You’re hunting for best books to read around Christmas, aren’t you? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of the 45 best books to cozy up with this Christmas 2023.
Whether you’re revisiting classics or discovering fresh tales, you’ll find your yuletide spirit ignited.
Get ready to immerse yourself in captivating narratives that’ll make your holiday season even more enchanting.
So slip on your Christmas shoes and let’s dive into a world of literature that brings the magic of Christmas alive!
45 Best Christmas Books to Read Around the Holidays
“A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens
The classic “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens is the perfect book you can’t miss diving into this festive season.
This Christmas classic, often regarded as one of the best Christmas books to read, centers on Ebenezer Scrooge, a character synonymous with Christmas spirit’s antithesis.
As a Christmas novel, it masterfully unravels on Christmas Eve, hence its inclusion in Christmas books for adults.
Dickens’ vivid description of Scrooge’s transformation from a miser to a man embodying the Christmas spirit is indeed a literary masterpiece.
‘A Christmas Carol’ stands tall among the best Christmas books, offering not just a story, but a journey into the heart of what Christmas truly represents: giving, love, and joy. You’ll appreciate its detailed narrative and the timeless message it carries.
“The Polar Express” by Chris Van Allsburg
Next up on your holiday reading list should be ‘The Polar Express’ by Chris Van Allsburg, a captivating tale that’s become an essential part of countless Christmas traditions.
This Christmas book is one of the best books to read around Christmas. It captures the spirit of the Christmas season in a unique and magical way.
Here are some reasons why you should read this book this Christmas time:
- It’s one of the favorite Christmas books for children and adults alike.
- It’s a heartwarming story that encapsulates the essence of belief and magic.
- The illustrations are stunning, adding to the overall charm.
- It’s an ideal holiday book to read aloud during family gatherings.
Make ‘The Polar Express’ your Christmas read this year, and add it to your collection of best books.
“Skipping Christmas” by John Grisham
Following on from ‘The Polar Express’, you’ll find ‘Skipping Christmas’ by John Grisham, a brilliant change of pace for your Christmas reading list.
This book is a sharp detour from Grisham’s usual legal thrillers, offering a delightful holiday tale that book lovers will relish.
It’s one of the best Christmas books for adults who desire a lighthearted, yet thought-provoking read.
The narrative explores what happens when a couple decides to skip the usual Christmas festivities, triggering unforeseen consequences.
Grisham beautifully captures the magic of Christmas, imbuing the story with a sense of humor and irony that will have your book club chattering.
So, read right this Christmastime, and immerse yourself in the unconventional Christmas stories that ‘Skipping Christmas’ provides.
“Hercule Poirot’s Christmas” by Agatha Christie
Switching gears from the humor of Grisham, you’re in for a treat with ‘Hercule Poirot’s Christmas’ by Agatha Christie, a classic murder mystery set amidst the backdrop of festive celebrations.
This book is an ideal choice if you’re in the mood for a Christmas mystery that transports you to a Christmas past. Here’s why it’s one of the best books to read around Christmas:
- It’s a Christmas tradition in many households, combining excitement and nostalgia.
- The plot offers a unique Christmas for adults, steering clear from the typical romantic Christmas story.
- Christie’s skillful storytelling creates an immersive, detail-oriented experience.
- Hercule Poirot’s clever deductions keep you engrossed till the end.
Dive into this yuletide whodunit and experience a festive season like no other.
“The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey
Continuing with the theme of suspense and mystery, you’ll find a magical twist in ‘The Snow Child’ by Eowyn Ivey.
This tale is a perfect blend of romance and magical Christmas wonder, making it perfect to read at home for Christmas.
It’s not just one of the best Christmas books for kids, but also for adults craving a classic Christmas story.
Ivey masterfully crafts a tale revolving around a Christmas wish coming true in the most unexpected way.
The Snow Child offers a myriad of Christmas activities that you can enjoy, making it one of the best Christmas reads.
It beautifully encapsulates the spirit of one Christmas, making it a classic worth revisiting every year.
It’s indeed one of the best Christmas reads to add to your collection.
