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It’s my favorite time of the year!  And part of the joy, for me, is Christmas reading.  True, it’s hard to find the time to cuddle up with a good book amidst all the chaos of tree lighting, shopping, wrapping, baking, cleaning, cooking, and all the school activities.  But oh, you’re worth it–try to make the time to enjoy reading!  

And speaking of busy…  I like to watch holiday movies while I wrap presents. Two things at once! I have a list of my must-watch favorites to share, along with holiday books I recommend to get you in the spirit of the season.


my holiday book recommendations

One book I read every year, and get a new message from yearly, is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. If you didn’t know, I am a “Dickensophile”. I’ve read everything he’s written, studied his works and life, and I believe he is the unparalleled master of characterizations.  One of the best trips of my life was heading to Rochester, England for the annual Dickens festival where the locals dress up in period costume for a great parade. My holiday novel, A Lowcountry Christmas, refers to that great tale of redemption.




My list this winter includes some favorite holiday books, as well as some interesting new releases.

  1. Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva
    Continuing the Dickens thread, this irresistible read tells how the great author, filled with doubt and debt, struggles to create a novel—in a hurry! He succeeds with his greatest story that changes Christmas forever.
  2. Once Upon a Wardrobe by Patti Callahan
    This heartwarming book tells the tale of a young woman in 1950 who sets out to fulfill her younger brother’s last wish by uncovering the truth behind his favorite C.S. Lewis story.  Charming and inspiring!
  3. Bright Lights, Big Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews
    My fellow Friends & Fiction author has another Christmas book out this year.  This time, she’s writing about a family who travels from her family’s Christmas tree farm to sell the trees at a tree lot on a New York City street corner.  It’s a fun plot that hooked me!
  4. The Highland Lodge Getaway by Julie Shackman
    I’ve not read this one yet but hey, it’s set in Scotland and is a brand-new feel-good romance that’s on my reading list. This one’s for you, Signe Pike!
  5. Lowcountry Getaway by Susan Boyer
    A family holiday getaway to the U.S. Virgin Islands is the setting of this delightful mystery in the Liz Talbot series.
  6. The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans
    The first in the bestselling trilogy, they’re all heartwarming and magical.



And I can’t forget books the kids (and you) will love…

  1. The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola
    I was surprised by how little I knew about the ubiquitous Poinsettia that I have in my home every year.  With DePaola’s beautiful artwork, this book tells the legend how how the poinsettia came to be.  As an aside, did you know that the poinsettia plant was brought to the USA by botanist and statesman Joel Poinsett, the first minister to Mexico, in 1925? Now, nearly 47 million potted poinsettias have been sold in the US!
  2. How to Catch Santa by Jean Reagan
    A “How To” paperback, this one is fun for the kids this holiday.  🎅
  3. The Polar Express by Chris van Allsburg
    This book is on my list every year, too. The book is pure magic and if you’ve not read it aloud to your children and/or grandchildren, do it this year.
  4. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore
    If your kids will sit through it… read this one aloud too!  It’s a tradition 😊
  5. The Big Secret: the Whole and Honest Truth About Santa Claus by D W Boorn
    I bought this book for my grandchildren who are reaching the “Is Santa real?” stage. It’s a tough question to answer! This book won the Mom’s Choice Awards, and was on the cover of Publisher’s Weekly with great reviews.  Non judgmental or religious, illustrated and highly recommended by reputable sources.  This is on my book stack as a “not read yet”. Have you and if so, what did you think?



I love to watch holiday movies this time of year. Here is a list of my personal favorites!

  1. Love Actually
  2. The Family Stone
  3. Elf
  4. Miracle on 34th Street
  5. Meet Me in St. Louis
  6. It’s a Wonderful Life
  7. A Christmas Story
  8. Scrooged
  9. The Man Who Invented Christmas (the film version Mr. Dickens & His Carol)
  10. The Holiday


And when I’m with the grandchildren, here are the ones we enjoy:

  1. Christmas Chronicles
  2. Home Alone
  3. The Muppet Christmas Carol
  4. Any of The Grinch movies


Well, wraps up another book (and movie) list from me! (Pun Intended)

I hope you all have a holly jolly, merry, and inspiring holiday!