Maybe you grew up with a family member reading a holiday poem or story one of those special nights, to set the mood for your favorite night of the year. Perhaps, like some families, the holiday book has fallen out of fashion. The benefit to a good holiday book is that they can easily become a favorite for the whole family. Many of them are children’s books, to be sure, but some aren’t, while still being incredibly accessible because of the holiday pictures they paint in our heads. Here are five holiday-themed books sure to become a new holiday tradition.
The Night Before Christmas
Originally entitled “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” this classic poem is a constant in many households, sometimes read on Christmas Eve to the children of the family. It tells the brief, exciting story of St. Nicholas dropping off his toys, and is one of the reasons Santa is still depicted in a furry suit and using a chimney to this day.
A Christmas Carol
This classic tale of redemption by English author Charles Dickens is easy to find in movie or TV form, but the original book gives the reader the opportunity to embody so many fun characters. Dickens himself would often tour, performing the book as a one-man show, a tradition still carried on by many live theaters.
The Gift of the Magi
- Henry’s magical and heartbreaking story of mutual sacrifice is a tender tale for all ages, telling the story of two people who love one another that they sacrifice something they care about for the person they care most about. The twist ending is a classic bit of irony that ends on a loving note, more than appropriate for the holidays.
The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Hans Christian Andersen’s ability to weave magic through the eyes of a toy is sure to be a hit, even with modern ears. The story told from the eyes of a toy soldier will seem reminiscent of the Toy Story film franchise while also echoing those classic tones of holidays-gone-by.
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus
- Frank Baum, best known as the creator of The Wizard of Oz and its myriad characters and landscapes, followed up his book by telling the story of Santa Claus growing up to become the toy-making, joyful legend we all know and love. There have been numerous movies telling the story of Santa Claus the person, but this book is the likely origin of the childhood fascination with “what would it be like to spend the whole year with Santa?”
Reading is just as important for learning to read as it is to remembering the joy of reading, and reminding us of moments in life we really love. Even if we’re having troubling communicating, sometimes letting the book do that for us for a little while comes in handy. Setting new holiday traditions that involve both reader and audience couldn’t be more magical.