Are you in need of a boost as we officially head into the holiday season? From decorating the house and shopping for gifts to attending parties and traveling to visit family and friends, there are lots of activities to cross off the list. In the hustle and bustle of everything, be sure to gift yourself a little escape... through reading.
You can still get your fill of the holidays by stocking up on these picks from our staff, which were also featured in the November/December issue of Columbia Living Magazine.
My Heart Fills with Happiness by Monique Gray Smith
Recommended by Heather McCue
The December holidays get a lot of attention, but truth be told, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. It is a perfect time for reconnecting with old traditions and starting new ones. Reading aloud is an easy tradition to begin - all you need is a good book and time. For this Thanksgiving, I recommend “My Heart Fills with Happiness.” Filled with beautiful illustrations, the poetic language of the text emphasizes an appreciation for simple things. After sharing this book, invite adults and children alike to share what makes their hearts fill with happiness. I have no doubt this new tradition and this lovely story will make your heart fill with happiness, too.
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Recommended by Sarah Cameron
Need a dose of humor this holiday season? Look no further than Christopher Moore’s wickedly funny holiday thrill ride, “The Stupidest Angel.” This self-proclaimed “heartwarming tale of Christmas terror” takes readers on a wild adventure as Raziel, the woefully inept titular angel, attempts to perform a Christmas miracle for young Joshua Barker. Raziel’s miracle leads to a Christmas unlike any Pine Cove has ever seen, full of zombies, talking fruit bats, and one washed up Warrior Babe. Readers familiar with Moore’s work will recognize several characters from his other books, as well as the weird little town of Pine Cove, though it isn’t necessary to have read them to enjoy the over-the-top silliness of “The Stupidest Angel.”
Recommended by Lisa Gieskes
Ever wonder why people do what they do during the holidays? If you celebrate Christmas, then this is the book for you. It tells you the history of and the reasons behind Christmas traditions - like why people hang wreaths or why people write Xmas. It even gives you instructions on how to make your own wreath. It is perfect for sharing around the table with your family as it will encourage lively discussion. It will help keep traditions alive as well as create new traditions. This book is available in both print and digital formats.
Christmas Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Recommended by Rebecca Kelley
Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is back, and she’s hosting Christmas for the first time! During the hectic holiday season, Becky has to deal with her parents moving to a trendy new neighborhood, a rock star ex-boyfriend suddenly showing up with an overbearing new girlfriend, and her sister behaving strangely. Can she keep up with the ever-growing list of demands from her friends and family, track down the must-have ornament of the year, and find her husband the perfect gift? If anyone can save Christmas, Becky can! Christmas Shopaholic is a fun, festive, laugh-out-loud addition to the Shopaholic series, and it will leave fans eager for Becky’s next adventure.
A Treasury of Jewish Holiday Baking by Marcy Golman
Recommended by Sarah McBride
Follow the calendar of Jewish holidays through baked goods in this informative and beautiful book as it explores both traditional and modern Jewish baking recipes and techniques. Goldman’s no-nonsense delivery and clear instructions will have you turning out perfect challah in no time! The Majestic and Moist New Year's Honey Cake is rumored to be worth the price of the book alone, whether you make it for Rosh Hashanah or as an everyday treat. This is the tenth anniversary edition of the classic cookbook, fully updated with new photos and a chapter of new recipes.