It’s the “most wonderful time of the year.” But, according to a survey by the American Psychological Association, 38 percent of people said their stress level increases during the holidays. Others just don’t like jolly tunes, gift shopping, and obligatory family get togethers. For all those who look up to Ebenezer Scrooge and the Grinch, here’s a few alternative Christmas books to keep your hearts cold throughout the holiday season.
The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit. But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead. But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.
Dying for Christmas by Tammy Cohen
Out Christmas shopping one December afternoon, Jessica Gould meets the charming Dominic Lacey and impulsively agrees to go home with him for a drink. What follows is a Twelve Days of Christmas from hell as Lacey holds Jessica captive, forcing her to wear his missing wife’s gowns and eat lavish holiday meals. Each day he gifts her with one item from his twisted past—his dead sister’s favorite toy, disturbing family photos, a box of teeth. As the days pass and the “gifts” become darker and darker, Jessica realizes that Lacey has a plan for her, and he never intends to let her go.
But Jessica has a secret of her own … a secret that may just mean she has a chance to make it out alive.
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
On Christmas Eve five years ago, seventeen-year-old Holly Chase was visited by three Ghosts who showed her how selfish and spoiled she’d become. They tried to convince her to mend her ways. She didn’t. And then she died.
Now she’s stuck working for the top-secret company Project Scrooge as their latest Ghost of Christmas Past. So far, Holly’s afterlife has been miserable. But this year’s Scrooge is different. This year’s Scrooge might change everything.
Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded malls, no corny office parties, no fruitcakes, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a rooftop Frosty; they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve bash; they aren’t even going to have a tree. They won’t need one, because come December 25th they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But, as this weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences–and isn’t half as easy as they’d imagined.