Our favourite pastime when the nights are closing in has to be snuggling up with a good book (preferably in front of a roaring fire). So what’s on our reading list this festive season? Time to round up our favourite Christmas reads…
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Of course this had to be first on our list. Dickens’ classic winter’s tale is the blueprint for our modern Christmas traditions, and tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge on the night before Christmas. First adapted for film in 1901, it has since gone on to be reimagined for film and TV every few years. The perfect accompaniment to a mince pie and hot chocolate.
A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Mould
Have you ever wondered what Father Christmas was like growing up? Well wonder no more with this charming illustrated novel from Matt Haig. Hailed as an instant classic, A Boy Called Christmas has already been picked up for adaptation by Studio Canal and Blueprint Pictures.
The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E. T. A. Hoffman
Young Marie Stahlbaum’s favourite Christmas toy, the Nutcracker, comes alive and, after defeating the evil Mouse King in battle, whisks her away to a magical kingdom in this classic tale from 1816. It has since been adapted many times over – from Alexandre Dumas’ interpretation (which was then adapted in to the famous ballet) through various film adaptations to the upcoming film The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, out next year.
The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
Now over 30 years old, this children’s favourite was adapted for the big screen in 2004. It tells the story of a young boy who boards a train bound for the North Pole, and whose meeting with Santa yields a very special gift. Often cited as a favourite Christmas film, we love the book just as much, with the beautiful illustrations from Chris Van Allsburg.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Travelling through a wardrobe, four children finds themselves in a magical world that is trapped in permanent winter. What could be more festive than this well-loved tale of adventure and witches and lions? Adapted several times for the screen, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a must-read at Christmas-time. If only for the Turkish Delight.
Hogfather by Terry Pratchett
On Hogswatchnight (December 32) every year, the Hogfather grants children’s wishes. That is, until the Auditors decide to assassinate him. So when the Hogfather disappears, life begins to change for the Discworld inhabitants… a Christmas tale with a twist, this funny and untraditional festive treat is the perfect story if you’re looking for something a bit different.
The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen
A beautiful fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, The Snow Queen is a story of friendship, love, and bravery. As you can imagine, there have been lots of interpretations of this story along the way, not least of which: 17 film and TV versions, three operas, a video game and numerous stage adaptations.