17 Best Holiday Books to Read by the Fire in 2022

Holiday books are festive reads with plots that take place during festive periods like winter, Hanukkah, and Christmas. Examples include How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss, Hearts in Winter by Carrie Elks, and The Mistletoe Kisser by Lucy Score. These books have great storylines you will enjoy following during the holiday. The books are available in various genres, ranging from children’s literature to fictional narratives.

These stories are similar to Christmas books.

This list includes:

  • feel-good holiday books
  • holiday books for adults
  • new release holiday books
  • holiday children’s books
  • good holiday reads

So, let’s get started!

List of holiday books

From fiction to non-fiction and back again, here are some of the best books for the holidays.

1. The Recipe For Hope by Fiona Valpy

The Recipe For Hope is one of the new release holiday books that narrate a story of tragedy, love, and joy. The author illustrates the story of one Evie, who plans a quiet escape from her tragedies by retreating to a remote cottage in France.

However, this holiday escape is not as quiet as Evie hopes. From the crowing roaster to Evie’s handsome neighbor, the protagonist’s life is about to take an unexpected turn. You can feel the story’s warmth as Evie begins to rediscover life, her love for cooking, and perhaps the recipe for her happiness. The Recipe For Hope by Fiona Valpy is a great Christmas read about pain, loss, healing, and hope.

Learn more about The Recipe For Hope.

2. There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! by Lucille Colandro

There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! is one of the most fun winter books for children. The book is a twist on the famous story of “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” However, the writer centers the book around snow instead of a fly.

The book contains exciting rhymes to get the young readers hooked. With the illustrations of the old lady swallowing snow, coal, hat, and even pipe, your little ones cannot help but think of snowmen. Also, the author includes an unrevealed surprise at the end of the book, which is unguessable for readers at first.

Learn more about There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow!.

3. The Holiday by T.M. Logan

The Holiday perfectly captures a holiday story filled with suspicion, anger, and an exceptional ending. One of the main characters, Kate, plans a holiday trip to a luxurious villa with her friends and their families. However, Kate’s dream vacation does not go as planned, especially when she begins to suspect that her husband is having an affair.
The twist in the story is that Kate’s suspects are none but her friends. T.M. Logan’s style of writing in this book is pretty engaging. As the story progresses, the author keeps readers hooked with more mysteries and doubt in the characters’ minds. You will have a great time following this story as the suspicion unexpectedly leads to a life-threatening situation.
Learn more about The Holiday.

4. A Dog’s Perfect Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog’s Perfect Christmas is the perfect holiday book for dog lovers. The book tells the story of the Goss family and a lost puppy. The Goss household has a lot of issues to deal with during the holiday season. As the story progresses, the crisis becomes more intense, with the potential of ruining Christmas and the bond keeping the family together. At this time of crisis, a stray dog comes into the household.
You will find out if the stray dog will be yet another problem or a blessing to the family. A Dog’s Perfect Christmas centers around family, friendship, and pet and human bonds. Like the author’s other books, Bruce Cameron frequently writes from the point of view of Grandpa Sander’s dog Winstead.
Learn more about A Dog’s Perfect Christmas.

5. The Holiday Plan by Emma Lynden

The Holiday Plan is one of the best holiday books that will fill you with warmth. The book tells a story of love, healing from hurt, and finding one’s true self again. One of the main characters, Verona, decides to go on a luxurious holiday trip to a hotel, hoping to escape and find inspiration to write her book.

However, the trip’s outcome is a lot different than Verona planned. Verona finds herself in the middle of a match-making event hosted by a single dad named Troy. Troy tries to convince Verona to be a part of his event. You can expect many surprises and emotional moments as the plot unfolds.

The Holiday Plan is a holiday-themed romance book that touches on love, hope, and a heartwarming romance.

Learn more about The Holiday Plan.

6. In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze is one of the most exciting holiday books. The book’s plot style is “groundhog day.” In this writing style, a day or unpleasant event happens repeatedly and in the same manner. The character that the writers use to bring this plot to life is Maelyn Jones, who is slowly deteriorating mentally.

The character drives away from a snowy cabin in Utah with no intention of returning. However, Maelyn’s journey takes an unexpected turn as she experiences a blackout and finds herself on an airplane, journeying to Utah again. While life gives Maelyn another shot to make things right, the character must find what to do differently to break out of this time loop.

Although “groundhog day” books tend to be repetitive, the author did a great job changing the storyline at different times.

Learn more about In a Holidaze.