“Winter Solstice” by Rosamunde Pilcher
Diving into the realm of emotional depth, you’ll discover ‘Winter Solstice’ by Rosamunde Pilcher, a captivating tale that’s perfect for your Christmas reading list.
This cozy Christmas read, rich with the spirit of the annual Christmas celebration, takes you on a journey of love, loss, and redemption.
To fully enjoy this winter solstice narrative, consider these recommendations:
- Visit your local Christmas bookshop to grab a copy or order one online.
- Plan a read-aloud session with your family or friends around the holidays.
- Savor it as a read together book with your partner for a heartwarming experience.
- Curl up with this book for a personal, quiet reading time.
Make ‘Winter Solstice’ one of your best books to read this Christmas in 2023.
“The Christmas Train” by David Baldacci
If you’re seeking excitement this festive season, ‘The Christmas Train’ by David Baldacci should be next on your reading list, serving up a thrilling journey of suspense and holiday spirit.
Published in 2002, this book is one of the best books to read around Christmas.
The story centers around Tom Langdon, a man who hates Christmas, yet finds himself on a cross-country train trip during the days of Christmas.
Baldacci masterfully crafts Christmas scenes that transport you from the comfort of your home to bustling Christmas in London.
Every Christmas, readers return to this heartwarming tale, making it a beloved Christmas box staple.
“Last Christmas in Paris” by Hazel Gaynor
While you’re still under the spell of Baldacci’s enchanting train journey, let’s shift gears and transport you to the heart of World War I with ‘Last Christmas in Paris’ by Hazel Gaynor.
This Christmas tale stands apart in our list of Christmas books, evoking a Christmas without the usual cheer. Yet, it’s an essential addition to your classic Christmas books collection.
- ‘Last Christmas in Paris’ encapsulates the bitter-sweetness of another Christmas during wartime.
- It weaves a tale akin to ‘One Day in December’, but set amidst the tumult of World War I.
- It doesn’t indulge in Victorian Christmas ghost stories, yet its somber tone might remind you of the ‘Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost’.
- Hazel Gaynor’s gripping narrative style ensures you’re transported to that era, feeling every emotion with the characters.
This book, in essence, is a poignant reminder of love and resilience.
“The Christmas Box” by Richard Paul Evans
Next on your reading list should be ‘The Christmas Box’ by Richard Paul Evans.
This book, among the best to read around Christmas, masterfully weaves a tale that’s sure to become a cherished Christmas memory.
The story unfolds on the night before Christmas, around a family’s Christmas tree, providing a real-life Christmas experience that’s hard to beat.
Evans’ protagonist, a Christmas shopaholic, decides to take on a quest, leading to the discovery of the Christmas box.
The box, filled with letters, reveals a poignant history that will touch your heart and remind you of the true spirit of Christmas.
The narrative, rich with detail, is as captivating as it’s heartfelt, making ‘The Christmas Box’ a perfect addition to your Christmas reading list.
“Christmas on Bear Mountain” by Carl Barks
Although you’ve likely heard of Disney’s Scrooge McDuck, you might not know ‘Christmas on Bear Mountain’ by Carl Barks, the book where this iconic character makes his very first appearance.
It’s one of the best short Christmas stories that combines humor and holiday spirit.
In this tale:
- Scrooge is introduced as a grumpy old duck living in solitude, a character reminiscent of Redbird Christmas’ grumpy old man.
- The backdrop is a Christmastime adventure in the North Pole similar to Tolkien’s ‘Letters from Father Christmas’.
- It’s not a Hallmark Christmas story, but it has the warmth of one.
- The humor is reminiscent of a funny Christmas movie.
Consider ‘Christmas on Bear Mountain’ for your twelve dates of Christmas reading list. It’s a classic that deserves a place next to your tree.
“Christmas at Thompson Hall” by Anthony Trollope
Diving into ‘Christmas at Thompson Hall’ by Anthony Trollope, you’ll find yourself swept up in a Victorian-era holiday adventure that’s both charming and captivating.
In a similar vein to ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott and ‘The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories’, Trollope’s tale offers a unique blend of holiday cheer and intrigue.
Like the ‘Christmas Shoes’ offering a second chance, the story delivers unexpected twists akin to when the Grinch stole Christmas.
