I love Christmas, I go all out for it. One of the things I enjoy most is re-reading familiar Christmas stories. Last night, out with friends I mentioned my all time favourite to a friend and found she had never heard of it, so I thought I would compile a list of what I think are the best. I’m aware that my selection might be a bit dated sp feel free to correct me/recommend your own.
5. How the Grinch Stole Christmas -You can hardly find fault with Dr Seuss but this is as special pleasure. The lovely Whos and the miserable Grinch, the fantastic transformation from horrible trickster to gift-giver and merry maker.
‘Maybe Christmas,’ he thought ‘doesn’t come from a store.
means a little bit more!’
I’ll try to remember that whilst pulling out my own teeth trying to get my last presents sorted.
4. The Box of Delights – All written around Christmas and covering all sorts of mythology and magic of the Christmas season and the English countryside. I remember watching the BBC version on tv which had the most fantastic track over the credits. You can see it here. Just listening to it gives me the shivers.
3. The Father Christmas Letters – letters from Father Christmas to JRR Tolkien’s children written over 22 years from 1920 to 1942. They are all written in Father Christmas’s spidery hand and illustrated with beautiful pictures of life at the North Pole. There are elves, goblins and a marvellous Polar Bear. More Christmassy than your first mince pie.
2. Mog’s Christmas – Good old Mog. One for the younger readers, but funny for everyone else too. Mog gets annoyed by all the preparations and decamps to the roof, but nothing is simple for her. I love tyhe way Judith Kerr shows us Christmas from a completely different perspective.
1. The Dark is Rising – Not your typical Christmas book, but definitely my favourite. I read it every year and it evokes a little of the anticipation and excitement I had as a child when life was a little more magical. It’s filled with magic, myth and most importantly snow, but not Bing Crosby stuff. Follow Will as he comes of age into a world he must take on responsibility for saving.
On my list to read are Michael Morpurgo’s Christmas Stories and Lemony Snicket’s Lump of Coal. Hopefully I’ll get them in my stocking.