21/12/13 - Christmas Books

When I was little, I knew Christmas was on its way for one main reason; the Christmas books came out.  A stash of about twenty which often told very similar stories, beautifully illustrated picture books that we would all settle down as a family to read in an evening.  Even when I got maybe a bit too old to be read to, I would enjoy listening to my parents read all our old favourites to my little brother.  Now that we're both basically adults, its a tradition that has fallen a little by the wayside but not one that I will ever truly forget.

So this post is going to be a bit nostalgic as I introduce you to a few of my favourite festive reads.  Some are classics, some are new loves but all are part of what makes a perfect Christmas for me.  And yes, I know I'm a bit old for some of them.  So sue me.

Let It Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
This is a more recent addition to my Christmas stash, but it's one that I have reread every year since I got it.  Consisting of 'three holiday romances', it's an incredibly heart-warming book.  The three stories are set in the same town during the same chaotic snowstorm and adorable festive japes ensue.  

A Letter to Father Christmas by Rose Impey and Sue Porter
This was my absolute favourite of our Christmas books when I was a child.  I'm not sure why or how it would actually stand up to adult criticism, but it holds a special place in my heart and always will.  It's the story of Charlotte who loves writing lists, coping her mother's handwriting despite not being able to read yet, but what will happen when her present list for Father Christmas gets mixed up with a shopping list?  What happens, in fact, is a really lovely festive story which reminds us that everyone deserves a happy Christmas, even lonely animals.

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
This is an absolute classic and I imagine a stalwart of most homes at Christmas...in Britain, at least.  I don't know if its quite as popular around the world.  The illustrations are gorgeous and reading it rather than watching the film means that you're spared from listening to that sickly sweet Aled Jones song.  Everybody wins.  There won't be a year where this doesn't feature in my Christmas celebrations.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Another classic and one that I'm ashamed to say that I didn't actually read until my first year of university.  Everyone knows the story, even if it's just from watching that Muppets Christmas film, and the actual book is a very quick little tale with an uplifting message so it's perfect for an annual reread.  You can buy some gorgeous hardback editions as well, which look absolutely stunning.

Christmas by Dick Bruna

I only bought this book in the past week, which might seem odd.  "Hannah," I can hear you asking.  "Why would a 21-year-old want a picture book of the nativity?"  Well, I am replying, Dick Bruna (some of you may know him at the creator of Miffy) was my favourite author/illustrator when I was little.  We even had a VHS of his animated illustrations which I can find evidence of nowhere on the Internet...do any of you lot remember it?  Let me know!  Anyway, I saw this and just couldn't resist buying it.  It's a lovely book and a nice taste of my childhood.

What are you favourite Christmas reads, current and nostalgic alike?  Let me know in the comments!

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