Trollope’s narrative style, reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle and Charles Dickens in his ‘Carol’, rings with Christmas bells.
This book, nestled among the four Christmas classics, offers a vibrant glimpse into Victorian Christmases past, proving that even the grimmest winter days can be warmed by the spirit of the holidays.
“The Christmas Sisters” by Sarah Morgan
Following your journey through the Victorian era with Trollope, you’ll find a more contemporary holiday experience in ‘The Christmas Sisters’ by Sarah Morgan.
Set in the cozy Scottish Highlands, much like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s narratives, this book weaves a heartwarming tale suitable for both adults and children.
In the book, you’ll discover:
- The power of familial ties and the joy they may earn
- A compelling plot set on the beautiful island of Mure
- The dynamic contrasts between the characters’ personalities
- The significance of reconciliation during the Christmas season
Morgan’s storytelling prowess, combined with her attention to detail, brings the characters and settings to life.
‘The Christmas Sisters’ is a delightful read that offers a modern twist to your traditional Christmas reading list.
“The Christmas Thief” by Mary Higgins Clark
If you’re looking for a thrilling twist to your Christmas reading, ‘The Christmas Thief’ by Mary Higgins Clark is a book you shouldn’t miss.
This festive mystery novel offers an intriguing plot, where the characters find themselves in the midst of an audacious theft and an unpredictable series of events.
Clark, renowned for her gripping storytelling, doesn’t disappoint in this yuletide tale. You’ll find yourself engrossed in the unfolding drama and the quest to unravel the truth.
The detailed character development and the vivid portrayal of the holiday season backdrop add depth to the narrative.
The book’s suspenseful undertones and relatable characters make it an engaging read.
‘The Christmas Thief’ is sure to add excitement to your holiday reading list.
“Visions of Sugar Plums” by Janet Evanovich
‘Visions of Sugar Plums’ by Janet Evanovich is another must-read you’ll want to add to your Christmas book collection.
It’s a charming blend of mystery, romance, and holiday spirit that effortlessly pulls you into its storyline. You’ll find it both delightful and engaging with its:
- Unique character development, especially the protagonist, Stephanie Plum
- Intriguing plot twists that keep you guessing
- Evanovich’s signature humor adding a festive touch
- Perfect balance of holiday cheer and suspense
A perfect read for the holiday season, this book will leave you with a warm, festive feeling.
The quirky characters, unexpected turns, and the author’s knack for weaving humor with suspense make ‘Visions of Sugar Plums’ a book you’ll find hard to put down.
“Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop” by Jenny Colgan
Continuing your festive reading journey, you’ll adore delving into ‘Christmas at Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop’ by Jenny Colgan, a heartwarming tale that captures the essence of a traditional English Christmas.
Set in an idyllic village, the storyline weaves together the sweetness of candy-making and the enchantment of holiday cheer.
Rosie Hopkins, the protagonist, finds herself facing unexpected challenges and discovering the true meaning of Christmas.
You’ll appreciate the captivating narrative style, infused with wit and charm.
Colgan’s vivid descriptions of the snowy landscapes, twinkling lights, and delicious treats in the shop transport you right into the heart of the festive season.
This book is an excellent choice if you’re seeking a cozy, uplifting Christmas read. You’ll find it hard to put down, and it’s sure to warm your heart.
“A Redbird Christmas” by Fannie Flagg
Next on your Christmas reading list should be ‘A Redbird Christmas’ by Fannie Flagg, a novel that’s sure to touch your heart with its timeless holiday spirit.
This book is a delightful blend of Southern charm and Christmas magic that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
It’s an enchanting story of hope and healing in a small Alabama town, revolving around Oswald, a man with limited time and a cardinal named Jack.
To fully appreciate this book, remember to:
- Immerse yourself in the richly detailed setting
- Embrace the quirky, lovable characters
- Relish in the heartwarming, surprising plot twists
- Savor the underlying message of love and second chances
This is a book that celebrates life’s simple pleasures and the joy of the holiday season.
“The Christmas Mystery” by Jostein Gaarder
You’ll find another perfect read for the holiday season in ‘The Christmas Mystery’ by Jostein Gaarder.
