Missing the Holiday Season? Five Must-Read Poems & Books to Take You Back

By Mara Cobb, Fiction Editor


As the fiction editor of Tributaries, and as an English major, there is nothing that I like better than settling down in the winter with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book. For me, Christmas books and poems, though, rise above the rest of my reading list each November and December. Here, I’ve compiled a list of five of my favorite Christmas stories and poems. There’s something for everyone’s literary taste here. So, grab that blanket and your favorite cocoa mug and settle in for a long winter’s read!


  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

This classic book has been one of my favorites since I first discovered it at only nine-years-old. While it’s not strictly a Christmas book, the beginning of the book is set around Christmas time. The characters and the relationships between them are so intriguing that you’ll want to keep reading to follow the March sisters and Laurie throughout their young adult years.

  1. My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff

Good YA books aren’t just for teenagers. Even young adults (and more seasoned adults!) will enjoy the sweet romance and friendships that blossom surrounding a Secret Santa gift exchange. Petroff’s main character, Charlie, has a huge crush on the oh-so-perfect Teo Ortiz. His annoying, always-late cousin, J.D.? Not so much…but J.D. might be Charlie’s way to get closer to Teo. Readers will feel like they’re caroling, decorating the tree, and baking cookies right along with Charlie, Teo, and J.D.

  1. December 26 by Kenn Nesbitt

December 25 is probably the most exciting day of the year, especially when you’re a kid. But December 26 can be a big letdown, as we see in Nesbitt’s poem. Experience the day through the eyes of a child who creates a list of items that Santa must have forgotten to give him.

  1. Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas

You actually can’t go wrong with any of the Chicken Soup for the Soul holiday books! Each book features a collection of short stories and poems from authors all across the globe. You’ll laugh as you read about underbaked turkeys and Grinchy mothers-in-law and you’ll cry as you read reflections of last holidays with family pets and accounts of first Christmases without loved ones. With 101 stories and poems in each book, all ages will find pieces they enjoy.

  1. What Light by Jay Asher

You probably recognize Jay Asher as the author of Thirteen Reasons Why, but you might be surprised to know that he also wrote an emotional Christmas book with high schooler Sierra as the main character. Each year, Sierra’s family spends their holiday season living out of state, selling Christmas trees. When Sierra meets Caleb, she thinks she might be falling for him…until she learns of a secret from his past that has her rethinking everything she thought she knew. I make this a yearly December read, because it’s definitely worth reading more than once!

Bonus: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

I’m almost embarrassed to admit that Dickens’ classic book has never made it to the top of my TBR list. This year, I’ve picked it up for the first time and have quickly sped through the first half. The character of Ebenezer Scrooge comes alive through Dickens’ dialogue and descriptions. If you’ve ever enjoyed seeing a play or movie based off of A Christmas Carol, reading the book itself is a must! I know I’ll be finishing it over winter break.


From all of us at Tributaries, have a safe and happy New Year!

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