‘Tis the season to be jolly, and what better way to spend the winter holidays than curling up in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a good book? Here is a list of works to get you in the christmas spirit, ranging from familiar classics to more recent publications.
A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens – review here
“I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a school-boy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to every-body! A happy New Year to all the world! Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938), Agatha Christie
In conversation, points arise! If a human being converses much, it is impossible for him to avoid the truth!
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950), C.S. Lewis
Everyone knew [Father Christmas] because, though you see people of his sort only in Narnia, you see pictures of them and hear them talked about even in our world – the world on this side of the wardrobe door. But when you really see them in Narnia it is rather different. Some of the pictures of Father Christmas in our world make him look only funny and jolly. But not that the children actually stood looking at him they didn’t find it quite like that. He was so big, and so glad, and so real, that they all became quite still. They felt very glad, but also very solemn.
Letters From Father Christmas (1976), J.R.R. Tolkien
I am more shaky than usual this year. The North Polar Bear’s fault! It was the biggest bang in the world, and the most monstrous firework there ever has been. It turned the North Pole BLACK and shook all the stars out of place, broke the moon into four – and the Man in it fell into my back garden. He ate quite a lot of my Christmas chocolates before he said he felt better, and climbed back to mend it and get the stars tidy.
Hogfather (1996), Terry Pratchett – review here
“You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
Holidays On Ice (1997), David Sedaris
But instead I am applying for a job as an elf. Even worse than applying is the very real possibility that I will not be hired, that I couldn’t even find work as an elf. That’s when you know you’re a failure.
Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances (2008), John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle
Maybe you’ve never fallen into a frozen stream. Here’s what happens.
1. It is cold. So cold that the Department of Temperature Acknowledgment and Regulation in you brain gets the readings and says, “I can’t deal with this. I’m out of here.” It puts up the OUT TO LUNCH sign and passes all responsibility to the…
2. Department of Pain and the Processing Thereof, which gets all this gobbledygook from the temperature department that it can’t understand. “This is so not our job,” it says. So it just starts hitting random buttons, filling you with strange and unpleasant sensations, and calls the…
3. Office of Confusion and Panic, where there is always someone ready to hop on the phone the moment it rings. This office is at least willing to take some action. The Office of Confusion and Panicloves hitting buttons.
My True Love Gave To Me, ed. Stephanie Perkins (2014)
He says presents aren’t important, but I think they are – not because of how much they cost, but for the opportunity they provide to say I understand you.