This Norweigan novel is a heartwarming tale that interweaves history, religion, and folklore into a captivating Christmas narrative.
The story unravels as a daily advent calendar, revealing a piece of the mystery each day leading to Christmas.
You’ll follow the main character, Joachim, on an intriguing journey back in time, tracing the path of a young girl named Elisabet who mysteriously disappears on Christmas Eve.
Gaarder’s narrative style is compelling, perfectly capturing the Christmas spirit.
His detailed descriptions and intricate plot twists will keep you engaged until the very end.
“The Christmas Wedding” by James Patterson
Looking for a less conventional but equally captivating Christmas read? Try James Patterson’s ‘The Christmas Wedding’.
This novel offers a unique blend of suspense, romance, and holiday spirit, with a narrative that keeps you on your toes.
To fully appreciate the book, remember the following:
- The protagonist, Gaby, isn’t your typical Christmas story character. She’s resilient, complex, and full of surprises.
- Pay close attention to the relationships. They’re intricate and add depth to the narrative.
- Patterson’s writing style is concise, yet rich with details. Savor it.
- The plot twists are unexpected. They’ll keep you guessing till the end.
“The Christmas Chronicles” by Nigel Slater
Often, you’re seeking a book that intertwines food, festivities, and heartwarming stories during the holiday season, and that’s where ‘The Christmas Chronicles’ by Nigel Slater comes in.
Slater, a renowned food writer, captures the essence of the holiday season through his personal, deeply nostalgic stories.
The book doesn’t just contain recipes—it’s filled with rich narratives, reminiscences of Christmas past, and a deep love for winter.
Slater’s writing is evocative, making you feel the chill in the air and smell the aroma of roasting chestnuts.
His reflections on the meaning of the season are equally thought-provoking.
This book isn’t merely a cookbook, but a diary of the season, a heartfelt chronicle. It’s perfect for those who appreciate the sentimental and culinary aspects of Christmas.
“The Autobiography of Santa Claus” by Jeff Guinn
Next up, you’ll frequently find ‘The Autobiography of Santa Claus’ by Jeff Guinn on many holiday reading lists.
This book is a delightful mix of fantasy and history, offering a unique perspective on Santa’s life.
To better appreciate this book:
- Acknowledge its mix of factual history and holiday magic. It beautifully intertwines historical events with the enchantment of the North Pole.
- Note the ethical lessons throughout the book. They underline the spirit of Christmas.
- Observe how the novel humanizes Santa, making him relatable.
- Pay attention to the author’s unique storytelling style. It’s engaging and allows for a fun, captivating read.
“Christmas Pudding” by Nancy Mitford
Diving into ‘Christmas Pudding’ by Nancy Mitford, you’ll find a whole different flavor of holiday cheer to savor.
Mitford’s keen wit and sharp observations shine through in this classic novel, making it a must-read during the festive season.
The book’s charm lies in its vivid portrayal of English high society during the holidays, interlaced with humor and satire.
It’s a delightful mix of traditional British customs, eccentric characters, and unexpected twists.
The protagonist’s struggle to find meaning amidst the frivolity of Christmas offers a poignant reflection on the holiday’s true spirit.
Overall, ‘Christmas Pudding’ is a literary treat that stimulates thought while enveloping you in the warmth of Christmas.
It’s an engaging read that’s sure to add a dash of spice to your holiday reading list.
“The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley” by Hannah Tinti
Switching gears from the traditional Christmas narrative, ‘The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley’ by Hannah Tinti offers you a thrilling literary adventure that’s perfect for cozy winter evenings.
This novel is a unique blend of suspense, family drama, and beautiful storytelling.
To help you delve deeper into the novel, here are some points to consider:
- The character development is extraordinary, with each of Samuel’s lives unraveling a new aspect of his intricate personality.
- Tinti’s writing style is immersive, pulling you into the heart of the action.
- The narrative structure, oscillating between past and present, increases the suspense and keeps you turning the pages.
- The themes of love, sacrifice, and redemption make it a perfect read for the holiday season.
In all, it’s an enthralling read that’ll keep your Christmas spirits high.
