Literature

Festive Books to Get You Ready for Christmas

Artwork by Nicole Rees-Williams.

Contributions by Alexa Price and Katie Waits.

Alexa Price – A Letter from Santa Claus by Mark Twain

Everyone can agree by now that nothing makes Christmas quite as special as the presence of children; that pure rush of excitement at 7 am is enough to make anyone believe in Santa Claus all over again. Mark Twain encapsulates this warm feeling in A Letter from Santa Claus, which he wrote to his daughter Susy when she was a young girl. In this short piece, we see a kind-hearted and faithful depiction of Santa Claus, who gives his dearest apologies for being unable to deliver one gift to Susy because he had run out of stock. Instead, Twain comically gives very specific instructions to Susy so that she can speak to Santa Claus and remind him of what exactly she asked for, to ensure that he can send it over a bit later.

A Letter from Santa Claus is definitely a read for those with reader’s block this festive season! It may not be a well-renowned Christmas classic, but it is certainly a heart-warming piece guaranteed to remind you of that familial feeling, of which Christmas is truly about.

Katie Waits – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

It may be a bit of an obvious choice, but when I think of Christmas stories, A Christmas Carol is the first one that pops into my mind. Written by Charles Dickens, it was published in 1843 and has since become a classic. There have been many film adaptations, from the 2009 animated version to the beloved Muppet Christmas Carol, which serve to prove how popular the Victorian tale remains to this day. 

Scrooge’s change is comforting and satisfying but doesn’t happen without him acknowledging the Ghosts of his Christmas Past, Present, and Christmas Yet to Come. Each terrifying in their own way, the Ghosts show Scrooge what he needs to see so that he isn’t condemned to an afterlife in chains, like his similarly miserly former work partner, Jacob Marley.

At this time of year, despite the festivities, we all still have to revise and work on essays. Fortunately, A Christmas Carol is a rather short book. If you can find the time around your study schedule, you would probably be able to read it quite quickly and also feel rather Christmassy! It’s the perfect book to read on a cold December evening when you’re warm inside with a hot beverage.

Alexa Price – Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle

Let it Snow is an intertwining, romantic novella collection that embodies the importance of love and kindness at this time of year, especially for those who will be spending the season alone. Guaranteed to give you all the cosy Christmas feels that we’ve been missing this year, the stories of Tobin, Jubilee, and Addie are all very different and refreshing but cross subtly in one way or another, keeping readers on their toes. Despite generally being labelled as Young Adult fiction, Let it Snow is suitable for readers of all ages. It isn’t quite Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, but it most certainly is a festive classic and has a comfortable spot on my shelves at home. 

Despite its romantic focus point, Let it Snow also focuses on family, a theme highlighted greatly in Jubilee’s story in the 2019 Netflix adaptation. Having watched it recently, regardless of its many plot changes, I can confirm that it is just as magical as its literary counterpart, and is sure to spark that warm Christmas joy we all know wherever you are in the country – whether it be Tier 1 or Tier 4 – this festive season.

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