One of my favorite parts of decorating the house for Christmas as a child was pulling out the stacks of Christmas books we kept with the ornaments. The tales of Clement C. Moore, The Grinch, and Rudolph brought extra joy because they only came out once a year. Here are my favorite titles from Algonquin (and the Workman family) which are best enjoyed now, while carefully decorated Santa sugar cookies and short stories about Christmas dinners gone awry are most appreciated.
Christmas in the South & A Dixie Christmas: Stories set in the heart of the holiday season, from the South’s best writers, including Rick Bass, Ellen Gilchrist, Lynne Barrett, Clyde Edgerton, and more. These two volumes from Algonquin go perfectly with a cup of eggnog and a warm fire.
How to Spell Chanukah: Essays by 18 Jewish writers who extol, excoriate, and expand our understanding of this most merry of Jewish holidays. This little book proves there are as many ways to celebrate Chanukah as there are ways to spell it!
Cookie Craft Christmas: Packed with more than 60 new Christmas cookie designs to brighten up any holiday table. Full-page close-up photography, detailed decorating instructions, and plenty of recipes make this handy little sourcebook a must have for all of your holiday baking.
Christmas Sing-A-Long Car-I-Oke: Its caroling for the car! Complete with 4 sets of lyrics and an enclosed CD to keep everyone caroling in tune. Don’t go over the river and through the snow without it.
NPR Holiday Favorites: If caroling isn’t for you, then take these two disks from NPR, filled with favorite radio moments from the holidays, including David Sedaris’ now classic “Santaland Diaries,” his account of playing Santa’s little helper at Macy’s in New York.