Merry Christmas and/or Happy Hanukkah, guys! Hope your holiday season is merry and bright, etc., etc., etc. I’m here to bring you round two of our week of holiday favorites!
I, for one, am not a huge Christmas person. I know, I know. I sound like an enormous Grinch, but I actually find it a very stressful time of year. I love the quiet of Christmas Eve, and the excitement of Christmas Day, but the weeks leading up to them are a hectic combination of racking my brain for gift ideas, the mad rush of last minute shopping because I forgot to buy something for one of my (seemingly hundreds) of cousins, and baking eleventy billion pies (actually, I kind of love that part. But shh, don’t tell).
The perfect antidote to stress, for me, is a good read. There’s nothing more soothing than curling up with a book and a cup of tea, and losing myself in a much-loved story.
My holiday favorites:
It’s a tradition for my son and I to read this and How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss before he goes to bed every Christmas Eve, and marks the time I finally begin to feel a little of the Christmas spirit. You might saymy heart grows three sizes in those few moments. ;)
by J.K. Rowling
Like K, the Harry Potter series is one of my very favorites. And really, they are applicable for me at any time of year–but the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas especially make me long for a reread–perhaps it’s just because I wish to wake up Christmas morning to a parcel of Chocolate Frogs and a hand-knit jumper from Mrs. Weasley.
The Chronicles of Narnia were a favorite growing up, and something about the holiday seasons makes me reach for my childhood. And besides, despite my mixed feelings about the holiday, always winter and never Christmas sounds pretty terrible. (Says the Southern Californian, haha.)
by L.M. Montgomery
I wore the covers off my Anne books as a kid, but Rilla has a special place in my heart. It’s the last book in the series, focused on Anne’s youngest daughter, Rilla as she comes of age during WWI. It’s about growing up, and love, and family–and has one of the swooniest last line of any book ever. EVER. Sigh.
Anna and the French Kiss
by Stephanie Perkins
I first read a few days before Christmas in 2010, and loved it so much it’s now become embedded in my holiday nostalgia. It makes me smile. And swoon over Etienne St. Clair, the British boy with the French name. And there’s a very cute email exchange during Christmas break in the story, which I suppose officially justifies it being on my holiday favorites list.
During a hectic holiday season, I crave the comfort of the familiar. There is nothing like opening a well-loved book and greeting an old friend, and living for a few moments in the bones of who you were when you first discovered those characters. I think books are the single most wonderful thing there are in this world; I can’t think of anything else that transports you body and soul the way they can.
What books do you reach for during the holidays?