December is here. Perhaps, the most celebrated month of the year, December brings with it the wafting smell of cake, the mellifluous tune of carols, the familiar laughter and camaraderie of family and friends, the beauty of tinseled fir trees, and the joy of exchanging gifts. It is the month when Christmas, the festival of sharing, is celebrated worldwide. Jesus Christ’s birth is commemorated on the 25th of December. However, the spirit of the season ignites our souls right from the beginning of the month to the very end. Amidst the hubbub of the festivities, it is quite natural for us bibliophiles to crave a good read. Quite honestly, nothing surpasses the bliss of reading an enthralling Christmas-themed novel while curling up with your blanket near a cozy fire.
So, here I am with a list of the top ten unputdownable Christmas reads from different genres that you can peruse this holiday season.
A Timeless Classic
Book: A Christmas Carol
Author: Charles Dickens
Penned in 1843, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has been a must-read Christmas book for many generations. The story revolves around Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old man with bitter thoughts about Christmas. Along with Scrooge, our perceptions about the season of joy are completely changed when he is taken on a journey through Christmas past, present, and future. His quest to rediscover Christmas starts when he is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. One of the many things that make this book special is that it is influenced by Dickens’ own childhood experiences and the stories of authors like Washington Irving and Douglas Jerrold. Written in a period when Britain was re-evaluating Christmas traditions, A Christmas Carol symbolizes the Victorian revival of the holiday. The delightful tale of redemption and transformation is made all the more appealing by John Leech’s amazing illustrations. There is no doubt that A Christmas Carol will continue to be the go-to holiday read for generations to come.
A Hilarious Russian Tale
Book: Christmas Eve
Author: Nikolai Gogol
Christmas Eve, also known as The Night Before Christmas, is very different from Clement Clarke Moore’s renowned poem, The Night Before Christmas. The first story in the second volume of the collection, Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka, is a Christmas story like no other. Published in 1831, Nikolai Gogol’s dark Russian comedy follows a blacksmith as he faces off with the devil himself for the sake of his true love, hometown, and his very soul. This is one holiday lore that will undoubtedly make you laugh uproariously.
A Holiday Mystery
Book: The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle
Author: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Here is one for all the Sherlock Holmes fans out there. Even though the holidays are supposed to be fun and peaceful, we all know that it is not always the case. The villains are always up with their tricks no matter the season. In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1892 classic, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, our detective duo, Holmes and his compatriot, Watson, are out solving a mystery that involves an old cat, a holiday goose, and a stolen jewel. If you are in the mood for some festive sleuthing, then this is the perfect read for you.
A Story of Loss and Love
Book: When Angels Sing: A Christmas Story
Author: Turk Pipkin
Turk Pipkin came up with the masterpiece, When Angels Sing, in 1999. This dynamite-sized Christmas read follows Michael Walker, a man who lost his holiday spirit at the age of eight when his brother died saving him. Michael had never been able to understand the joy of Christmas since then. For all intents and purposes, he was the Grinch. Years later, another tragedy changed his life. Now, it was up to him to let go of the past to give his present a chance. This heart-breaking Christmas story inspired the 2013 holiday film, Angels Sing.
The Story of Santa
Book: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
Author: L. Frank Baum
Have you ever thought about how Santa Claus came to be? Well, if you have, then L. Frank Baum’s The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus is the book for you. Written in 1902, this children’s book portrays Santa’s story right from when he is rescued by Ak, the Master Woodsman of the World, when he was an infant. The book shows all the travails that Santa had to go through to be the jolly red-clad presenter of gifts that he is today. The book follows Santa as he learns to make toys, chooses his reindeer, and visits every child in one night. Filled with adventure, magic, and lessons, this is a great holiday read for children around the world. The popularity of the book even led to the release of a movie of the same name in 1985.
