“Imagine a morning in late November. A coming of winter morning more than twenty years ago. Consider the kitchen of a spreading old house in a country town. A great black stove is its main feature; but there is also a big round table and a fireplace with two rocking chairs placed in front of it.” – A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
Only 6 more days until Christmas! Now is the time for hot cocoa, roaring fires, and snuggling beneath the Christmas tree with your favorite Christmas stories. Here are a few of our favorite Appalachian Christmas stories and picture books. Be sure to share your own favorites in the comments below!
The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree
Written by Gloria Houston and Illustrated by Barbara Cooney
This heartwarming holiday tale, is about a young girl name Ruthie and her family’s quest to bring the perfect Christmas tree to their small Appalachian town. Cooney’s gorgeous acrylic paintings bring irresistible charm to Houston’s story of family, love, and the spirit of Christmas.
Christmas in the Country
Written by Cynthia Rylant and Illustrated by Diane Goode
This picture book is a warm depiction of a young girl growing up in Appalachia being raised by her grandparents. Goode’s cheerful watercolors and Rylant’s description of family tradition inspires nostalgia and invites one to reflect on one’s own holiday memories.
Snowbear Whittington: An Appalachian Beauty and the Beast
Written by William Hooks and illustrated by Victoria Lisi
A romantic re-telling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast with an Appalachian twist. It all begins when a poor father picks three forbidden Christmas roses for his youngest daughter Nell. Lisi’s vibrant colored pencil illustrations are beautiful and Hook is able to put a unique spin on this old, familiar tale.
A Christmas Memory
Written by Truman Capote and illustrated by Beth Peck
This short story set in rural Alabama is about an endearing friendship between 7 year old Buddy and his older cousin Miss Sook Falk. Together they perform a favorite Christmas tradition of making fruitcakes and sending them out to friends and people they admire.