So this post is going to go off on a tangent for a minute. Stay with me.
I don’t like a lot of sentimental crap. I’m not into rom-coms really, and I don’t like romance novels. I don’t know why I’m not into this stuff, but it actually annoys me. I find myself being like “This is so fake. This wouldn’t happen. Why don’t you just talk to each other like adults?”
It’s for this reason that I don’t like 90% of contemporary Christmas books and movies. They’re just so cheesy. I mean, think about the stuff that comes out on Netflix, like The Christmas Prince. Ugh. I made it about three minutes into that movie before I wanted to vomit. Don’t even get me started on Lifetime, or the Hallmark channel. I know there’s a market for this crap, but come on. Where’s the stuff for the rest of us? And the books aren’t any different.
As a result, my favorite Christmas books are from the Victorian era:
A Christmas Carol
I’ve mentioned that the Muppet version of this story is my favorite Christmas movie, but it’s also my all-time favorite Christmas story. I read it almost every year around Christmas, and with each reading, I discover something new I love about it. Sure, there’s a moral and some sentimentality, but there’s a big difference between British sentimentality in 1843 and American sentimentality now.
I know this isn’t specifically a Christmas story, but so many of the major events in the March girls’ lives happen at Christmas, so I end up reading it at this time of year. Again, there are morals and sentimentality, but it’s not beating the reader over the head.
I think part of the reason I identify with Victorian literature so much is that there’s an element of the paranormal in so many of their Christmas stories. I didn’t think about it much until I stumbled on this story about the old tradition of telling ghost stories. Huh. Well, that makes a lot of sense. I love LOOOOOVE ghost stories and anything creepy or paranormal. It’s part of the reason I love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and why I obsessively and exclusively watch creepy things from Labor Day until Thanksgiving. Hell, most of the things in my Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc. queues are creepy stories. So I’m totally on board with bringing back this tradition. I’ll even go first…
Just kidding. What are some of your favorite Christmas books? How do you feel about the cheese factor in modern Christmas books?