7. The Summer Getaway by Tilly Tennant

The Summer Getaway is one of the feel-good holiday books to read. The book follows the story of Ashely, who had a romantic affair with Hayden fifteen years ago during her first holiday outside the country. However, the duo could not be together for so long before Ashley got pregnant. After making a tough decision to care for her daughter all by herself, Ashley never contacted Hayden Again.

However, fate brings the duo together fifteen years later, when Ashley takes her daughter on her first holiday to France. Hayden, who is also on vacation with his daughter from his ex-wife, is unaware of Ashley’s identity. As the duo’s daughters get closer, you will find out if Kate will ever have the courage to reveal her identity to Hayden.

Learn more about The Summer Getaway.

8. A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson

A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe is a must-read in the “Comfort Food Cafe series ” by Debbie Johnson. You can read this book alone and still understand the plot. The book tells the heartwarming story of Katie and her son and their journey to finding a new life.

Katie’s life did not remain the same after her childhood trauma and a bad marriage.

Katie’s experience took a toll on her perception of Christmas. However, things turns around for Katie after moving to the village of Badbury. The Comfort Food Cafe remains a place of healing for most characters in this series, including Katie. The woman not only finds joy but friends willing to give her an unforgettable Christmas.

With this book, Debbie not only tells a beautiful story of Katie but indirectly preaches how no one is ever alone during their struggles.

Learn more about A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe.

9. Memories of Mistletoe by Carrie Elks

Memories of Mistletoe is one of the new release holiday books about love, friendship, family, festive spirit, snow, and hot chocolate. The book introduces Mason as a man who does not believe in the concept of love, although the character deeply cares about certain people. Alaska, one of the main characters, happens to be Mason’s neighbor, who plans to interact with the grump from a distance following their cold interaction.

While reading, you will discover if Mason will eventually change his long-held notion about love. As the story unfolds, you will follow different emotions, revealed truths, and the power Winterfall town has to inspire love in the community.

This book portrays love as a shared gift rather than a weakness.

Learn more about Memories of Mistletoe.

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a beloved holiday children’s book. The writer follows the story of the Grinch, who resides north of Who-ville. The creature always tries to destroy Christmas by stealing decorations and gifts.

Later, the Grinch realizes that Christmas is about more than presents and decorations. This epiphany transforms the grumpy creature, prompting him to return the stolen gifts and join the Whos’ Christmas celebration.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas! has large font and not so many pages, making the book an excellent read for kids.

Learn more about How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

11. One Day in December: A Novel by Josie Silver

One Day in December is one of the best-selling holiday books for adults. The book recounts an unforgettable love story that will warm your heart this holiday. The book’s title represents a snowy day in December when Laurie saw a man through the cold windows of a bus. The female character believes love at first sight does not exist. However, Laurie changes her notion of love that day but did not get to see the man again.

A Christmas party that year not only brought joy and festive cheers together but also Laurie and the mysterious man she “loved at first sight.” However, this man now appears to be her best friend’s boyfriend. This book will get you snuggled up as you follow the ten years’ story of love, heartbreak, friendship, fate, and missed opportunities.

Learn more about One Day in December.

12. The Road to Christmas by Sheila Roberts.

The Road to Christmas is one of the must-read newly released holiday books. Sheila Roberts tells the story of one family brought together by three different travel adventures and one memorable Christmas celebration.

Michelle and Max embark on one of these adventures. The couple’s marriage is on the verge of falling, and a happy holiday is the last thing on the duo’s mind. However, the couple’s youngest child plans to bring the family together through a Christmas celebration.

The second set of travelers is Grandma and Grandpa, the latter finding excuses for not wanting to drive in the snow. However, Grandma seems to find a solution and remains confident that the old couple will have no problem. The third set of travelers is Michelle and Max’s two daughters. The ladies’ car unexpectedly breaks down at a ranch after the duo wished to meet a hot rancher en route.

The book captures an imperfect yet memorable holiday filled with emotions, drama, and different adventures for the three groups of travelers.

Learn more about The Road to Christmas.

13. The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler.

If you would like to introduce the little ones to Hanukkah, then getting The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler would be a great idea. The book focuses a lot on blue, the traditional Hanukkah color. David Adler tells the story of Maccabees using straightforward language. You also will find great paintings of the Temple of Jerusalem and the battle. Plus, the book properly illustrates the oil which burnt for eight nights.

The only downside is that the book might be a bit advanced for younger kids. But generally, The Story of Hanukkah is one of the good holiday reads for children. Alongside a comprehensive explanation of Hanukkah, the book also features recipes for preparing traditional latkes and directions for playing the dreidel game.

