Sure, Christmas is officially observed 25 December, but this annual celebration of peace on Earth and goodwill toward our fellow humans — plus, cookies — is the ideal justification for a few weeks of year-end merriment.
Arriving between the long night of the winter solstice and the fresh start of the new year, it’s the ideal time for personal reflection, family gatherings, rampant revelry, and twinkling lights festooning every possible surface, including evergreen trees, rooftops, shrubbery, and bookshelves.
From shopping to baking, infatuation to heartbreak, family harmony to long-held feuds, every moment of the holidays is laden with storytelling opportunities. And that’s very merry, indeed, for book lovers.
The island nation of Iceland has much to recommend it: breathtaking scenery, the creamiest yogurt, friendly inhabitants, amazing seafood, and a charming holiday tradition: the Christmas Book Flood called Jólabókaflóðið.
Holiday choice: A charming coming-of-age story in snowy Philadelphia, or eerie stories starring Krampus, the Christmas-y demon who drags bad children to the underworld. Or both! 'Cause what good is nice without naughty?!
This weekend, we recommend a getaway to a lake-side resort in Vermont... where you'll find yourself right smack in the middle of a romantic comedy with real, messy people who make real, messy mistakes.
Russian Teacakes are like butter bombs of happiness. The original recipe in this classic cookbook is the hands-down, best-ever holiday cookie. If you've never tried these fluffy white puffs of joy, now is the time.
The shortest day, the longest night, the transition to deep midwinter — the winter solstice is a powerful date on the calendar. This moving poem by British author Susan Cooper captures its magic. Welcome, Yule!
It's just four days until Christmas, and it's Manny's last night working at the Red Lobster that's the center of his life. This quiet story is vast in its emotional scope and sense of place — sweet, sad, and dignified.
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Top image courtesy of Rodion Kutsaev/Unsplash.