Reading Christmas!

reading christmas literature wikipedia
I love Wikipedia! Whatever your Christmas reading wishes, you can probably fill them here. This particular site presents lists of literary works which are set at Christmas time, or contain Christmas as a central theme.



reading christmas cecelia ahern gift
[Source: Goodreads]
reading christmas harry heathcote of gangoil anthony trollope
[Source: Amazon]
It lists fourteen novels alphabetically by author, ranging from Cecelia Ahern (The Gift) to Anthony Trollope (Harry Heathcote of Gangoil).  There are classics by Dickens and a mystery by Agatha Christie, some more like fables and others geared toward children.


Short stories and collections

reading christmas hans christian anderson fir tree
[Source: Amazon]
reading christmas kurt vonnegut while mortals sleep
[Source: Amazon]
Short stories and collections are treated the same way. Fourteen are listed in this category, from Hans Christian Andersen (The Fir-Tree) to Kurt Vonnegut (While Mortals Sleep). Again there are mysteries by Agatha Christie, but also by Arthur Conan Doyle. Moving. Emotional themes range the gamut, and I venture to say that things with Christmas themes are often strong on emotion.


Poetry and Nonfiction

reading christmas twas night before christmas clement clark moore
Poetry and Nonfiction have fewer offerings, only four, so I’ll mention them all.
  • Clement Clarke Moore (‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, originally published as A Visit from St. Nick).
  • Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch Stole Christmas).
  • Anne Sexton (“Christmas Eve”)
  • Francis Pharcellus Church (“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus”—a newspaper editorial)

This is just one handy list. You can also search for Christmas Traditions, History of Christmas, Mysteries set at Christmas, etc.
If you love Wikipedia, too, you might consider logging on and making a donation of $3, $10, or whatever. They are currently fundraising to keep the site free to the public, and it is the season of giving.

Christmas: It’s Everywhere!

Fairly early on, in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce has a wonderful scene involving Christmas dinner. It runs more than ten pages, and reveals the characters and their Catholicism beautifully. It’s often humorous (as people share anecdotes) and sometimes disrespectful (as when Mr. Dedalus refers to the bird’s tail as “the Pope’s nose.”) It ranges from humor to anger. A thoroughly enjoyable passage.


portrait of the artist as a young man james joyce

On Christmas Eve, 2014, the Huffington Post published a delightful piece titled “The Most Festive (And Not-So-Festive) Christmas Scenes from Classic Books.” Here you will find bits from 13 classic novels.

Christmas Scenes from Classic Books

Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
Emma (Jane Austen)
emma jane austen
A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
Brideshead Revisited (Evelyn Waugh)
Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)

great expectations charles dickens

Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
Vanity Fair (William Thackerary)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (J.K. Rowling)


harry potter sorcerer's stone jk rowling
The Mill on the Floss (George Eliot)

mill on the floss george eliot

Pluck any of these great reads from your shelves (or from the shelves of your local library) and get in the Christmas spirit!