Learn more about The Story of Hanukkah.

14. Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford

Together for Kwanzaa is a great holiday read and a helpful book to explain the concept of Kwanzaa. The book tells the story of a heavy snowstorm getting in the way of Kayla celebrating Kwanzaa with her big brother.

While the book gradually reveals whether or not Kayla would miss the celebration, kids will also learn more about this winter holiday. The book is great for kids between two to eight years old. Nevertheless, this happy-ending book will explain the reason behind the Kwanzaa celebration to anyone.

Learn more about Together for Kwanzaa.

15. Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol B. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell

Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition is one of the most fun holiday children’s books. This book comes in a box also featuring a blue-eyed elf’s figurine. If you follow the “Elf on the Shelf” tradition during the seaon, then this well-illustrated book is a must-read for the little ones.

The idea behind the Elf on the Shelf tradition is that Santa sends an elf from the North Pole to watch kids’ actions. The elf then reports to Santa once the kids are asleep, helping old Nick curate his nice and naughty list. Carol Aebersold started this tradition with her two daughters in Georgia and documents the experience to spread the joy to other families. This book has picture illustrations to best explain the tradition to kids.

The book, written in rhyme, explains how Santa’s elves visit families between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Then the elves will return to the North Pole and appear again during the next holiday season.

Learn more about Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition.

16. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol is a story about a cold-hearted man named Ebenezer Scrooge. The book tells a story of compassion and humor in the most heartwarming way. Charles Dickens depicts Scrooge as a character who cares less about Christmas. However, the story might just change as four ghost visits Scrooge. The first ghost is Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s late partner, who informs him of the impending visit of the three other ghosts. The book becomes even more interesting as readers discover whether or not Scrooge will eventually learn the true meaning of Christmas.
The author published A Christmas Carol over two centuries ago. Nevertheless, the book remains a favorite holiday story for many readers.
Learn more about A Christmas Carol.

17. The Mistletoe Kisser by Lucy Score

If you love stories set in a small town, then The Mistletoe Kisser will be a great pick. The writer tells the story of a grumpy character who got fired and finds himself in The Blue Moon town, where his uncle resides. The plot becomes even more interesting as the grump meets Dr. Sammy Ames, a vet in the same town.

This rather unpleasant meeting would not have been possible if Ryan, the grumpy character, did not run into a sheep named Stan. Dr. Sammy Ames refuses to take the animal off Ryan’s hand, claiming to have a fundraising crisis to handle. However, you will discover why the doctor was unwilling to attend to the grumpy man.

The Mistletoe Kisser by Lucy Score is among the best holiday books for adults. By reading this book, you can be a part of a Christmas love story in the ever-happy Blue Moon town. In addition, the story hilariously reveals that the right person for you might be the least expected.

Learn more about The Mistletoe Kisser.


Holiday books are a great read during periods when festive celebrations take place. You can also enjoy the books at random times outside the holiday. These books come in handy when you need a relaxing experience while snuggling on a sofa and enjoying your favorite hot chocolate drink. Also, reading a holiday book can be a great step in introducing kids to a particular holiday celebration, whether Kwanzaa or Christmas. You can incorporate holiday books into your festive tradition to take your holidays to another level.

Next, cozy up with holiday Zoom backgrounds and holiday care packages.

FAQ: Holiday books

Here are answers to questions about holiday books.

What are some good holiday books?

Great holiday books to read include:

  • A Dog’s Perfect Christmas by W. Bruce Cameron
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • The Holiday Plan by Emma Lynden
  • The Mistletoe Kisser by Lucy Score
  • The Holiday by T.M. Logan

These heartwarming books will add a lot of joy and warmth to your holiday.

What are the best holiday books for elementary students?

The best books with a holiday twist for elementary students are:

  • There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow! by Lucille Colandro
  • Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford
  • How the Grinch Stole Chrismas! by Dr. Seuss
  • The Story of Hanukkah by David A. Adler
  • Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition by Carol B. Aebersold and Chanda A. Bell

These books are a great way to encourage elementary students to read. Plus, the books can introduce a particular holiday tradition to young students in a fun way.

What are some good holiday book club ideas?

If you plan to organize a holiday book club, then you will need great books to keep members hooked. Generally, the holiday book you choose to read will depend on the age of the attendees. Good holiday book ideas include:

  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Gift from the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson
  • One Day in December: A Novel by Josie Silver

After choosing an excellent place to meet for the book club, decide how members can access these holiday books. You can borrow the books from a book club kit provider, gift members a hardcover, or download an ebook or digital audiobook.