Though the chill in the air has been felt since mid-October, Winter doesn’t officially begin until December 21. As the days become shorter (and colder!), almost nothing sounds better than curling up with a good book. During the winter months, there are over seventeen different holidays celebrated amongst various religions. With so many reasons for celebration this season, you might be searching for a more spirited read. Alongside wider known holidays, the Perkins Library collection includes books containing information on: Ashura—a Muslim holiday celebrated on December 5; Bodhi Day—a Buddhist holiday celebrated December 8; and St. Lucia Day—a Scandinavian holiday celebrated December 13, just to name a few. This list contains fiction and non-fiction titles relating to a variety of winter holidays!
Digital book (DB), braille (BR), audio described DVDs (DVD), or large print (LT) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.
Prepared by Kelly Nolan
by Sophie Parkes
DB 96684, Available as BARD Download
Introduces young readers to the most interesting aspects of each celebration, from the costumes worn to the food eaten, and encourages an understanding of other cultures and religions from around the world. For grades K-3. 2019.
by Valerie Menard
DB 52994, Available as BARD Download
Explains the fifteen most popular holidays celebrated by Hispanics in the United States. Includes seasonal celebrations such as Easter and Christmas; cultural festivals such as Cinco de Mayo, DiÌa de la Raza, and DiÌa de los Muertos; and holy days such as the feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe. Spanish language. 2015.
Explica las quince fiestas hispnicas ms populares que se celebran en los Estados Unidos. Incluye fiestas de las cuatro estaciones como La Navidad y Las Pascuas; las fiestas culturales como El Cinco de Mayo, El DiÌa de la Raza y El DiÌa de los Muertos; y las fiestas religiosas como La Virgen de Guadalupe. 2015.
by Alice B. McGinty
BR 24358, Available as BARD Download
From South Korea to Nigeria to the USA, come celebrate festivals throughout the year! People around the world are celebrating. In Australia, it’s Christmas in summer with barbecues on the beach. In Thailand, they’re celebrating Songkran, the famous Buddhist water festival. Rhyming text and graphic illustrations pair perfectly and invite young readers to explore the world through mesmerizing festivals. For grades 2-4. 2022.
by Anthony Giglio and Jim Meehan
DBC 711, available as BARD Download
Recognized as the bible for imbibers, the Mr. Boston guides have been wetting grateful whistles ever since the repeal of Prohibition. Full of delicious holiday recipes and crystal-clear instructions, this how-to serves up scores of cool drinks for holiday entertaining year round. 2014.
Celebrated all around the world by Christians on December 25, Christmas commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. While each country has its own cultural traditions, most customs involve an eye-catching decoration (think Christmas trees, wreaths, or yule logs), some variation/legend of Santa Claus, and food galore!
by Betty Crocker
DB 64150, Available as BARD Download
Collection of more than 250 recipes for Christmas treats from appetizers to main dishes, and from breads to desserts. Also includes holiday decorating tips, make-ahead ideas, food gifts to give, and new twists to standard recipes. 2006.
by Joe L. Wheeler
DB 47455, Available as BARD Download
Heartfelt Christmas short stories chosen for their Christ-centered messages. In “A Gift from the Heart” by Norman Vincent Peale, a foreign girl, unable to buy presents for her employers, has a unique solution for gift giving. In “The Candle in the Forest” by Temple Bailey, a rich boy learns the meaning of love from the impoverished family next door. Short Stories. 2015
by Debbie Macomber
DB 110519, LT 32481, Available as BARD Download
Peter Armstrong and Hank Colfax are best friends, but their lives couldn’t be more different. Peter, the local pastor, spends time visiting the flock, attending meetings, and, with the holiday season approaching, preparing for the Christmas service and live nativity. As a bartender, Hank serves a much different customer base at his family-owned tavern, including a handful of lonely regulars and the local biker gang. When Peter scoffs that Hank has it easy compared to him, the two decide to switch jobs until Christmas Eve. To their surprise, the responsibilities of a bartender and a pastor are similar, but taking on the other’s work is more difficult than either Peter or Hank expected. As the two begin to see each other in a new light-and each discovers a new love to cherish-their lives are forever changed. 2023.
