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Are there books you always read in the run up to Christmas?

(34 Posts)
penguinpaperback Thu 28-Nov-13 00:15:12

I always try to read The Box of Delights and Dickens Christmas Books, just the first 3 stories, A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth.

Granny23 Thu 28-Nov-13 00:39:04

Yes the phone book and Post-code address book as I struggle to find addresses for the Christmas Cards. Sometimes the Argos catalogue looking for inspiration hmm.

No time to read for PLEASURE in December. We are not supposed to enjoy the run up to Christmas, are we?

coastwallker Thu 28-Nov-13 08:45:24

I always read the Miss Read Christmas compilation and Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher. They are all just relaxing, do nothing for an afternoon, stress relievers.
And I certainly enjoy them!

kittylester Thu 28-Nov-13 09:04:16

I could say the John Lewis catalogue and the M&S food catalogue but we also always read 'The Night Before Christmas' and, lately, 'Wake Up Bear, It's Christmas'.

Aka Thu 28-Nov-13 09:07:18

Holiday catalogues sunshine

Gally Thu 28-Nov-13 09:34:24

I read magazines like Good Housekeeping and Ideal Home to see how I should really be doing things but I never have all the ingredients/equipment/sparkly stuff required so put silly ideas like that aside until next year when I go through the whole process again. Oh, if only I could achieve perfection with my door garlands, table settings, candelabra, beautifully wrapped presents, roaring log fires and well behaved children in smocked dresses ............. wink

Mishap Thu 28-Nov-13 09:39:27

Christmas at Bullerby - a family favourite.

Lanterns Across the Snow by Susan Hill - a little gem. I cannot recommend it too highly.

Flowerofthewest Thu 28-Nov-13 09:54:36

Yes, Gally, in my head my house is a Good Housekeeping, Ideal Home house at Christmas. Alas I do not have a bannister to twirl reams of holly and bows around. I do not have a mantel to decorate with holly and ivy, candles and santa. I do not have a chimney (now, I have a blocked one) for the strange old man to clamber down and leave soot all over my 'beautiful cream luxury carpet' (beige and trampled on) No log fire, no extending table to decorate. In my head I do - I do.

What I do have is garlands of holly and ivy along picture tops and book cases, cards, cards and more cards, Lots of Christmas ornaments around the room for the grandchildren to amaze and wonder over (and drop) crepe paper garlands strewn across the ceiling, large paper pom poms a-dangling, one cut-it-myself (well DDH chopped it) Christmas tree which always takes at least an hour to choose. Decorated with millions of lights and baubles collected through the years along with one or two new ones each year. I LOVE CHRISTMAS

Gally Thu 28-Nov-13 10:04:06

Flower grin

kittylester Thu 28-Nov-13 10:51:23

Gally and Flower I do the equivalent with recipes. I tear out mountains of them thinking, 'This year we'll be sophisticated' knowing full well that any deviation will be frowned upon by everyone and that, really, can I be ar**ed?

penguinpaperback Thu 28-Nov-13 11:10:26

I'm sure I have read Lanterns Across the Snow, I have Susan Hill's Magic Apple Tree and had a year of reading Susan Hill's books. I also like to read the Dulce Domum chapter from The Wind in the Willows. smile
Miss Read and Rosamunde Pilcher are great comfort, relaxing reads.
I don't know if anyone else still plays their excellent free Christmas CD's from the December 1999 editions of Woman and Home and Good Housekeeping?
I love Christmas too. We don't spend huge amounts of money on presents and I try to keep most of the commercial trappings at bay.
I'm very lucky we have a good friend who has some land with lots of holly. I try and get my holly, with his permission, before all the berries have been eaten by the wild life.
I might try and read the phone book backwards in the New Year. grin

Tegan Thu 28-Nov-13 11:48:46

penguin; my ex always used to read that chapter from The Wind in the Willows to my daughter on Christmas Eve smile. I try to read A Christmas Carol but usually only dip into a couple of chapters [it still puts me in the mood though]. And I bought a 'Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm' book the other year which I didn't read. Hopefully, now I'm retired I'll have time to read them. Miss Read and Rosamund Pilcher are like 'comfort blankets' aren't they smile. I can't imagine Christmas in a world where A Christmas Carol had never been written.

coastwallker Thu 28-Nov-13 14:09:05

I must have a look for Lanterns Across the Snow. Never read any Susan Hill.

Mishap Thu 28-Nov-13 15:11:33

Susan Hill is a funny mix - there are lyrical and beautiful books like Lanterns, and then there are the ghost stories which frankly leave me cold. I think they are a waste of her skill. So do not be put off if you read one of hers and don't like it - she writes such very different things.

coastwallker Thu 28-Nov-13 21:23:56

I've been put off by the price of the book - on ebay and Amazon. It has gone on my library list instead!

FlicketyB Thu 28-Nov-13 21:48:58

Flowerofthe west, I too, LOVE CHRISTMAS. I am fortunate to have the old timberframed house, but also lack the bannisters and mantel pieces and like you mainly deck the house with greenery and decorations we have had for years - some from childhood(a very long time ago). My one buy this year has been night lights with a battery powered LED 'flame'. So much safer with under 5s around.

Over the Christmas period I read a range of Christmas literature; Dickens' 'A Christmas Carol', 'A Child's Christmas in Wales', Dylan Thomas and a little book of Christmas poems called 'A Christmas Posy', which includes 'The Night Before Christmas' - and some children's book that remind me of mine and my children's childhood; Little Grey Rabbit and Pooky's Christmas. Does anyone else remember Pooky?

And always, but always we all sit together and watch 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' with Michael Caine. Family opinion is that it is the best film of this book - ever.

penguinpaperback Thu 28-Nov-13 23:26:03

Oh I hope you find time for Christmas at Cold Comfort Tegan.
I really recommend Susan Hill's Magic Apple Tree but I haven't tried any of her spooky, horror, books. I picked up one in Waterstones called 'Dolly' I think, but only had to look at the cover to see it wasn't my cup of tea. Easily scared.
My grandchildren love The Muppet Christmas Carol. smile
I can't remember Pooky.

penguinpaperback Thu 28-Nov-13 23:29:23

Oh just remembered the Ahlberg's Jolly Christmas Postman. Lovely pop ups and little letters inside.

broomsticks Fri 29-Nov-13 09:35:54

I love Muppet Christmas Carol too. We borrowed it for a visiting child and my son (aged 20 something) and I liked it better than the child did. Son kept saying 'Please Sir, I want some cheese.' for ages afterwards.

The Christmas book I love is Anne Fine's The More the Merrier. It's hilarious, so like the real Christmas experience.

Tegan Fri 29-Nov-13 09:52:57

The Muppet Christmas Carol is second best to the Alastor Sim version, but that's not a bad film to be second to!

Mishap Fri 29-Nov-13 10:07:08

coastwalker - it is worth asking for Lanterns Across the Snow as a Christmas gift, as, although it is pricey, it is beautifully produced with woodcut illustrations. I have given it as gift several times and people have always been delighted with it.

Deedaa Fri 29-Nov-13 23:34:03

I always try to fit The Muppet Christmas Carol in somewhere and I think the Alistair Sim on is the best "straight" version. I've just re read The Children of Green Knowe, will obviously have a quick read of A Christmas Carol, and would really like to find my copy of The Box of Delights!
Another favourite film is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - rather too like ours sometimes!
I always end up buying at least one Christmas magazine so I can plan that refined soiree that I never actually get round to holding!

broomsticks Sat 30-Nov-13 09:41:12

I'll try Lanterns across the Snow I like Susan Hill (some of them anyway).
There's always The Snow Goose if anyone fancies a Christmas weep.

Nelliemoser Sat 30-Nov-13 13:04:04

Dylan Thomas A Child's Christmas in Wales. It's is not really a Child's book. It's a very short, very poetic and very nostalgic. Few kids today would understand the references.

Quoting. from A Child’s Christmas in Wales depicts a

“ A few small aunts, not wanted in the kitchen, nor anywhere else for that matter, sat on the very edges of their chairs, poised and brittle, afraid to break, like faded cups and saucers.”

"Auntie Hannah, who liked port stood in the middle of the snowbound back yard ,singing like a big bosomed thrush."

"Auntie Bessie, who had “already been frightened, twice, by a clock-work mouse whimpered by the sideboard and had some elderberry wine”.

This is a tiny little book. My copy some years ago cost £4.50
I would recommend to anyone. There is also a wonderful Dylan Thomas recording of it.
I have just found this link.

Mishap Sat 30-Nov-13 14:11:49

Thank you for reminding me about the Dylan Thomas - magic!