What Is Your Favorite Holiday Book? WLRN Staff Share Our Picks

Dec 12, 2018

We do all it takes to feel the spirit of the holidays in South Florida -- even when it’s 80 degrees outside. 

For WLRN news staff, that often begins by thinking about our favorite holiday books. It’s a perfect time of year to snuggle up in front of an artificial fireplace with a good book -- maybe while sipping on some hot chocolate or taking a swig of coquito.

Here are our picks:

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

"I will live in the past, the present and the future. The spirits of all three shall strive within me."-Ebenezer Scrooge

It is my all time favorite holiday story. I think it's a lot of people's -- for very good reason. It's a story of redemption. What happens to Scrooge at the end is the ultimate do over. It's just something that resonates with nearly everybody. You don't have to celebrate Christmas to really identify with that message. - Christine DiMattei, Morning Edition Anchor

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

As a native Floridian it was magical to escape through the wardrobe into a winter wonderland. And the best part was I didn't have to wear a coat to experience it. - Alexander Gonzalez, All Things Considered Newscast Producer

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

I read it for the first time back in high school. It was assigned by one of my favorite teachers. I devoured it over Christmas break underneath my family's Christmas tree and I try to reread it every few Christmases, by the lit up tree. I just love the old timeyness of it. The detailed descriptions of the damp, cold heights and the strange love story make being anywhere indoors feel cozy. - Caitie Switalski, Broward County Reporter

Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

It's the perfect representation of how my Christmas Day would go. The families gathered around making tamales for the holidays, just like any other Mexican household. But in this book the mom takes off her wedding ring and the daughter picks it up and chooses to wear it…while making tamales! The daughter does not realize her huge mistake until after the tamales are made and she notices the ring is not on her hand anymore. - Alejandra Martinez, Sundial Associate Producer

Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson

It's a beautiful kids book, with illustrations about this young boy Harold who gets a purple crayon and with it is able to draw these incredible worlds that he can live in. For me as a young child, that level of curiosity and imagination of what I could do if I had a purple crayon is really what inspired me. - Chris Remington, Sundial Producer

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

My reasons for loving A Christmas Carol have as much to do with my profession as they do with Mrs. Cratchit’s pudding. A Christmas Carol isn't just a heartwarming holiday classic; it's one of the great journalist manifestos on poverty. Dickens was a journalist, and when his ghost of Christmas Present pulls back his robe to reveal two starving children called Ignorance and Want, they might as well be the street children I've reported on in Latin America, or the desperate migrant children pouring over our border today from Central America. And that's what Dickens wanted us to think about "at this time of the rolling year." - Tim Padgett Americas Correspondent 

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell

When I was a kid, my dad and I used to talk about nothing all the time. Sometimes those conversations would escalate into arguments about nothing--wherein one of us would claim that it's impossible to argue about nothing, we must be arguing about something, even if we couldn't identify anything. Then, one year, my dad won the argument and gave me The Gift of Nothing, a charming little book about nothing and (you probably saw this coming) everything.

The book follows the story of a sweet little cat trying to find the perfect gift for an equally cute little dog. In the process, he discovers some truisms about love and friendship. The drawings are simple and cozy.

It's a lovely read regardless of the season, but it feels especially appropriate this time of year. Because when it comes to gifting, nothing can be the best. - Sammy Mack, Health Reporter 

WLRN wants to know: What are your favorite holiday books? Whether traditional or perhaps not related to the holidays at all, send us an email to talktous@wlrnnews.org.