Sunday Salon: Guest Post by Nymeth [The Twelve Days of Christmas- Day 3]

I'm thrilled to have Nymeth from things mean a lot, guest post as part of the Christmas special that I've been having. Nymeth is someone everybody in the book blog world knows and loves, and I enjoy her insights into books and reading. Welcome to Advance Booking Nymeth!


I love Christmas. For some odd reason, this always seems to surprise people, who expected me to roll my eyes at the mere mention of the holiday season. Maybe it’s because I live in a very Catholic town and haven’t made a secret of the fact that I’m not, myself, a person of faith. But there’s still plenty that I do love about Christmas.

I mean, I understand why there are people who choose not to celebrate it, for religious or other reasons. And I think that the people who point out that it has become over-commercialized most definitely have a point. But to me – and as clich├ęd as it sounds, I have to say it – Christmas is about comfort, kindness and warmth.

My boyfriend grew up in the Southern hemisphere, so his way of experiencing Christmas has always been very different from my own. It goes without saying that both are equally valid, but personally I can’t dissociate Christmas from winter. I don’t know all that much about old-times Yule celebrations (note to self: seek a book), but from what I understand, the old Winter Solstice celebrations were in part about celebrating the fact that in the darkest, coldest time of the year, there was warmth, company and food. This might sound small now, when so many of us take comfort for granted, but I don’t think it is. Not at all.

On to what matters, which is the bookish part of this post: one of my favourite traditions is reading spooky stories during the holiday season. I actually started doing it before I learned that it was a real tradition in some parts of the world. It makes perfect sense that it is – what goes better with a warm fire, a cold and dark night outside, and a gathering of people than a spooky story?

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a classic for a reason, of course. I never tire of it, or of its several movie adaptations. Last December I read M.R. James’ ghost stories, and they were absolutely perfect. And right now I’m reading Elizabeth Gaskell’s tales of mystery and the supernatural, which are definitely putting me in the mood for the holiday season.

What about you? Have you ever read spooky stories during Christmas time? Do you think they fit the holiday mood? Anything you’d recommend?

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4 Responses
  1. Nymeth Says:

    Thank you so much for having me, Hazra!


  2. A lovely post! And I agree with Nymeth: no matter what your religion or lack thereof, Christmas has come to mean comfort, kindness and warmth, and those are all good!

    Happy Comfort, Kindness and Warmth to you both!


  3. Amanda Says:

    I have to admit, i'm not a bit spooky book fan at this time of year. Once Halloween is over, I want warm, comfortable, homey books. :)


  4. Gavin Says:

    I hadn't really thought about "spooky" reading for this time of year but it does make sense, all that cold and darkness. Thanks for the wonderful post, Nymeth!


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