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Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days
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Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  611 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? c....
Hardcover, 293 pages
Published December 6th 2016 by Grove Press (first published November 10th 2016)
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(showing 1-30)
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This is a physically beautiful collection of a dozen (for the twelve days of Christmas) new short stories, alternating with a dozen pieces about food (each ending with a recipe), all with a Christmas or winter theme, topped and tailed with an introduction and a Christmas message. I use, but don’t read cookery books, and to my surprise, the musings on food, festivities, and ritual (4*) were far better than most of the stories (2* - 3*), some of which felt more suited to Halloween. Many of the sto
Diane S ☔
Dec 13, 2016 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
This may well be the only Christmas book I read this season, and of so I am glad I chose this one. I loved every single story, though of course I had a few favorites.

The Snowmama, a magical heartwarming story with a wonderful message.
The Mistletoe Bride, a gothic tale of well deserved revenge.
Christmas Cracker, a wonderful tale that ends with the true meaning of Christmas.
The Silver Frog, a loose presentation of a Scrooge type story.
The Lion, The Unicorn and me, a humorous telling of the birth
Jan 04, 2017 Kirsty rated it it was amazing
I decided to purchase Christmas Days for three reasons: firstly, it is festive; secondly, it is beautiful in itself; and thirdly, it was written by one of my favourite contemporary authors. Rather than read it all in one go as I would ordinarily, I chose to approach it in a slightly different way, reading one of the stories each day, perfectly timed so as to lead me up to Christmas Eve. I loved Winterson's introduction, which revolved around how Christmas as we know it came about, and how we ado ...more
Emer (ALittleHaze)
Dec 19, 2016 Emer (ALittleHaze) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a satisfying Christmas read or last minute Christmas gift
This was an impulse buy. I was standing at the counter in my local bookshop ready to pay for my other purchases when I saw this beautiful looking book. I had to pick it up. The cover was just so tactile; a beautiful woven cloth hardback with gorgeous silver pickups. How could I resist???

I love all things Christmas. Every year I read countless fluffy Christmassy-themed chick-lits and YA novels... But none of them ever seem to capture that true essence of Christmas.

This book, however, did! The mi
Dec 28, 2016 Anthe rated it liked it
Shelves: own-tbr
Loved some stories, really didn't feel anything when reading others. Being a vegetarian, I had some difficulty with the whole 'palm oil is terrible and will kill the planet but here eat some meat' extravaganza.
Rica Kaufel
Dec 28, 2016 Rica Kaufel rated it it was amazing
This book is one of those rare finds that I know I will read and read again (most likely every Christmas) and it will stay with me forever. It's the kind of book that I touch extra carefully because I don't want to wrinkle a page or leave coffee stains. It's the kind of book that makes me want to gift it to loved ones, but I'd be anxious to lend out my own copy. Just absolutely wonderful.
Amalia Gavea
It's Jeanette Winterson, people. I could read her shopping list and still be a happy reader. In Christmas Days we have her impeccable style and stories about Christmas. What could go wrong? If you just replied ''nothing'', you are correct.

Jeanette Winterson offers us 12 stories and 12 recipes for the 12 days of Christmas. The stories are examples of different genres, each one written in a distinctive voice, each one with its own theme. The feature that makes this collection special are the recip
False Millennium
First of all, I want to comment on how pretty this book is. It has a lovely navy blue color with silver imprint all over it. The illustrations, which are Christmas themed, remind me of a style of drawing style you saw in poetry books in the 1970's and wasn't particularly attractive, yet...very much of that period, so what an interesting choice.

I listed this book as "memoirs," because there are, and "food," because there are 12 recipes and a new category I created called "holidays," because oft
Dec 30, 2016 Misty rated it it was amazing
I always know that Jeannette Winterson is going to reward me with rare and unalloyed reading pleasure. I've been impressed over the course of her career with her facility with language, her stunning prose style, her brilliant acidity balanced with huge compassion. It's fairly common for reviewers to say that so-and-so is the chronicler of our time. But I'm ready to claim that Winterson is the fabulist of our time.

These stories are wonderful in their range and their level of spookiness, from warm
Natalie (weneedhunny)
As with all short story collections, you'll like some more than others. Some of the later stories appealed less, especially the few ones with a religious touch - which bordered on the sugar-sweet and sentimental. Although sentimentality in Christmas stories is sort of a given, a few of the latter stories sort of tripped over in the balance for me. But on the whole I thought many of these stories were beautifully written - Winterson writes rather poetic prose and has almost a melody to her writin ...more
Callum McLaughlin
Winterson included a really good mix of stories in this charming collection, from quiet ones about falling in love or dealing with grief to spooky tales of ghosts and revenge, all with a festive twist.

My favourites were the ones with a fantastical edge yet a wonderful real world message, like the story of a snowman that comes to life and helps to make a poor girl's life that little bit easier; reminding us to look out for those less fortunate than ourselves at Christmastime, and that small acts
Louise Elliman
Jan 02, 2017 Louise Elliman rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book. A perfect Christmas present. All the stories are beautifully written and the first two left me feeling so warm and full of hope that a "Dark Christmas" was a sudden shock of fear that I wasn't expecting (although to be fair the title should have been a clue). It turns out Jeanette Winterson can write a pretty terrifying ghost story. "The second-best bed" scared me so much that it is the only story I didn't actually finish reading. I was then a bit apprehensive when I re ...more
What a strange, beautiful book. I was gifted this for Christmas and happily read my way through it from December 25th - December 29th. In my opinion, the perfect time to read this book: I wish everyone could read it then!

