Around this time of year there are lots of lists of good Christmas books--for kids. But I don't really see good lists of Christmas books for adults! And there are some great ones. So I thought I'd give you my list.
The criteria for it being a "Christmas book" is sort of self-explanatory--the action revolves around Christmas, or Christmas is involved in the book, somehow. This is not all-encompassing, it's just some of my favorites. And yes, there are some "kids" books in here.
- The Christmas Box, by Richard Paul Evans (and its sequels, Timepiece and The Letter): Isn't the Title sort of self-explanatory? Well, OK. But I read this when I was in seventh grade (I got it from the book order!) and it's just an amazing little book. Many of Evans' novels revolve around Christmas, so once you've read this, there are many more in his oeuvre to read.
- Little Women, Louisa May Alcott: "Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without any presents." The book starts at Christmas, and the holiday comes in and out through the narrative, usually with large-ish plot points--Mr. March's return from the war, Beth getting the piano, etc.
- The Handmaid and the Carpenter, by Elizabeth Berg: A re-telling of Mary and Joseph's story. Is it Biblically accurate? Well, probably not. But it's good anyway.
- The 24 Days Before Christmas, by Madeline L'Engle: This is part of the Austin family series. It's a short, beautifully illustrated book that talks about Vicky and her family on the eve of her brother Rob's Christmas birth. It's cute, for kids and adults for who are L'Engle fans.
- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens: Obviously. But if you've never read it, do. There's a lot more to it than figures into most movie adaptations. (I have this version, which I adore.)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis: Probably the best known Narnia book, Christmas plays a huge role in the novel--the arrival of Father Christmas means that "Aslan is on the move" and breaks the White Witch's cycle of "always winter, never Christmas." The movie is great, too.