by Christina Lauren
DB 101089, Available as BARD Download
With her life a mess, Maelyn Jones is looking forward to spending one last Christmas at her family’s cabin in Utah. On her way, she is in an accident, and wakes to find herself in a time loop where she relives the same holiday over and over. 2020.
by Samantha Silva
DB 87973, LT 23173, Available as BARD Download
Depressed about the failure of his most recent book, feeling pressured by his publisher to write a Christmas book, and worried over his family’s financial stability, Charles Dickens seeks refuge in nightly walks. On one, he meets Eleanor Lovejoy, who takes him on a Scrooge-like journey. 2017.
Diwali, also known as the festival of lights, is a Hindu holiday that celebrates light over darkness, good over evil. While the particular day changes each year, Diwali is commonly celebrated at the very end of Fall, usually kicking off the winter season. This year, Diwali was celebrated on November 12.
by Deborah Heiligman
DB 68196, Available as BARD Download
Discusses the Hindu festival of lights that celebrates the triumph of light over darkness and goodness over evil. Describes the various holiday preparations and customs in different parts of India. Includes a recipe for a sweet treat and instructions for a card game. For grades K-3. 2006.
by Rina Singh
DB 90818, BRG 4161, Available as BARD Download
The author examines the celebration of Diwali, which was originally a harvest festival. Highlights the retelling of the legends of Rama, Krishna, and Lakshmi and illuminates how Hindu, Sikh, and Jain traditions keep this celebration thriving in the modern world. For grades 3-6. 2016.
Hanukkah falls on eight days in either November or December. During those eight days, Jewish people light candles on a menorah to celebrate the ancient miracle with which one day’s worth of oil burned for eight days. This year, Hanukkah will run from December 7th to December 15th.
by Immanuel Bernstein
DBC 27448, Available as BARD Download
Drawing on a vast array of classic and contemporary sources, renowned teacher and bestselling author Rabbi Immanuel Bernstein presents a deep and profound understanding of Chanukah, inspiring the reader to allow its light to illuminate the eight days of the festival and the entire year. 2021
by Malka Drucker
DB 40298, Available as BARD Download
Arranged by the Jewish calendar, this collection of stories, poems, songs, crafts, and games discusses each of the religious holidays beginning with Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Included are Sukkot, Simhat Torah, Hanukkah, Tu B’Sh’vat, Purim, Pesah, Shavuot, Yom HaShoah, Yom Ha’atzmaut, and finally the Sabbath. The history and rituals of the observance are discussed at the beginning of each section. For grades 4-7 and older readers. 2009.
by Dianne Ashton
DB 81412, Available as BARD Download
Professor of religion examines regional variants of the ancient Jewish tradition. In New Orleans, Hanukkah means decorating a door with a menorah made of hominy grits; latkes in Texas are seasoned with cilantro and cayenne pepper; children in Cincinnati sing Hanukkah songs and eat oranges and ice cream. 2013.
by Bonnie Bader
DB 111154, Available as BARD Download
Hanukkah is a joyous time when families play dreidel, eat latkes, and light the menorah. It is also a time to remember the reason we celebrate–and the miracle of the small amount of oil that burned for eight nights. The story of Hanukkah is perfect to share with your family and loved ones. For Preschool-grade 2. 2022
by Abigail Browning
BR 15778, Available as BARD Download
Short mysteries set against a background of Jewish culture and tradition and published between 1967 and 2000. Includes Doug Allyn’s “The Christmas Mitzvah,” Max Allan Collins’s “Kaddish for the Kid,” and Michael Kahn’s “Bread of Affliction,” in which a lawyer struggles to keep a Holocaust survivor’s fortune from neo-Nazis. 2004.
Celebrated December 5 in Germany and Eastern Europe, Krampus Night is observed the day before St. Nicholas Day. Krampus (the Christmas Devil) is a hairy, horned creature with a pointed tongue and fangs and is said to punish naughty children. St. Nicholas comes the day after to reward the children who have been well behaved.
