As it’s that time of year again I have compiled a list of books which I think are perfect for even the biggest grinch or the grumpiest Scrooge, to get everyone in the mood for December 25th!
1. The Classic: A Christmas Carol
I will always love Dickens. I think his books are some of the more easy to read ones from the nineteenth century and his humour is so cleverly done. I especially recommend Dickens for someone who’s a little intimidated by classic literature. The characters in his books are unforgettable and A Christmas Carol is no exception. There’s a reason that Scrooge has become synonymous with someone who does not like Christmas and that is because the protagonist of this book is so memorable. This novella gives you a snippet of Dickens’ famous caricatures while still reminding the reader of the importance of family and to remember never to be too greedy. So whether you read this as a light-hearted Christmas classic or a profound story of compassion and forgiveness, this book is a good-all rounder at this time of year.
2. The Drama: The Gift
I have read two books by Cecelia Ahern before: Where Rainbows End and How to Fall in Love, both of which were fantastic. Her writing is undeniably good, and now that I’ve read three of her books, it’s safe to say she consistently delivers. The Gift was something which sounded intriguing so I decided to read it as my first Christmas book of the year. The story follows the protagonist, Lou, who makes acquaintance with a homeless man, Gabe, outside his office building and ends up giving him a job. Will his act of Christmas kindness pay off? Or has he just made the worst mistake and jeopardised his career and family? As Christmas books go, it’s not the most festive, but it’s more about the meaning behind the story. Ahern tries to convey the reason you should value Christmas and the reason spending time with your family over the holidays is important. This is one I would recommend to ease yourself into Christmas!
3. The Underdog: The Snow Child
I hadn’t actually heard of the Snow Child until this year; the premise follows a couple who have moved away from their families to live a life in the Alaskan wilderness. After twenty years of marriage, Mabel and Jack find themselves distancing from each other. Then one day, they see a girl alone in the woods, the girl is curious and the couple become attached to her, but will their encounter end in the same tragic demise as the famous fairytale of the Snowgirl? This is a cosy read while also being utterly profound. Ivey’s writing is truly magical and her characters are not only relatable but realistic and empathetic. The descriptions were absolutely stunning and the storyline is gripping and heart-breaking. Overall the novel touched on themes of grief, hope and the need of a family to feel whole. This is perhaps the heaviest of all the books on this list, but definitely worth it!
4. The Nostalgic: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
I’m sure I don’t need to do much convincing with this one, but if you want to be transported to a winter wonderland full of white witches, friendly centaurs and a little magic, then this is the one for you. The fact it’s a children’s book really makes the nostalgia so comforting for me, plus it’s such a short book you could probably read it in one sitting curled up in front of a fireplace with a tea in your hand. I love the idea of adventure in children’s books because it really makes them feel immersive, and if you’re looking for an escape from the short cold days of winter, then this is the one for you. If for some reason this doesn’t float your boat, then Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ticks all the same boxes. Both of them remind you what it was like to be a kid at Christmas.
5. The Romance: My True Love Gave To Me
This was actually one of my flatmate’s book which I’ve always liked the look of but was put off by the fact it is YA. So while I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, I’m only human, and everyone does and this cover is especially festive. As for living up to it’s beautiful design, I’m going to try to judge it as unbiasedly as possible, knowing already that I don’t like YA. However, for someone who does, this book ticks all the boxes. It’s got romance, a bit of the paranormal, some tragedy, a few morals and most importantly the comforting and warm feeling of a Christmas book. So it’s safe to say it’s jam packed with a bit of everything. Yes it’s a bit cheesy and romantic, but isn’t it nice to read something light-hearted and cheerful at Christmas? Plus with 12 different stories from 12 different authors, the chances are, you’re going to like at least one of them!
So there are my five recommendations to get yourself in the mood for Christmas! Hopefully you’ll find the time to read at least one of them. Are there any others I haven’t mentioned which are you go-to at Christmas?