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It’s that time of year when we all turn into creatures of habit. Holiday traditions run strong. If you love reading and writing, there’s no sense in ignoring those passions throughout the month. I’m sharing eight literary holiday traditions that you can easily make into traditions of your own.

Writing a letter to Santa Claus.
A tradition like no other: sitting down to write a letter to Mr. Claus himself. It’s a great way to list all the things you really, really, really want and then mention something global like world peace so that Santa knows you don’t belong on the naughty list.

Re-reading a favorite book by the light of a Christmas tree.
I do this every year and it’s one of the things I most look forward to in December. There’s something about those holiday lights that make a book even more magical than it was before. Give it a try this year: pick a time when it’s super quiet in your house, cozy up by the tree (preferably where you can see snow falling outside the window), and let those multicolored lights guide your way through the pages.

Giving a book to everyone on your list.
I bet you’re one of those people. You simply have to buy a book for everyone on your holiday shopping list—even if the people on your list never read. Select members of your family and some of your friends probably dread your gift every year, because it’s always a book that they have to pretend to like. It sits on their bookshelf all year, untouched, until you buy them yet another book to go beside it. But it doesn’t matter because your “buying only books as gifts” habit is a tradition.

Memorizing ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.
I think I had to recite this poem every year for the annual Christmas pageant in elementary school. It should be second nature to me by now, but it’s not, so every year I find myself memorizing the words… because I can never remember what comes after “I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.”

Spending all your money at a bookstore on Boxing Day.
Forget Black Friday. Boxing Day is where it’s really at: you get to spend all the cash and gift cards you received for Christmas. Of course, most of it’s going to go to your local bookstore. You’re getting books for free!

Creating a book-themed advent calendar.
This could be my favorite on the list: unwrapping one book each night and reading it before bed. This tradition works great if you have kids because picture books can be read in one sitting. And if you don’t have twenty-four holiday-themed books at home? Check some out from the library for the month and include them in the pile! I can’t think of anything better than a book per day.

Writing out Christmas cards.
Snail mail isn’t so popular anymore, except for the holiday season. Parcels and greeting cards slow down the mail service every year. That’s because writing Christmas cards is actually fun. You get to write nice things to people you haven’t spoken to in approximately 300 days. Put on some winter-y music and make a night of correspondence.

Reading A Christmas Carol. Out loud.
This is one of those traditions that I’m not entirely convinced about. Reading A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens out loud to a group of people (usually close friends and family) happens in way too many movies and TV shows for it to not exist somewhere, somehow in real life. Does anyone actually do this? How does everyone in the room sit still for so long? Please share your secrets.


Maria Vicente's picture

Maria Vicente

Maria Vicente is an Associate Agent at P.S. Literary Agency. She is also the Wicked Witch of the East Coast.