This darkly festive tale of a yuletide ghoul reveals an irreverently twisted side to the holiday. The horror-comedy tells the story of young Max, who turns his back on Christmas as his dysfunctional family comes together and comically clashes over the holidays. When they accidentally unleash the wrath of Krampus, an ancient entity from European folklore, all hell breaks loose and beloved holiday icons take on a monstrous life of their own. Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette and David Koechner. Rated PG-13 for horror, violence and strong language. 98 Min. 2015
Celebrated by African Americans from December 26 to January 1, Kwanzaa is based on the ancient African harvest traditions. Kwanzaa’s direct translation is “First Fruits,” and families focus on unity, great food, and tradition during this holiday.
by Eric Copage
DB 34528, Available as BARD Download
Kwanzaa is a week-long (December 26-January 1) African-American celebration of the “first fruits.” The author has compiled a sourcebook for the observance. Included are selections from historical works, folklore, and biographies that illustrate the “Nguzo Saba” (seven principles of Kwanzaa,) interspersed with a host of recipes from the African diaspora. 2008.
by April A. Brady
DB 60693, Available as BARD Download
Explains the meaning of this African American celebration. Provides recipes for children and adults to prepare together for the feast and instructions for making decorations and gifts. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1995.
by Ibi Aanu Zoboi
DB 105456, BRC 1877, Available as BARD Download
Tells the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It begins in Africa, where people were taken from their homes and families. They spoke different languages and had different customs. Yet they were bound and chained together and forced onto ships sailing into an unknown future. Ultimately, all these people had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in this new land. For grades K-3. 2021
On both December 13 (New Year’s Eve) and January 1, people around the world celebrate the new year. While most cultures celebrate differently, the holiday represents new beginnings for nearly all.
by Patricia Wentworth
DB 89610, Available as BARD Download
Though they share a manor house, the Paradines are not close, and their patriarch, James Paradine, does nothing to discourage the petty jealousies that divide them. James is found murdered as the clock strikes twelve on New Year’s Eve. Private detective Miss Silver investigates. 1944.
by Allison Winn Scotch
DB 111009, LT 32557, Available as BARD Download
When college sweethearts Frankie and Ezra broke up before graduation, they vowed to never speak to each other again. Ten years later, they find themselves back on their snowy, picturesque New England campus together for the first time for the wedding of mutual friends. Frankie’s on the rise as a music agent, and Ezra’s ready to propose to his girlfriend after the wedding. But when they wake up in bed next to each other the following morning with Ezra’s grandmother’s diamond on Frankie’s finger, and no memory of how they got there-or about any of the events that transpired the night before, they have to put aside old grievances to figure out what happened, what didn’t happen…and to ask the most troubling question of all: what if they both got it wrong the first time around? 2022.
by Sophie Cousens
DB 101441, LT 29913, Available as BARD Download
Minnie Cooper and Quinn Hamilton were born at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn seemed to have all the luck. When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual thirtieth birthday, she can’t help but compare their lives. 2020.
Occurring around December 21st, the Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. People all over the world celebrate with festivals and celebrations. (On January 11, the passing of Winter Solstice—known as Lohri—is celebrated by many Hindus in India.)
by Elin Hilderbrand
DB 89201, LT 22879, Available as BARD Download
Kelly Quinn is thrilled to have his whole family together at the Winter Street Inn for the holidays, including Bart, home safe from Afghanistan. However, it wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if everything went smoothly. Sequel to Winter Storms (DB 85810). 2017.
Iranians observe Zartosht no-disco on December 26. The day is meant to commemorate the anniversary of prophet Zaroaster’s death.
by Herbert Hewitt Stroup
DB 11934, Available as BARD Download
Introduction to the lives and teachings of eight founders of living religions. Emphasizes the founders’ birth, family connections, education and calling, and journeys to promulgate the new faith. Vardhamana, Gautama, Nanak, Lao-tzu, Confucius, Zoroaster, Jesus, and Muhammad are the men of faith. 2016.