Baby It’s Cold Outside…So Stay In With A Good Book

Choose one of the many lovely holiday books—or all—to read during the winter break

Baby It’s Cold Outside…So Stay In With A Good Book
Gaelle Gilles

With winter break just days away, many students will be wondering what they’ll be doing during the university’s month long break. While several students will be going on vacation, and others will start winter classes just a day after New Year’s, countless students will be sitting at home looking for things to occupy their free time. But, there is a solution to this madness . . . and the solution is as easy as picking up a book. Below are five classic holiday reads and five new releases that will keep many students on their toes during the winter break.

Five Popular Holiday Reads

  • The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore: The 32 page-long poem is about the night before Christmas. A father awakens in the middle of the night to the sound of Santa Claus, also known as St. Nicholas, coming down his chimney to put toys under the Christmas tree for his children.  St. Nicholas leaves the house without realizing the father is watching, and on his way out he says his comforting lines “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”

  •  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol is a book written in the 1800s about a bitter old man named Ebeneezer Scrooge who dislikes Christmas. Throughout the book, he learns—from people of his past, present and future—about kindness and goodwill, eventually coming to like Christmas. 

  • One Candle by Eve Bunting: This book is about a family who begins a yearly tradition of storytelling in celebration of Hanukkah. Each year after the holiday dinner, the grandmother and great-aunt would tell the story of how their family celebrated Hanukkah during the Holocaust to their children and grandchildren. The story is passed down from generation to generation.

  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg: This children’s story is about a little boy who very much believes in Santa Clause. The night of Christmas Eve, the little boy stays awake to listen to the sound of the bells on the sleigh of Santa Clause. However, the boy unexpectedly hears the sound of a train, a train that he is invited to board. The train then takes him and several other children to the North Pole where they are granted one early Christmas gift.   

  • The Grinch Who Stole Christmas by Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel: Another classic holiday book about the Grinch—a character who openly hates Christmas—who just so happens to live north of a Christmas-crazed town known as Whoville. By the end of this touching book, the Grinch learns to love this festive holiday because of one little girl who goes by the name of Cindy Lou Who.

Five New Reads

  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: If any students would like a good mystery to read during the winter then this is the book. Walter, an art teacher, happens to stumble upon a woman in white while traveling to his new job. Walter’s new job consists of teaching two young girls who are half-sisters. It just so happens that Walter falls in love with one of the sisters who looks like The Woman In White.

  • By Paul Harding: Is the first novel written by Paul Harding and is about an elderly man that goes by the name of George who is currently on his deathbed. While lying on his deathbed, George reminisces on his father who had struggled with epilepsy and was a tinker who sold household goods.  

    The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder by Mark Cassino: After playing outside in the snow, grab a cup of hot coco and learn about how a snow crystal is formed. Learn about the different shapes that snow can take on and many other wondrous winter facts in this 36 page nonfiction novel.

  • The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans: The Christmas Box is a heartwarming and touching story of a young family—Richard, Keri and four-year old Jenna—who move in with an elderly widow in a Victorian house. The family of three serves as the caretaker of the elderly women, who shares important messages about love and family with Richard. 

  • Faulkner and Friends by Vicki Salloum:  A book that came out this September, it swirls around a bookstore owner named Annie who has a salon located in a run-down neighborhood. It just so happens that one day, a woman, her child and a man who once was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize come across her store and the four of them become a family. But what happens after these four characters become family affects the store and Annie wonders if her dream of owning a successful literature store will stick together.   

Several Kean University students debated over which of the holiday books presented above are the best. In polling the student body, The Night Before Christmas and A Christmas Carol were the most loved books, but The Night Before Christmas narrowly beat  A Christmas Carol by one vote. Although A Christmas Carol came in second for the one of the most loved holiday books, some students, like senior English major Elizabeth Deamicis­­­­­­­­­­, believes that “it’s a classic and it has such a lovely message you can carry with you throughout the rest of the year!” English major Joshua Caporale, responds that although A Christmas Carol is his favorite, “there are plenty of other [great] winter reads.” With those two titles being the most popularly read books, other books like The Polar Express, which, as stated by Maureen Dalton, -a special education major with a concentration of English-Writing Option,  “has the perfect balance of wonder and awe for the 21 century child.” So get cozy this winter break on the couch while reading one of these wonderful books.