A Quest to Save Christmas
Book: Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story
Author: Aleksandra Tryniecka
Aleksandra Tryniecka’s debut novel, Bunky and the Walms: The Christmas Story, is a fun and lesson-packed children’s Christmas tale. It follows the quirky Bunky Hippo, Plum, and Rodney as they set out to save Christmas. Set in the magical world of Walmland, the story emphasizes that anything is possible as long as we put our mind to it. She also shows us the importance of always keeping the child of our hearts alive.
A Heart-Touching Fairy Tale
Book: The Little Match Girl
Author: Hans Christian Andersen
Danish poet and author, Hans Christian Andersen, penned the heart-touching fairy tale, The Little Match Girl in 1845. The story revolves around a shabbily dressed young girl as she wanders the cold streets on New Year’s Eve, desperate to sell matches. Terrified to return home without selling anything, she finally rests in an alley imagining herself to be in Heaven with her beloved grandmother. The beautiful yet heart-breaking story has been adapted to animations, films, and musicals over the years.
A Wholesome Tale of Forgiveness
Book: The Romance of a Christmas Card
Author: Kate Douglas Wiggin
Kate Douglas Wiggin weaves a delightful tale of Christmas goodness in The Romance of a Christmas Card. Written in 1916, the book is set in the small town of Beulah, New Hampshire. The book follows Reba Larabee, the spirited minister’s wife as she shakes up the community. One Christmas Eve, she decides to use her talents and sell her illustrations to a greetings card company. Reba’s foray into business affects everyone around her. Now, it is to see if she would be able to help Letty, the underappreciated carer of her brother’s twins, and bring home some of the wayward men of the community. The Romance of a Christmas Card is a sweet tale filled with lessons of selflessness and small-town nostalgia that makes you feel the wholesomeness of a children’s novel.
An Angelic Anecdote
Book: The Christmas Candle
Author: Max Lucado
Max Lucado’s The Christmas Candle is a story of miracles. The book revolves around the Haddington family, the owners of a candle shop located in the Village of Gladstone. In 1664, the first Haddington couple is visited by an angel on Christmas who promises to create miracles for anyone who is the recipient of the candle touched by him. In 1864, Edward and Bea Haddington are faced with a dilemma. With most of their neighbors in need of a miracle, they are unsure to whom to give the candle. Little do they know, that miracles have a way of working out on their own. The Christmas Candle is one of those stories that reassure you that no matter what everything would be fine in the end. Lucado’s novel was adapted into a film in 2013.
The Spirit of God
Book: Where Love Is, God Is
Author: Leo Tolstoy
We all know Leo Tolstoy for his famous treatise, War and Peace. However, the master storyteller is also the writer of several other outstanding stories. Where Love is, God is is one of them. The title of this Christmas tale is inspired by the hymn Ubi Caritas. The story follows a diligent shoemaker, Martin Avdeitch. After a series of misfortunes, Martin believes that God had abandoned him. Through Martin’s story, Tolstoy depicts that God is always there for us. It is up to us to accept Him.
Christmas is supposed to be fun and relaxing. Children forget about school and give in to the spirit of the season awaiting the gifts that Santa Claus is supposed to bring them. For adults, it’s a bit of a different story. With the added responsibility of acquiring gifts, decorating the house, taking care of enthusiastic kids, and preparing for sumptuous soirées, we tend to neglect our inner child. More often than not, we forget to just let go and enjoy the holiday season. Books are a great way for us to enliven our inner child and partake in the Christmas festivities. They remind us how Christmas is truly supposed to be and revitalize our souls. Hence, I am here with an amazing selection of books that would take you away from your hectic life and fill you with the holiday spirit.
3 thoughts on “Enjoy the Spirit of the Holidays with the Top 10 Christmas Books of All Time!”
I read “Bunky and the Walms,” and it’s adorable. My grandma used to tell me “The Little Match Girl.” It’s a super sad story, but it brings back fond memories from my childhood. But what I loved the most was your closing reflection, Kajori. The Holidays can be hectic, and literature always provides a safe respite from the chaos.
Thanks for recommending the books here, gonna read and enjoy them this Christmas. God bless you!
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