11 classic books to read by the fire this holiday season

Every year, as the holiday season approaches, there are a million seasonal movie marathons. There are many Christmas specials for your favorite TV shows. Stores are exploding with red and gold merchandise that just screams “festive.” However, despite all that holiday cheer, in my opinion, the best holiday books to read in winter aren’t shiny and new. They are not displayed with new pocket covers next to new ornaments at the store. No, the best holiday stories are the ones that have been around for ages: your favorite classic books.

Sure, everyone knows some literary holiday tales like “The Night Before Christmas,” but there are plenty of awesome holiday scenes in the classics, even though the whole book is not entirely on the season. And in my opinion, if there is at least one festive scene, that qualifies this holiday reading book.

Something about holiday descriptions in fictional worlds (especially in bygone eras) strikes me. When the characters are afraid they have an apple and an orange in their sock, or they’re snowed in because their horse-drawn carriage can’t weather the storm, or they get a ghostly visit that turns their lives upside down… well, it’s the kind of quality content I want to read while curled up next to a crackling fire.

1. Little woman by Louisa May Alcott

Jo was the first to wake up in the gray dawn of Christmas morning. There were no stockings hanging from the fireplace, and for a moment she felt as disappointed as she had felt a long time ago, when her little sock fell off because it was stuffed with treats. Then she remembered her mother’s promise and, slipping her hand under her pillow, pulled out a small purple-covered book. She knew it very well, because it was this beautiful old story of the best life ever lived.

Little woman starts at Christmas, and this bildungsroman is the perfect choice to get into the true spirit of the holiday season (although Jo and Laurie tear my heart out every time I read it).

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2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis

And then she seen there was a light before her; not a few centimeters from where the bottom of the cupboard should have been, but very far. Something cold and soft fell on her. A moment later, she discovered that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air.

Is there a more wintry image than that of Lucy Pevensie walking through a wardrobe in the enchanted, snowy world of Narnia? NO THERE IS NOT.

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3. Emma by Jane Austen

At Christmas, everyone invites their friends over and cares little for the weather, even the worst.

Jane Austen’s Christmas Scenes Are Full of Drama and holiday cheer and Emma has plenty of both: snowy weather, a holiday party, and a marriage proposal make this book a perfectly lively read.

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4. Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Anne took the dress and looked at it in respectful silence. Oh how pretty it was – a lovely soft brown gloria with all the sheen of silk; a skirt with delicate ruffles and gathers; an elaborately pinched waist in the most fashionable way, with a small flounce of filmy lace at the neck. But the sleeves – they were the crowning glory! Long elbow pads, and above them two beautiful puffs separated by rows of gathers and knots of brown silk ribbon.

Anne’s reaction to receiving a puff sleeve dress for Christmas is the cutest thing ever. I can only hope that everyone I’ve bought holiday gifts for loves them as much.

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5. little house on the prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Something shone in the top of Laura’s bottom. She cried out and jumped out of bed. Marie too, but Laura beat her to the fireplace. And the shiny thing was a sparkly new pewter mug.

When I was younger, reading this scene made me believe that there couldn’t be anything better to receive as a holiday gift than a NEW TIN CUP. The excitement!

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6. Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy

Christmas Eve arrived, and a party Boldwood was to give that evening was Weatherbury’s main topic of conversation. It wasn’t that the rarity of Christmas parties in the parish made it a wonder, but that Boldwood had to be the donor.

The climax of this pastoral love story occurs at Christmas, and the tale reminiscent of simpler times is perfect reading for the holidays.

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7. The best Christmas show ever by Barbara Robinson

The Herdmans were like most big families – the big ones taught the little ones everything they knew…and the proof was that the meanest of the Herdmans was Gladys, the youngest. The neighborhood kids thought they were headed straight for hell through the state penitentiary…until they got mixed up in church and the annual Christmas pageant.

I’m going to consider this book a classic, because to me it’s definitely a childhood classic at the very least. It was one of my favorites growing up, and the story of the Herdman family infiltrating the local Christmas pageant is must-read during the holidays.

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8. Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding

129 pounds. (but after Christmas), 14 units of alcohol (but effectively covers 2 days because 4 hours of the holiday was New Year’s Day), 22 cigarettes, 5424 calories.

If you always think of resolutions at holiday time, Bridget Jones Diary is the perfect classic to read. Hilarious and sweet, this book – and the awesome movie – are perfectly celebratory.

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9. The Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

We got rid of all gloom in the excitement of the exercise, and our enjoyment was heightened by the arrival of the Gimmerton Band, gathering fifteen strong: a trumpet, a trombone, clarionets, bassoons, French horns and a bass viol, in addition to the singers. . They tour every respectable house and receive contributions every Christmas, and we felt it was a first-rate treat to hear from them. After the usual Christmas carols were sung, we turned them into songs and merrymaking.

While this book isn’t the happiest, the holiday scenes bring a glimmer of light into an otherwise tragic love story. For those who want to party AND wallow…this is the perfect classic!

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ten. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Some say never ‘against this season comes / Where our Savior’s birth is celebrated, / This bird of the dawn sings all night; / And then, they say, no spirit dares to stir abroad, / The nights are sound, so no planet strikes, / No fairy takes, nor witch hath the power to charm, / So sanctified and so gracious is the time.

Hamlet paints a fairly haunting portrait of vacation time, yet peaceful nonetheless. And what better way to celebrate the holidays than with a good old-fashioned ghost story? If anything, it will make you realize that your family isn’t so bad after all…

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11. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it year round.

It might be the typical choice, but there’s a reason this book is so popular: it perfectly encapsulates the feeling of being kind and generous – starting on the holidays.

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Picture: Columbia Pictures

About Marcia G. Hussain

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