Although I don’t celebrate any holiday as a person of faith, I am prone to saying, “Merry Christmas!” in a Santa-Clause, buying-presents, gawking-at-lawn-decorations kind of way. Everyone wants to get into the holiday spirit, even if that feeling is tied more to a season than a holiday. This got me thinking: what is my favorite winter-season novel?
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen is one of the most wintry books I’ve ever read. It opens with Josey thankful that it’s getting frosty outside. And, the protagonist’s house reeks of peppermint year-round, as her mother puts it on the windowsills. Granted, the smell is a superstitious way to keep out “unwanteds,” but still. Minty.
Josey has a lucky red sweater — how seasonal! I imagine a cute green hat, or maybe some green corduroy pants, too, to compliment the lucky top. Josey is a wealthy girl whose now-deceased father made their North Carolina town prosperous by setting up a ski resort, so you get winter activities. Hooray!
She can also sense when the mail carrier is coming, a man named Adam whom Josey has loved (the book says loved, not crushed on) for three years. One of those wonderful wintry novels that aren’t sappy — perfect for the season as you feel like whipping up so hot cocoa and diving under the knitted blankets.
….But what if you’re feeling ho-ho-horrible?
Why, then, some good old-fashioned Christmas-themed horror will cheer you up! You know little Elf on the Shelf people are so wild about? Well, what if it came alive and murdered your children? Santa’s Little Helper by H.D. Gordon has all the makings of a festive novel: the trees are trimmed, the gifts are wrapped, the snow is cold, and the children are hiding in their beds.
When Gordon imitated the sounds of an elf doll’s plastic feet heading toward a child in the dark (Click. Tink! Click. Tink! Clicktink! clicktink!), she scared me! Like a cross between Chucky walkin’ in a winter wonderland and Freddy Kruger decking the halls, these kids are having a blue (blue blue blue) Christmas.
You thought this was just going to be a cheery post, didn’t you. Well, if you’ve got a penchant for horror in the middle of December, check out Santa’s Little Helper.
What is your favorite seasonal read & why?