evil beings, and of course reindeers. From the imaginative pen of Baum, author of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, familiar readers will recognise the colourful universe of Oz in this book. Readers will also see Baum’s attention to social issues stemming from Baum’s past and background as a social activist. Start reading now, and you’ll have enough time to read the short-story sequel too, A Kidnapped Santa Claus.
4) Letters from Father Christmas By J.R.R. Tolkien
This is not your average Christmas book—but then again there’s never anything average when it comes to Tolkien. Also known as “The Father Christmas Letters,” this book is a collection of letters sent by (you guessed it!) Father Christmas to Tolkien’s children. Masterfully written and illustrated, these letters are updates and behind-the-scenes from the North Pole, and tell of a set of characters so vast and well depicted it could rival the monumental universe of “The Lord of the Rings” (there, I said it!).
Also provides a very un-scientific explanation for Northern Lights that I’m completely willing to believe.
5) The Santa Klaus Murder by Mavis Doriel Hay (and other mystery novels)
Are you an irredeemable crime fiction consumer, but still want to jump on the festive bandwagon? Then this is the book for you! A country-house murder mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie and Clue, with a hint of Downton Abbey in it. If you like the style and concept, but would rather try something shorter, have a go at this selection of detective stories. Don’t worry if you’ve never heard about some of these authors: if anything it’s a chance to discover more wonderful writers! The honourable mention goes to Arthur Conan Doyle and the always excellent Sherlock Holmes.
6) Too broke to treat yourself to a brand new book?
Too anxious to start and can’t wait for delivery? Or maybe you’re too indecisive to make your pick? Fear not! The magical place known as the Internet is coming to the rescue. Try browsing these websites for excellent online content available for free (but please don’t forget to show your support however you can, if you can. People might need it more than you’d think). There’s something for each taste and more: melancholic Russian authors, British classics, Irish stories, marine ballads, and fairy tales.
Not every story has a happy ending but the more sides of the festive coin we can discover, the more sincerely we can appreciate what we have, and celebrate this holiday season.
Happy snuggling! And don’t forget to tell us your favorite holiday stories and tweet us @litdarling !