I don’t know about you, but Christmas makes me tired. I also try not to saturate myself on the holidays, so I’m chopping this list in half to present five holiday books that I like…and five holiday movies. Because that’s just the way I roll.
Christmas and Holiday Books
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Doctor Seuss
This book has been a staple since the 1960’s, at least, and has been adapted for TV and the movies. I’m a fan of the book and the 1966 cartoon with the voice of Boris Karloff. I can only take Jim Carey in small doses, and this isn’t it.
The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clark Moore
My parents would read this to us on Christmas Eve. I think I have a recent edition somewhere around here.
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
You can thank the Scholastic Book Fair sometime in the 1980’s for this one. We brought it home and the whole family fell in love with it. My parents put it on the Christmas Eve Reading roster, and it stayed there until we were in our teens.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The book is like one long Christmas special. The White Witch’s powers are based on snow and ice, locking Narnia in a never-ending winter. Which is somewhat fortunate, as Father Christmas has presents that will help the Pevensie children vanquish their foe and save the day.
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
Hogfather is a cherished book in our house around Christmas, to the point that the Husbeast and I sometimes refer to Christmas as Hogswatch, the holiday celebrated on Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. When the Hogfather mysteriously disappears, Death and his majordomo Albert step in to take his place and keep the Hogswatch spirit alive.
Bill Murray as an updated version of Ebeneezer Scrooge, having to confront the spirits of Christmas and his own mortality. It still stands up after 21 years.
Yes, Die Hard is a holiday movie. It’s not Christmas until Hans Gruber falls off Nakatomi Plaza. RIP Alan Rickman; we miss you.
It’s a Wonderful Life
To get the full Melancholy Holiday effect, you need to be watching this at 1am while working double time and a half on the graveyard shift. No eggnog, no family around you…just co-workers and the occasional offer of half-melted Christmas squares. Good times.
I’m a sap for this one. It’s the story of a family of Clauses trying to get a “missed present” to a little girl in Trelew, Cornwall. The vocal cast is also amazing. Bill Nighy steals the show as “Grandsanta” with his reindeer Dasher, Dancer, Prancer….erm, Bambi, John, the one with the white ear, you, you..not you, you big bag of fleas.
The Nightmare Before Christmas
A movie you can watch multiple times over the holidays, starting at Hallowe’en and ending after Yule. The Husbeast has a tendency to wrap presents to the tune of “This is Hallowe’en.”
What are your favourite holiday books or shows? Let me know in the comments 🙂