Madison Gallup ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The holiday season is well underway, and all of the festivities are seemingly unavoidable. When it comes down to it, the spirit and joy around this time of year is infectious, regardless of one’s individual religious beliefs or holiday traditions. The festivities are captured in all sorts of media formats, but perhaps they shine through most intimately and genuinely in the form of books. Many a child has vivid memories of curling up with a family member to read her favorite holiday tale, and many authors draw from the inherent joy that surrounds late December and early January to bring their stories and characters to life. Here are five books (in no particular order) that are great to read around the holidays.
1. How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
Starting off the list with a classic, this children’s book by the great Dr. Seuss captures the true meaning of the holidays; its message of Christmas being about more than material goods is one that resonates and stays with people long after they first read it. Even though the book itself is centered on the Christmas holiday, the morals are applicable to any holiday and any time of year.
2. Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle
This is a truly special novel, not just in the way it rotates between three hilarious and accomplished YA authors, but in the way it captures the magic of wintertime. Three different characters end up in some crazy situations as their holidays do not go exactly according to plan. Ultimately, their mishaps are nothing the kindness and joy surrounding the holidays can’t cure. Each story is heartwarming on its own, but it’s the way the authors connect their stories that makes this a particularly great read. Readers will tear through it and start feeling cheerier in no time.
3. Light the Lights by Margaret Moorman
There are certainly fewer books that celebrate Chanukah, and the ones that exist are not nearly as popular or well-known. Margaret Moorman’s children’s book may fall into the lesser-known category, but it deserves a spot on this list for beautifully capturing the spirit of Chanukah. Through her delightfully warm illustrations and soothing language, Moorman brings the bright candles, yummy food, and singing family alive for all readers.
4. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
What makes Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares such a festive holiday read is the way it paints a vivid picture of New York at Christmastime. Levithan and Cohn are able to describe the magnitude of celebration to someone who has never visited the Big Apple during the season, and to allow those who have to reflect on their time there fondly. The two main characters (each written by their respective author) run around the city on a scavenger hunt for the notes they leave for one another, encountering elaborate window displays, the gigantic FAO Schwartz, and Christmas carolers, witnessing the holiday spirit everywhere they go.
5. Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
While it may not be the first thing to pop in somebody’s head when they think of a festive holiday read, Bridget Jones’s Diary encapsulates what it means to embrace change and improve one’s self in the face of the new year. The novel begins and ends on Christmas day, and while the story takes place throughout the months in between December, Bridget is caught up with the idea of becoming a better, more accomplished person by the time New Year’s rolls back around. This romantic comedy is good for some hearty laughs and happy thoughts going into the holiday season.
For last-minute gift ideas or a boost of holiday cheer, any of these books will get the job done! Happy Holidays!