“The Man Who Invented Christmas” by Les Standiford
For your second holiday read, ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’ by Les Standiford is a must-have.
This historical narrative skillfully intertwines Dickens’ personal story with the development of his timeless classic.
Standiford paints a vivid portrait of Dickens, struggling with debt and a fading career, drawing on personal hardship to craft a tale that would redefine Christmas.
You’ll appreciate Standiford’s meticulous research, drawing from primary sources to give a detailed account of Victorian London and the publishing industry’s workings.
It’s a fascinating exploration of how a desperate gamble transformed into a cherished holiday tradition.
This book will enhance your understanding of Dickens’ masterpiece and its enduring influence on Christmas celebrations.
“The Christmas Train” by Rexanne Becnel
After soaking up the historical insights in ‘The Man Who Invented Christmas’, hop on ‘The Christmas Train’ by Rexanne Becnel for a heartwarming, festive journey.
Becnel’s novel is a delightful Christmas read that successfully blends romance, mystery, and holiday cheer.
Her descriptive writing style paints vivid images that allow you to fully immerse yourself in the story.
- You’ll appreciate the intricate character development.
- Her detailed descriptions of holiday traditions will spark your Christmas spirit.
- The suspense-filled plot keeps you engaged.
- The heartfelt ending provides a satisfying conclusion.
In ‘The Christmas Train’, Becnel combines the magic of Christmas with the thrill of a captivating story. It’s a novel that’s worth adding to your Christmas reading list.
“A Christmas Memory” by Truman Capote
Diving from the suspenseful journey on ‘The Christmas Train’, you’ll find yourself drawn into the poignant world of ‘A Christmas Memory’ by Truman Capote.
This semi-autobiographical novella, set in the 1930s, is a heartwarming narrative of a young boy and his elderly cousin sharing simple, yet profound, holiday traditions.
Capote’s elegant prose captures the essence of the season, evoking nostalgia with each turn of the page.
The relationship between the characters is portrayed with a depth that touches the soul.
The book’s underlying theme of love and loss resonates universally, making it a timeless holiday read.
You’ll appreciate the intricate details, subtle symbolism, and the raw emotions Capote masterfully expresses, leaving you with a lingering sense of warmth and reflection.
“Home for Christmas” by Courtney Cole
“Home for Christmas” by Courtney Cole is a heartwarming novel that perfectly captures the essence of the holiday season.
This enchanting story revolves around the magic of Christmas, family bonds, and the healing power of love.
As the characters navigate the challenges and joys of the festive season, Cole weaves a tale that resonates with warmth, hope, and the spirit of coming together.
The novel explores the complexities of relationships, forgiveness, and the transformative nature of the holidays.
With a backdrop of cozy winter settings and a beautifully crafted narrative, “Home for Christmas” is a delightful addition to the list of must-read books for the Christmas season.
Cole’s storytelling skill brings to life the magic of the holidays, making this novel a perfect companion for readers seeking a heartwarming and uplifting Christmas read in 2023.
“One Day in December” by Josie Silver
“One Day in December” by Josie Silver is a heartwarming and enchanting novel that seamlessly weaves together the magic of Christmas with the complexities of love and fate.
Set against the backdrop of the festive season, the story unfolds with Laurie. Laurie experiences love at first sight through the misty window of a bus one day in December.
The novel takes readers on a journey spanning a decade, exploring the intertwining lives of Laurie, Jack, and their friends, capturing the essence of holiday romance, friendship, and the transformative power of the Christmas spirit.
Silver’s writing skillfully captures the warmth and nostalgia of the season, making “One Day in December” a perfect addition to the list of must-read books for the Christmas season in 2023.
“Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Jenny Bayliss
“Twelve Dates of Christmas” by Jenny Bayliss is a delightful festive read that adds a sprinkle of romance and charm to the holiday season.
Set in a picturesque English village, the novel follows the endearing character of Kate Turner.
Kate finds herself reluctantly participating in the village’s annual advent calendar event featuring twelve blind dates.
As the days unfold, so does a heartwarming and enchanting tale of love, community, and self-discovery.
Bayliss infuses the narrative with a perfect blend of humor, Christmas magic, and a dash of unexpected twists, making “Twelve Dates of Christmas” a delightful addition to your Christmas reading list.
