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Christmas Books by Sarah Todd Taylor

When I was young, Christmas was always a time for books. Presents would be opened first thing in the morning, with books passed round from hand to hand so that each family member could read the back cover and comment on how much fun they were going to be to read. After lunch, before we sat down to a marathon boardgame, my brothers and sister and I would curl up around the house and make a start on one of our new books. Inevitably there would be a cry of ‘Hey, who nicked...?’ followed by the title of someone’s present that had been ‘borrowed’ by a sibling. Whoever was the culprit would hand over the loot and go back to their own pile.

Little has changed now that we’re all older. Other presents have come and gone, but books are a constant. At Christmas everyone’s pile always contains at least one familiar shaped parcel, promising hours of laughter, of quiet study or of gripping the edge of the seat wondering whether the hero will escape their latest adventure.

Books have given us some of our best Christmas moments as a family. There have been several times when someone has opened a present only to have another family member realise they have bought them exactly the same book – at least we know each other well. There was the year that my Mum enthusiastically tore through the ‘very thick wrapping paper’, only to discover she had ripped the dust cover off her new cook book!

This year I have already started on my Christmas book buying. They’re the perfect present – easy to wrap, providing hours of fun, and totally recyclable. I’m hoping there will be a few books for me under the tree, too.

In fact, I’ll just go and write that letter to Santa…..


Sarah's prize-winning story Arthur and Me is available here.