Around Christmas I love cosy evenings reading Christmas themed books, watching Christmas themed films, listening to and singing Christmas songs, trying out new turkey recipes, and sharing cosy and fun times with family and friends.
My favourite activity is rereading or relistening to some of my favourite Christmas themed novels, like the three novels I’d like to share with you today.
I use Dickens’ marvellous story to remind myself and my grandchildren that it is a time to rejoice, share goodwill, reassess the year that has passed, plan for the year that is about to begin, and realise that we have the power to improve our lives and the lives of others, if we take action in the present moment. Scrooge’s journey into his past, present and future in A Christmas Carol show the reader how both our past and our future converge and are ultimately controlled by our present thoughts and actions.
The ghosts teach Scrooge a unique and mind-blowing lesson: our thoughts and actions in this present moment have the power to change our past as well as our future. I encourage you to read or reread A Christmas Carol around this time of year, on your own, or with your children or grandchildren, because it reminds us to be compassionate and understanding with ourselves and others who are less fortunate, to reassess our past, consider our future, and take action in the present. It also reminds us Christmas is a time to enjoy ourselves, decorate our homes, eat, drink and be merry, value the people in our lives and show them our appreciation and love by sending cards, messages or gifts, or spending time together if we can.
My next favourite Christmas novel is Mr Dickens and his Carol by Samantha Silva.
I loved every single minute of this novel. I read both the kindle and audio version, which was brilliantly read by Euan Morton. You can read this novel at any time of the year, but I’m really glad I read it around Christmas, which is when I always reread A Christmas Carol.
Mr Dickens and his Carol is a fictional account of the circumstances and events which led Charles Dickens to write the novella, A Christmas Carol. I’m not sure how much of the story line is real or fictional, but it doesn’t matter, because the story is so beautifully written, and the plot so brilliantly unfolded that as a reader I was convinced it certainly could have occurred in the ‘magical’ way the author narrates.
It is not a sentimental story, although there are, as with Dickens’ work, some sentimental aspects, which were naturally and elegantly woven into the story. I’ll be rereading, or relistening to it again next Christmas. It’s a real treat, especially for this time of year! And for readers who love historical fiction.
My Third favourite Christmas novel is a romantic novella by Mimi Matthews, A Holiday by Gaslight.
A Holiday by Gaslight is a Victorian Christmas Novella which masterfully transports readers to 19th century England.
It deals with the courtship of the Sophie Appersett who comes from an upper class, but financially ruined, family, and Edward Sharpe, A London merchant, who wishes to improve his social prospects by marrying up, or so it would seem initially. Sophie is not prepared to marry for purely financial reasons, in spite of her father’s insistence, and breaks off the engagement. Both families spend the Christmas Holidays together in a final attempt to seal the match, with surprising consequences.
I loved the way Victorian society and values were cleverly exposed. Women, who were legally and emotionally trapped between their father sand their husbands, were fighting for a small meausre of autonomy, in a strict and uncompromising patriarchal society. The atmosphere of London and the country mansion was also well captured and portrayed.
A sweet Victorian romance with a happy ending, because Christmas is also a time to remember that love can overcome (almost) all adversity.
Which are your favourite Christmas themed novels? Let me know in the comments!