The joy of a festive read

On Sunday I was nursing the kind of hangover that can only be achieved when a Christmas-lunch-with-friends turns into one-too-many-Christmas-drinks, but while I was annoyed at the complete loss of a day, it had a rather happy consequence – namely, that I was able to curl up with a book on the sofa for a few hours. A Christmas book, no less. This book:


I absolutely love a good festive read, and this one didn’t disappoint. It was a wonderful, warm and humorous look at how Father Christmas came to be, complete with elves, magic and all the joys of the season, and although it’s technically a children’s book, I defy any Christmas-loving adult to be put off by it. It really did fill me with festive cheer and I was beaming by the end of it, and I have no doubt that I’ll be keeping it for my future offspring to read and learn about jolly old (or, indeed, young) Nikolas.

There’s something about a Christmas book that defines the season for me, much in the same way that a favourite Christmas film does (The Muppet Christmas Carol, without question) – even if you haven’t yet got round to writing the Christmas cards or putting the tree up, reading a Christmas book can make you feel instantly festive.

You can’t beat curling up under a blanket with a book, a mince pie and a hot chocolate (or mulled wine if it’s that kind of evening) to instantly get into the spirit of things. Bonus points if you’re surrounded by candles or fairy lights, and double the bonus if you’re wearing Christmas pyjamas. Or slippers. Or socks. Etc…

It’s a chance to wonder at the sheer magic, the warmth, that Christmas can create, and perhaps the best part of it is that there’s nothing commercial about it. For me, the key to a good festive read (or film for that matter) is that it imparts a sense of joy and love for my fellow man – I forget about the stress of finding the perfect present or what would happen if I forget the bread sauce, and simply want to get up and hug my loved ones.

It’s one of the highlights of the season for me. I try to re-read A Christmas Carol on an annual basis – it’s a must, a festive tradition – and A Boy Called Christmas could now be up there as one of my new favourite festive classics. Not too schmaltzy, not too twee, but just right. I’m now scouring the book lists for a new Christmas read to feast on, so if anyone’s got some festive recommendations to throw my way, I’m all ears! I do love a happy festive ending *cracks open the mulled wine*