5 Literary Christmases

With the festivities upon us again, it’s now entirely appropriate to sack off out studies, stuff ourselves silly with seasonal goodies and spend about a solid month folded up in an armchair, sporting the most hideous knitwear known to man and with the telly eternally on.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m buzzing for the illustrious Downton Christmas special as much as the next period drama enthusiast, but I think it’s high time we gave some love to some of the great, feel good, yuletide-y works of literature which are perfect for a bit of bedtime reading by the fire (eggnog optional). Let’s count them down…


The Snowman: Not just a charming twenty-six minute film! Watching The Snowman on Christmas Eve is pretty much standard tradition nowadays, so why not have a flick through this charming picture book for a change? No words in this one, so perfect if you’ve quaffed a little too much Bailey’s and the act of reading is just a little beyond your current capabilities…


A Visit from Saint Nicholas: Or, to give it its alternative, more commonly used title: T’was the Night Before Christmas. Published in 1823, this famous festive verse is actually responsible for quite a few of our modern conceptions of the man himself! Perfect excuse to don some holiday headgear and recite some poetry!


Christmas at HogwartsOkay, I’m well aware that JK Rowling has NOT taken it upon herself to write Harry Potter and the Secret Santa (yet), but you’ve got to admit that Christmas at Hogwarts must be basically unbeatable for the following reasons: a) four mile-long tables piled with food b) the perfect setting c) actual proper magic meaning that any Christmas wish can be pretty much granted instantaneously.


How the Grinch stole Christmas! Again, not just Jim Carey prancing around covered in green fuzz. Dr. Seuss’ 1957 masterpiece is oodles of fun, very recognisable, but might just make us think about Christmas in a different light and what it really means to celebrate this season.


A Christmas Carol Well, it’s got to be, hasn’t it? One of Dickens’ finest, and I’m sure I don’t need to give you a synopsis! If a lack of festive cheer has got you growling “bah, humbug” at various merry passers-by, sit down, have a mince pie and give it a read. You’re bound to be truly in the mood by the end – Dickens’ novella has even been acknowledged as something which restored Christmas cheer in Britain and America after its publication!

Bethany Searby

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