With its cozy setting and endearing characters, this novel captures the essence of the season and is sure to leave readers with a warm and festive glow.
“Letters From Father Christmas” by J.R.R Tolkien
“Letters from Father Christmas” by J.R.R. Tolkien is a timeless and enchanting collection that offers readers a glimpse into the magical world of the North Pole as envisioned by the legendary author.
This novel is compiled from the letters Tolkien wrote to his children over a span of more than 20 years.
This charming book brings to life the character of Father Christmas and his adventures in the snowy realms of the North.
Each letter is adorned with intricate illustrations and captures the whimsy of the season.
And filled with tales of mischievous polar bears, friendly elves, and the timeless spirit of generosity.
This delightful compilation is a perfect read for the Christmas season, offering a unique and imaginative journey into the festive magic crafted by one of the greatest storytellers of our time.
“Letters from Father Christmas” is not just a book! It’s a treasured holiday tradition that continues to captivate readers of all ages, making it a must-read for Christmas.
“The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories” by Florence Marryat and Adeline Sergeant
“The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories,” curated by Florence Marryat and Adeline Sergeant, offers a captivating journey into the darker, mysterious side of the festive season.
This anthology brings together a collection of chilling tales from the Victorian era, where the ghost story tradition flourished.
Marryat and Sergeant carefully selected stories that evoke the atmospheric and supernatural elements of Christmas, capturing the essence of a bygone era.
Readers are transported to a time when the holiday season was not only a time of celebration but also a period when the veil between the living and the spectral seemed to thin.
Each tale is a masterfully crafted piece that combines the warmth of Christmas with the shivers of the supernatural.
This makes it a perfect choice for those who seek a unique blend of nostalgia and spine-tingling suspense during the holiday season.
“Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva
“Mr. Dickens and His Carol” by Samantha Silva is a literary gem that invites readers into the captivating world of Charles Dickens during the festive season.
This imaginative novel follows the iconic author as he grapples with writer’s block and financial troubles, striving to pen a Christmas story that will revive his career.
Silva beautifully weaves together historical facts with a touch of fiction.
She creates a compelling narrative that explores the creative process behind the timeless classic, “A Christmas Carol.”
As readers accompany Dickens through the streets of Victorian London, they witness the transformation of a weary and disillusioned writer into the spirited storyteller who gifted the world one of the most beloved Christmas tales.
With a perfect blend of wit, charm, and holiday spirit, “Mr. Dickens and His Carol” is a delightful addition to the Christmas reading list for 2023.
It offers a fresh perspective on the origins of a literary masterpiece that continues to warm hearts around the world.
“Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury” by Louisa May Alcott
“Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury” is a literary gift that allows readers to experience the magic of the holiday season through the enchanting words of the beloved author of “Little Women.”
This festive anthology is a treasure trove of Alcott’s heartwarming and timeless Christmas stories. It captures the spirit of generosity, love, and familial warmth.
Alcott’s narratives, filled with charming characters and vivid descriptions, transport readers to a bygone era, where the true meaning of Christmas shines brightly.
Whether it’s the tale of the mysterious ‘A Christmas Dream, and How It Came True’ or the delightful ‘A Merry Christmas,’ Alcott’s stories resonate with the joy and goodwill that define the holiday season.
“Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury” is a perfect addition to the Christmas reading list for 2023. It offers a nostalgic and uplifting journey into the festive world crafted by one of literature’s most celebrated authors.
Choosing the the Perfect Classic Christmas Book
In wrapping up, you’ll find these books to be the perfect companions for your festive season. They encapsulate the spirit of Christmas, from Dickens’ timeless morality tale to Allsburg’s magical journey.
Whether you prefer Grisham’s humorous take or Christie’s thrilling mystery, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget Ivey’s enchanting winter tale and Tinti’s intriguing narrative.
Standiford’s historical account, Becnel’s romantic journey, and Capote’s nostalgic memory add unique notes to your reading list.
Whether the book you choose was published in 1956 or if it was a 1985 book or even a brand new publication, the book you choose will set the mood for Christmas this season!
Enjoy these Yuletide reads in 2023!
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