Recommendations staff favorites

Festive Reads to Help You Enjoy the Holidays!

by Public Service Associate Juliana

Shorter days make me nostalgic for the winter evenings I sat on a low stool, my back warm in front of a fire that my mother built with logs my father stacked all summer. We’d decorate the tree after Thanksgiving with multicolored lights, salt dough angels and crocheted snowflakes. 

The further I move away from childhood, the more I crave holiday rituals, to commemorate the traditions I grew up with while creating new ones to carry forth with the younger generation. Gingerbread houses, cookie baking, plaid pajamas.

It’s easy to get overwhelmed and preemptively exhausted even, trying to be so intentional and thoughtful about the holidays. When I start to feel that way, I turn to my favorite resources. The Little Library Year by Kate Young, Celebrate by Pippa Middleton, and Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year by Beth Kempton. I let the order and grace within the pages remind me to slow down, to savor, enjoy and let it be cozy. I let the words, photos and ideas inspire me.

  • The Little Library Year: Recipes and Reading to Suit Each Season by Kate Young | book
  • Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends by Pippa Middleton | book
  • Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy by Beth Kempton | book

Wouldn’t it be fun to entice reindeer with a mixture of oats and glitter on the garden path? Or to schedule a holiday movie night? Or plan a menu inspired by books? There’s no one way to celebrate. Beth Kempton suggests making a list of what you actually enjoy about the holidays and prioritizing those things.

My favorite tradition of the past few years has been to wake before everyone else, sneak downstairs in my slippers, sip a peppermint mocha and read my way into Christmas morning.