12 of the Best Literary Quotes for the Holidays

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Melissa Baron

Staff Writer

Melissa is the author of TWICE IN A LIFETIME from Alcove Press and represented by Laura Cameron at Transatlantic Agency. She lives in Chicago and works as a technical writer to pay the bills. She is a former English major, and has never met a semicolon she didn’t accidentally abuse in some fashion. In her spare time, she explores Chicago, writes a lot, and hangs out with her fiancé and two cats. You can find her on Instagram and TikTok @melissabaronwrites.

I don’t have to tell you that the holidays look different this year. You know. We’re all making adjustments to how we would normally celebrate the winter holidays, and it might not feel as cheerful as it normally would. I wasn’t really feeling the holiday spirit until my dearest childhood friend sent me a video of her reading a book to her three young sons; I gifted this book to the oldest when he was born. It was Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas. My sad little heart grew three sizes as I listened to her do the voices and read her kids—and me and my boyfriend—a Christmas story. I haven’t seen her in person at all this year, and it was a good reminder that we can enjoy the holidays regardless, because love doesn’t have boundaries. I hope you draw some comfort and joy from these literary holiday quotes to remind you that there are many ways to celebrate the traditions that bring us together. If you’re craving more holiday cheer, look no further!

“I woke up to the spirit of the season. I heard the spirit in the air. I’ve been saving the spirit all year long.” —I Got the Christmas Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison

“I love the holidays, with all their sparkling lights and delicious baked goods. And I really love helping people find the perfect present because it’s a wonderful feeling when you open up a gift and realize a loved one gets you.” —Recommended for You by Laura Silverman

“I think that’s what people do with the holidays. They wrap it up all neatly with a turkey and clever gifts and lots of eggnog and laugh and laugh, but at the end of the day there are always people missing from the table. And you have to either sit with those empty chairs and laugh, or you can choose not to come to the table at all. I would rather come to the table.” —The Opposite of Love by Julie Buxbaum

“The bell still rings for all who truly believe.” —Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

“Into this climate of fear and apprehension,
Christmas enters,
Streaming lights of joy, ringing bells of hope
And singing carols of forgiveness high up in the
bright air.
The world is encouraged to come away from
Come the way of friendship.” —Amazing Peace: A Christmas Poem by Maya Angelou

“I love snow for the same reason I love Christmas: It brings people together while time stands still. Cozy couples lazily meandered the streets and children trudged sleds and chased snowballs. No one seemed to be in a rush to experience anything other than the glory of the day, with each other, whenever and however it happened.” —Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn

“…our festival is a mitzvah. It’s a way of giving back to the town and a way of sharing the joy of Hanukkah with the larger community. We no longer live in isolation. We’re part of the larger world, and it would be a shame to not share with our neighbors and friends…Even if they do dip their latkes in sour cream.” —Miracles and Menorahs by Stacey Agdern

“‘Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa,
every creature was kneading tamale masa.
For one of our holiday tradiciones,
is making tamales—not one, but montones!” —‘Twas Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

“Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe.” —The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

“Kwanzaa was a holiday that didn’t require gifts, but if you chose to give them they should be something that was made and not bought. The spirit of Kwanzaa called for creativity, not commercialism, but he was a busy man.” —Kwanzaa Angel by Shirley Hailstock

“No no no. None of that nonsense you just listed out to me is a Christmas cake. Christmas cake starts months in advance: it’s a dense, heavy cake, none of your fluffy, layered American nonsense. And best of all, you feed it with whiskey every week for the months leading up to Christmas. It’s delicious and you get drunk while eating it; it’s one of my favorite things about Christmas.” —Royal Holiday by Jasmine Guillory

“Remember that the most important thing is to try and love other people as much as they love you.” —Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris