Have Yourself a Cozy Little Holiday

November 3, 2022
Have Yourself a Cozy Little Holiday

By AnnCox, MLS, Collection Development Librarian II

The holidays aren’t quite upon us yet, but the time to get your collection ready for the influx of requests for books surrounding Christmas, Hannukah, and other winter holidays is here! And when I think of holiday books, I usually think of cozy reads and topics that can help me slow down, wrap up in warmth, and enjoy the peace of the season. Thankfully, plenty of authors agree with me, so whether your patrons are looking for books on holiday history, cooking, crafting, or just a fun novel to read, we’ve got you covered.

I really love learning about the history of holidays and how they’re celebrated around the world, so a title like The Atlas of Christmas: The Merriest, Tastiest, Quirkiest Holiday Traditions from Around the World by Alex Palmer is perfect for my fireside reading. There’s the music festival of Junkanoo in the Bahamas, the traditional bucket of KFC in Japan, and Jólabókaflóðið, the “flood of books” that overtakes Iceland before Christmas before people settle in with a gifted book and chocolate on Christmas Eve. (They’re living the dream!) Readers interested in older winter traditions should check out Yule: Rituals, Recipes, & Lore for the Winter Solstice by Susan Pesznecker. Complete with instructions for the holiday’s rituals, it celebrates the promise of light that the solstice brings. Of course, food is arguably the most important piece of any holiday, and Jewish Holiday Cooking: More Than 200 Delicious Recipes for Celebrating includes a roundup of the dishes you’ll want for your Hannukah table, from a variety of international Jewish traditions.  

I’ve spent several Christmases in Denmark, so for me, Scandinavian Christmas and winter is the ultimate in coziness. (In fact, I love it so much that I made an entire list of titles about it.) I mean, the land of hygge can’t be wrong: if you want to bundle up and celebrate the quiet warmth of the season, look no further than Scandinavia and the other Nordic countries for inspiration. For the crafters, Kristin Drysdale’s The Nordic Knitting Primer: A Step-by-Step Guide to Scandinavian Colorwork includes everything you need to learn traditional patterns that you can make – and wear! - while getting cozy this winter. You’ll need a nice mug of glögg (mulled wine) and some æbleskiver (a spherical pancake served with jam and powdered sugar), both of which you can learn to make in Scandikitchen Christmas: Recipes and Traditions from Scandinavia by Brontë Aurell. Of course, a roaring fire is essential, so learn how to create it the best way possible through Lars Mytting’s Norwegian Wood: Chopping, Stacking, and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way. Even if I can’t be in Denmark every year, it’s easy to imagine myself there with so many books that celebrate the hyggeligste time of year.

There are a slew of holiday- and winter-themed novels and short stories to enjoy if you want to delve into seasonal fiction. Sonya Lalli’s A Holly Jolly Diwali is a charming romance centered around the Indian Festival of Lights, which takes place in autumn. The Matzah Ball by Jean Melzter is another holiday romance about a Jewish woman who hides a secret career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. For mystery lovers, Blackmail and Bibinka is the next volume in Mia P. Manasala’s delightful series about a Filipino coffee shop owner and the restaurant run by her aunties. This book is centered around Christmas in their small Illinois town. Christmas is well represented in relationship fiction, and my personal favorites come from Scottish author Jenny Colgan. Christmas at the Cupcake Café or Christmas on the Island are both great choices. And proving that there’s something for everyone, Lucky Girl by M. Rickert is a horror novella that features everyone’s favorite Christmas terror: Krampus.

I hope that no matter what you celebrate, your holiday season can reach peak levels of coziness with the help of the books I’ve suggested. You can find many more titles for your holiday collections in our Winter Holidays - Crafting, Cooking, Celebrating, Christmas Fiction, or the Scandinavian Christmas list linked above. May your holidays be merry and bright!

Have Yourself a Cozy Little Holiday

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