Hello everyone! Today, I’m so excited to be sharing another guest post with you, this time written by my lovely friend Rachael. I’ll pass you over to Rach now, so she can tell you about some of her favourite Christmases in middle grade books!
I’m so thrilled and honoured that Amy’s asked me to do a guest post for Christmas. I’m such a huge Christmas fan and we have so many traditions and ‘ways’, both old from when I was little, and new that we’ve introduced as adults in our own home and with Peapod. It’s no surprise then that I always love a good Christmas celebration in books. They really give me that Baileys-doing-the-tree glow! So, I’ve picked here my five favourite MG Christmasses, in no particular order:
1. The Nevermoor ‘duels’ between Saint Nick and The Yule Queen. (The Nevermoor books by Jessica Townsend)
Crowds gathering in the cold, dressed to support their chosen festive favourite – greens for the Yule Queen or reds for Saint Nick; the building e citement, songs and chants. The expectant hush… and then the show itself. Making bells out of stars, snowflakes from doves and a spontaneous Christmas tree forest; shooting sweets out of cannons over the crowd and making a show of snow and candlelight before Saint Nick sets off to deliver presents and the Yule Queen a white Christmas. A truly magical Christmas eve!
2. The Bramblemas Feasts of the Five Realms (The Adventures of Podkin One-Ear books by Kieran Larwood)
A warm, cosy burrow, lit with torches A great hall, the longburrow, at its centre with tables heaving with food and drink, the air filled with music and laughter. And a bard arriving to tell tall tales by the fireside. Absolute festive perfection.
3. Hazel and Daisy’s Cambridge Christmas in Mistletoe and Murder (The Murder Most Unladylike books by Robin Stevens)
A Christmas morning that is exactly what Christmas mornings should be – the joy and excitement and promise and treats. Chocolate orange for breakfast, surprise stockings full of goodies, bacon and eggs, sprigs of holly, “Merry Christmas”es and carefully chosen presents exchanged. I know I said I’d picked these in no particular order, but this one just might be up near the top of the list!
4. The transformation of Plas-y-Fran in The Clockwork Crow (Clockwork Crow trilogy by Catherine Fisher)
A cold, broken, empty place becomes a place full of warmth, love and family in a classic Christmas turn around. Fires blaze and candles flicker; the smell of pies and cinnamon mingles with the scent of a huge, fresh Christmas tree twinkling with baubles and stars; and the sound of carols rings out. “In fact it was the most wonderful thing she had ever seen.”
5. Hogwarts/Weasley Christmasses (The Harry Potter books by JK Rowling)
Honestly I umm-ed and ah-ed over including these after JK Rowling’s recent transphobic comments, which I absolutely disagree with and which made me so sad to read. In the end, I decided to include them because I think it’s possible to separate the art from the artist and while I have no time for their author now, these books will always have a special place in my heart. From the family Christmas at the Weasleys’ proving its not about flash, ecoebsuve gifts but who you share it with to the excitement of a Hogwarts feast, a Harry Potter Christmas is a splendid thing. The House tables lined with explosive wizard crackers and groaning with dishes of magically appearing deliciousness under a magical ceiling of snow surrounded by huge Christmas trees and carols…. …or a Weasley celebration, with all its ramshackle, full of life comings and goings, to-ings and fro-ings and hustle and bustle, with Mrs Weasley’s cooking and the way everyone else is roped in to help, with home-knitted jumpers and family to embarrass you.
Thank you so much for reading! Make sure you go and check out Rachael’s blog, and I’d love to hear what your favourite fictional Christmases are in the comments!