A New Holiday Tradition: Reading Great Holiday Books

by Lesley-Anne Longo

Published at 2017-12-20

As the holiday season moves into full swing, you probably have holiday traditions that you enjoy with your family and friends, or even some traditions that you do just for yourself. Holiday traditions always seem to help you adopt a more festive mood, no matter what life throws your way! One of the most popular holiday traditions is probably watching holiday films – Elf, A Christmas Carol, Scrooged, It’s a Wonderful Life, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer…the list goes on and on.  Every family has their own collection of favourites – mine include Scrooge (with Alistair Sims), A Christmas Carol (the animated one with Jim Carrey providing most of the voices), White Christmas (a Bing Crosby classic), and A Muppet Christmas Carol (nostalgia at its best). To me, it just doesn’t feel like Christmas if I don’t watch all of these movies (usually more than once).



However, this year, I’m thinking it might be nice to add a new tradition to my repertoire – reading some great holiday books. There are holiday books available in most genres, so you can be sure that no matter your reading preferences, there’s going to be something you’ll enjoy. Here are a few titles I’m planning on picking up.



Hercule Poirot’s Christmas

By Agatha Christie



As expected in an Agatha Christie mystery, the holidays in this book are anything but merry! In this book, a family reunion is spoiled by the murder of the family’s tyrannical patriarch. You won’t find much Yuletide cheer in this story, but you will be rewarded with the bizarre twists, turns, and surprises inherent to Christie’s beloved mysteries.


The Deal of a Lifetime

By Fredrik Backman



This book begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. However, this isn’t your typical Christmas story. While the father is an extremely successful businessman, he knows he has failed completely in another area of his life: parenting. Twenty years ago, in order to chase more professional success, he decided to leave his wife and son behind. Now, he wonders if it is too late to create a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way. The father feels something is missing, and he has been presented with the opportunity to do something selfless that could change the life of a little girl in need. But first, he must know what his own life is worth in the eyes of his son. The holidays are a time when we often reflect back on the past year, and examine who and what we value in our lives. This book suits that feeling very well, and offers up the question -- what would you do to fix your mistakes, if you could?  


A Christmas Carol

By Charles Dickens



I’m sure no one is surprised to see this book make the list! In October 1843, Charles Dickens, who was heavily in debt and obligated to his publisher, began to work on a book to help supplement his family’s meager income. That book was A Christmas Carol, and it has since become one of the most beloved stories in the English language, and considered a story that truly captures the spirit of the holiday season. 



Even better, because this book is in the public domain, you can read it for free on Project Gutenberg.


A Merry Christmas

By Louisa May Alcott



A Merry Christmas collects the treasured holiday tales of Louisa May Alcott, beloved author of Little Women. Many will remember reading Alcott’s classic books as children (myself included), and her stories remain great reads for young and old alike. The stories contained in A Merry Christmas remind us that the holiday season is about giving and helping others, and will help you think of ways you can “pay it forward.”


So, if you’re feeling like you’d like to get some reading in over the holiday season too, try one of the books on this list. Maybe you’ll introduce a brand-new tradition into your family’s holiday rituals this year.