I have such a love-hate relationship with Christmas. While I like family, festivities, parties, and giving and receiving gifts, I also find the holiday season overall to be deeply stressful and emotionally turbulent. In fact, when I was a kid, I used to get so stressed and spiritually dampened by the holidays I would get a rash every year. One thing I do to get through it is read — a lot. And more specifically, during this time of year, I go for Christmas books for adults that aren't overly cheesy, but can still keep me feeling a little more connected to the spirit of the snowy season.
Trust me, reading is an awesome way to combat whatever holiday stress or loneliness you might be feeling, and it's definitely a better use of your time than online shopping, or falling down an Instagram rabbit hole looking at everyone's Christmas decorations.
If you're in the mood to curl up with a blanket, a cup of tea, and a good book, give one of these books a shot for some great stories that will allow you to feel a bit more in tune with the holiday spirit.
Christmas doesn't have to be so damn stressful, I promise!
This holiday classic tells the story of a little boy named Buddy and his elderly distant cousin, who happens to be his closest friend. The mostly autobiographical read is incredibly heartwarming, as one of the central themes is about how good it feels to give, especially during the holiday season.
There's actually one essay in particular in this James Baldwin collection called "Equal In Paris" that I highly recommend, in which he describes his experience being arrested in Paris for a misunderstanding involving a borrowed hotel bed sheet. It turns out he has to go to prison for the "crime," and he eventually goes to trial, too. This sequence of events all happens over the week of Christmas.
Needless to say, it proves to be a sh*tty and horrific holiday for Baldwin, but it's a powerful freakin' piece, and the overall book is an essential collection to have on your shelf.
A tale of a well-to-do man coming to terms with his sexuality, this novel takes place right around the Christmas season. I'll admit, it's not the most uplifting book in the universe, but it's a great read nonetheless.
Sometimes, it's best to lean into the melancholy vibes that the holidays seem to often bring along with them.
I suppose the best way to go about this would be to start first with The Magician's Nephew, as it's the first in the Narnia chronicles, but these books are festive, weird, and magical at any age, and truly perfect to get lost in with a nice cup of hot cocoa.
Because everyone wants to snuggle up at Hogwarts during the Christmas season with Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and enjoy some butter-beer and those little frog chocolates.
Christmastime seems so, so cozy in the J.K. Rowling universe, even when dark magic abounds.
The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories, $17, Amazon
Apparently, during the Victorian era, it was the norm for publications to print ghost stories during the holiday season.
This particular collection of chilling stories, edited by Tara Moore, is ideal for the most frigid winter nights. You'll enjoy spectacularly spooky tales from esteemed writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the lesser known Ada Buisson.