Literature and the Holidays

When the holidays roll around, I’m always struck by how much literature plays a part in this festive season. Not only are books a common gift to exchange (my family members all usually have at least one book on their Christmas wishlist), but so many of the beloved stories and entertainment we consume each year are based on written stories–short or long.

I’m sure for many reading this Charles’ Dicken’s A Christmas Carol pops into the front of the mind. For those with children, or those who are partial to poetry, perhaps lines from A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement Clarke Moore start dancing around in your head like visions of sugar plums in the famed poem.

But there’s even more when it comes to literature and the holidays. My favorite genre–romance–is famous for the copious amounts of Christmas books released every year around this time. In fact, many of the Hallmark Christmas movies that many of us binge religiously (me–I’m guilty of doing just that!) are based on books.

Then there are Netflix shows like Dash and Lily based on a book series featuring the same main characters by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Or the movie Let it Snow based on a short story anthology by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle.

And, of course, who can forget the oldest holiday story in the Bible–that of the first Christmas.

Literature is a big part of the holiday season, and not just for us writers! Even those who don’t write and may not even enjoy reading often find themselves curling up with a classic Christmas story this time of year, surrounded by twinkling Christmas lights, warm blankets, and a mug of hot chocolate. Literature is an intrinsic part of the holiday season, and I’m glad for it. The written word is a miraculous tool through which we can learn lessons, feel comforted, and explore new ideas. And what better time of year to do just those things than during the holiday season?