4 Books to read this holiday season
Christmas is here!. It’s a time for celebration, love, family, and FREE TIME (hopefully). As you enjoy the coming days or weeks of leisure, allow us to recommend some seasonal light reading, (we’re a library, after all). As you feed your bellies with the oh so delicious Christmas feasts and treats, you could also feed your mind with some engaging written word.
Every one of our book recommendations is related to the season. We could have suggested some self-help or self-improvement books but c’mon, we’d like to believe that you have put in a ton of work throughout the year and instead of giving you some more deep work, we’d rather suggest books that will not only entertain but also enlighten you.
We hope that in reading any (or all) of these recommendations, you’ll regain that childlike awe that brings about the Christmas spirit.
1.A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
You can’t make a list of Christmas books without having ‘A Christmas Carol’, it’s the quintessential Christmas book. It is written by Charles Dickens of ‘Oliver Twist’ and ‘David Copperfield’ fame and tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. They take him on a redemptive journey through his life to show him how his choices could lead to a sorrowful conclusion.
A Christmas Carol became the forebearer of the revival of the Christmas holiday. Dickens would inspire several aspects of Christmas, including family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit. To this day, A Christmas carol remains a popular work of fiction with numerous adaptations and derivations of its concepts, especially the idea of ghosts of past, present, and future and its miserly main character, Mr Scrooge.
Looking past its grand legacy, A Christmas Carol is just a redemption story of a greedy and overly ambitious man who is faced with the consequences of his decisions and has to decide “do I want to be better or not?”. You can probably guess the ending but we don’t want to spoil it for you.
Click here to read A Christmas Carol.
2.Christmas in Nigeria: A Collection Of Short Stories From Around The Nation by ZODML.org
Remember when we said we were big fans of Christmas, we weren’t kidding. Christmas in Nigeria is an in-house project created by us at ZODML. It’s a collection of short stories that detail the Christmas experiences of several team members. These short stories capture what Christmas means to different Nigerians coming from different cultural backgrounds and walks of life and that no matter how different their lives are, Christmas carries the same meaning to them: A time of joy, celebration and family.
We have ‘The Journey Home - An Anambra Story’: The story of a family making the regular eastern bound journey to the village 2 days before Christmas but on their way, they were met with terrible traffic. Would they make it to the village or will they turn back to Lagos?
Our personal favourite is ‘Banger wars - A Niger Story’, a nostalgic military tale about the epic war between ‘Bobby Brown’ and ‘MC Hammer’, two elite groups competing against each other to decide who had the best banger arsenal. After a period of exchanges, the 2 groups would end up uniting to witness the mythical rise of Spanzy to ‘biggest boy in town’ as he delivers the greatest banger anybody had ever laid eyes on- A 32-rounder.
Other stories include: ‘Five Loaves and Two Fish - A Delta Story’, ‘Carnivals and Beaches - A Lagos Story ’, ‘Ojeme’s Grandmother’s Christmas - An Edo Story’, and many more.
Click here to read Christmas in Nigeria.
3.Old Christmas by Washington Irving.
Remember when we said Charles Dickens was inspired by other authors to write ‘A Christmas Carol’, Washington Irving was one of those authors. Just like us, he loved Christmas and wrote many books about the holiday. He was so passionate about Christmas that he helped found the Saint Nicholas Society of the City of New York, serving as its secretary until 1841. This society was crucial in laying the groundwork that pushed Santa Claus to become the figure he is today. In all of Irving’s work, what many consider to be his best work is an 1876 short story collection called ‘Old Christmas’.
It contains short stories such as ‘Christmas’, ‘The Stage Coach’, ‘Christmas Eve’, ‘Christmas Day’, and ‘The Christmas Dinner’. Each story follows a particular time in the holiday and Irving uses detailed and intricate descriptions to pull you into that period as you experience the holidays through his words at a time before any of our current Christmas traditions were a thing.
Click here to read Old Christmas
4.Skipping Christmas by John Graham
Unlike the prior mentioned non-ZODML books, ‘Skipping Christmas’ was first published in 2001, it’s a more modern take on the Christmas holiday and spirit. It was written by John Grisham, the very prolific author who wrote popular legal thriller books such as A Time to Kill, The Pelican Brief and, The Runaway Jury. Grisham is one of only three authors to sell two million copies on a first printing, the other two being Tom Clancy and J. K. Rowling.
‘Skipping Christmas’ is a Christmas comedy that follows Luther and Nora Krank as they decide to skip all Christmas festivities because their kids have moved out and they found no more perceived value in the holiday. Hilarity ensues as their community begins to go against the couple and their increasing apathy towards anything Christmas related.
Beyond its fantastic humour, ‘Skipping Christmas’ is about examining how the complexities of modern society have led people to forget the value of the Christmas spirit and that while it may not easily look profitable or valuable, the social and familial connection that the holiday season provides is more valuable than most things.
Click here to read Skipping Christmas
The true spirit of Christmas is about spending time with family and loved ones. Somehow, we have begun to forget that. If you too have begun to forget the joys that come with the holiday season, read any of these books and look back to remember what Christmas really means to you. Is it just some days of free time and leisure? Is it a time to ‘detty’ everywhere or is it a time to connect with those you love and love you?
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!.