Holiday Favorites: Tonya

December 18, 2012 2012, holiday favorites, tonya 31

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.


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My holiday favorites:

by Chris Van Allsburg

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. ;)



Harry Potter Series

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.

by C.S. Lewis

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.


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K’s Favorite Holiday Reads
Wendy’s Favorite Holiday Reads

What books do you reach for during the holidays?

Tonya sig - teal


31 Responses to “Holiday Favorites: Tonya”

  1. Alexa Y.

    Hooray for Harry Potter! And I absolutely ADORE the fact that The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe made it onto this list. It’s one of my favorites in the series (the other being The Last Battle) :)

  2. Ivana

    My traditional Christmas reading is the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and this is the first time in ten years that I didn’t reread it during holidays. Luckily my son is now old enough to enjoy Harry Potter, that would be a nice tradition to keep :)

  3. Sarah (saz101)

    I haven’t read The Polar Express, but I watch the movie every single Christmas Eve.
    And The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is an all time favorite. EVER.

    Also: Harry? I… just… can’t even O__O

    • tonya

      Haha, I hope that means you agree?

      The Polar Express book is just GORGEOUS. The illustrations are truly amazing. :)

  4. Bonnie R

    I always think of Harry Potter around the holidays too. :) I’ve been dying for a re-read and it’s always so much harder to resist this time of year! I’m so ashamed to say that I’ve only the read the first Anne of Green Gables… I really need to read the rest of those, the first was brilliant. :) Happy Holidays!

    • tonya

      Christmas just feels like the time for Harry, doesn’t it? And I do hope you continue with the Anne series eventually. It’s so lovely to be able to follow her coming of age, and then get to see her children grow as well. Such a wonderful series.

  5. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe! That’s a good one! I haven’t read it in so long but I loved those books as a kid. The Polar Express is a wonderful classic. My copy has sentimental meaning as it was a gift from a role model I had in High School. Great list! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    • tonya

      Oh, I love books that have an additional meaning that way. I think books are the best gifts for just that reason. Thank you! :)

  6. K.

    Great picks, Tonya. I should really be a good little Canuck and read Anne of Green Gables :S

  7. Savannah Bookswithbite

    Awww, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. WOW I read this book when I was in 5th grade. I remember cause we had a test on it and I was the only kid who read the entire series. I love this book.

  8. Sam

    Narnia is brilliant during the winter! Though I like to indulge in my Harry Potter set all year round. ;) Great list, Tonya! Hope you have a lovely holiday season.

    • tonya

      Thanks! And yes, HP is ALWAYS appropriate, but just feels so fitting during the wintry months. :)

  9. Keertana

    YES to all of them except Rilla which I’ve never read. HP and Chronicles of Narnia are such staple reads for me all the time and I read The Polar Express with my younger brother practically every year (or we watch the movie since he’s a little older now). Anna and the French Kiss is AMAZING to re-read and it just gets better every time. Lovely list, Tonya!(:

    • tonya

      Thank you! Have you read any of the Anne series? I really recommend it if you’re ever in the mood for whimsy. It’s such a great story spanning from girlhood to adulthood and beyond.

  10. Julie@My5monkeys

    I love to watch the polar express movie with my kids :) I haven’t read the book . I did read all of the Anne of Green Gables series and adore it. I agree Harry Potter too

    • tonya

      I actually haven’t seen that movie. That style of animation freaks me out a little, I have no idea why! Isn’t the Anne series lovely? Which was your favorite?

  11. Wendy Darling

    I really like the wintriness of the Narnia Chronicles–and in His Dark Materials! I associate Harry Potter with Christmas, too. As you know via Instagram, I have a Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans ornament, as well as a Mirror of Erised. :)

    • tonya

      I haven’t read His Dark Materials! Is that a good one I can read with b? And I looove your HP ornaments. I’m going to have to get some for ours. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      YES. At least the first one, I can’t remember whether there’s anything more mature that happens in the third book? I don’t think so, though. I love The Golden Compass SO much. There’s a scene at the end that still shakes me to the core.