5 Holiday Reads
Whether you’re traveling or sitting home by the fire, incorporate a heartwarming holiday story into your traditions this season.
A Cherry Cola Christmas
by Ashton Lee
Christmas is coming to the small town of Cherico, Mississippi. Unfortunately, so has hard times and as the holidays approach, Cherico’s economy is struggling. Beloved local stores have closed, many jobs have been lost, and there’s even a mysterious crime spree afoot. Amid the gloom, local librarian Maura Beth Mayhew decides what the community needs is a healthy dose of Christmas cheer, which means a special meeting of the Cherry Cola Book Club. In an effort to get the townspeople’s spirits up, newlywed Maura Beth invites the town to a potluck to share food — and their most uplifting stories. Read a guest post from Ashton Lee about his family’s holiday tradition here.
A Christmas Memory
by Truman Capote
A holiday classic, this short story is a mostly autobiographical story of a 7-year-old narrator Buddy and an elderly woman who is his distant cousin and best friend. Focusing on country life during the Christmas season, the story is based on Capote’s own Alabama childhood and his aunt Sook who helped raise him. Buddy and his friend collect pecans and buy whiskey to make Sook’s famous fruitcakes, decorate the tree and exchange presents.
by Mary Kay Andrews
Christmas is coming, but Savannah antique dealer Weezie Foley is doubly distracted — both by her upcoming wedding to her longtime love, Chef Daniel Stipanek, and also by the fact that her best friend and maid-of-honor BeBe Loudermilk is due to give birth any day — and is still adamantly refusing to marry her live-in-love Harry. Readers have come to love these characters in Mary Kay Andrews’ three previous Savannah novels: Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze and Blue Christmas.
The Christmas Letters
by Lee Smith
In The Christmas Letters, three generations of women reveal their stories of love and marriage in the letters they write to family and friends during the holidays.”Because every Christmas letter is the story of a life, and what story can be more interesting than the story of our lives?” asks Lee Smith. “Often, it is the story of an entire family. But you also have to read between the lines with Christmas letters. Sometimes, what is not said is even more important than what is on the page.” Participate in Southern Lit Lovers group read of this book here.
The Gift of the Magi
William Sydney Porter’s — or O. Henry as he’s better known — classic short story about a young married couple buying buying Christmas gifts for each other contains an important moral lesson about gift giving. As Jim and Della struggle to find presents with only $1.87 to spend, they each give up something important to them and learn how priceless their love really is.