This book is an odd but wonderful mishmash of short stories. Several are ghost stories (some really quite creepy) and I loved that nod to the Victorian ghost story tradition - very festive! Several are magical realism-y, abstract-y, fairy tale-y Christmas tales. A couple of sad
Licking County Library
Jan 14, 2017 Licking County Library rated it it was amazing
Shelves: staff-picks
Recommended by Grace, Emerson R. Miller Library, Five Stars, January 2017

Grace's Review:

To anyone who would like to stretch out the warm and magical feeling of the holiday season a little longer, or to those who understand that the Victorian tradition of the Christmas season was to tell ghost stories, this book is for you. Jeanette Winterson's Christmas Days is not a saccharine overload of sentiment or schlock, but a strange and stirring world where anything can happen at Christmastime. In twelv
Dec 25, 2016 Makenzie rated it really liked it
"Stories round the fire at Christmas, or told with frosty breath on a wintry walk, have a magic and a mystery that is part of the season. Writing is an epiphany of its own, in the sense of something unexpected being revealed. Christmas, which seems so familiar, maybe even worn out, is a celebration of the unexpected. Here are the stories I have written so far. Twelve of them for the twelve days of the season. Here are ghost stories, magical interventions, ordinary encounters that turn out to be ...more
Dec 29, 2016 Chrissy rated it it was amazing
What a delight! I haven't read anything by Winterson in awhile and, I admit, I expected the collection to be a bit grim based on my recollection of her previous work. This is an amazing collection that I know I will return to every year. There is truly something to fit all aspects of the season: a couple of creepy ghost stories; humor; Christmas crackers; Victorian orphans; nostalgia, redemption, longing, wry wit, all tied together with some joyous food narratives. Winterson's description of the ...more
Dec 12, 2016 Tracy rated it it was amazing
Five stars and a favorite.
First of all, if you are going to buy this book, buy the hardback if possible. It is beautifully bound, there are illustrations, and different colored ink on the inside. It's clear that the publisher expects this to become a keepsake.
Then the stories- oh the stories!
Classic stories with new twists, new stories, and the wonder of Jeanette Winterson's writing. All of these are kid-safe, but discretion should be used- there are some ghost stories that could get scary fo
Patti's Book Nook
Gorgeous cover aside, the stories contained in this collection are wonderful and varied. I read this over a busy two week period and am having trouble remembering specifics...but this is unsurprising since I can't remember one task from the next these days, carrying a notepad with me at all times to ward against this continual forgetfulness.
My favorite story was easily The SnowMama. The mix of childhood nostalgia, tradition, and comfort of knowing our favorite things never truly disappear was
Dec 31, 2016 Jonathan rated it really liked it
This would have got five stars had it not been for the steak sandwich recipe - but it is just my hard, veggie-hearted nature showing through. Not being a Christmas person it did not seem a natural choice of book in the first place, however I have got back into Jeanette Winterson's work again recently, and combined with a beautifully produced book it seemed like an opportunity to read something I might normally ignore.

Anyway, the collection is a series of short stories interspersed with seasonal
Sarah Cofer
Jan 10, 2017 Sarah Cofer rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, staff-pick
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2016 Yvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Oh, wat was dit een heerlijk boek! Net als Jip en Janneke, vind ik dat dit boek in de kast moet staan. Om elk jaar weer te kunnen genieten, of later aan je kinderen voor te kunnen lezen voordat ze naar bed gaan. Om dan vervolgens zelf een grappig receptje uit het boek te proberen!

Het boek is werkelijk prachtig vormgegeven en komt totaal niet tot z'n recht op mijn e-reader. Tuurlijk, de prachtige platen tonen ook wel in zwartwit, maar zo mooi als het in het echte boek (heb even staan gluren b
Dec 01, 2016 Dave rated it really liked it
Shelves: sugarplums
A very unusual Christmas book. Winterson loves Christmas for its reflection, ritual, love and community . The recipes in the book are less about putting on a holiday show and more about how food can help make Christmas (and life) merrier and brighter. The stories are all designed to raise the ghost of an idea, like modern Christmas Carols, most featuring ghosts and/or magical creatures. All throughout, there's a bit of history, some autobiography, and this wish: "...light a candle for the future ...more
Dec 20, 2016 Aoife rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

For the most part I enjoyed all of these stories. My favourites were The Snowmama, Christmas in New York, Christmas Cracker and The Lion, the Unicorn and Me. They were just cute with a great hint of Christmas magic. I didn't like Dark Christmas, it was way too haunted for me and actually made me feel a bit spooked and uneasy which is NOT how I wanna feel at Christmas time.

I also didn't care about the recipes. This book could have been just the short stories and not had the recipes for a
Dec 20, 2016 Roser rated it it was amazing
What an extraordinary book. It is full of wisdom in the shape of open questions. A book about family, past, love, loss, fear, magic, humans basically. The most christmasy book without being stereotypical (very Winterson like and that's why I love her writing). I have decided consciously and unconsciously that this book will be a book to read at this time of year because it is a book that invites to reflection, to stop the mad rhythm of our busy and stressful lives. It as a book about forgiveness ...more
Beth Bonini
Dec 31, 2016 Beth Bonini rated it it was amazing
This collection of original short stories, memories, personal rituals, recipes, musings, and informational bits about cultural and religious tradition are mixed up like a rich Christmas pudding. You can gorge yourself on it, or consume just a bit at a time - either way, it makes for the perfect seasonal reading. Both stories and personal reminiscences are relayed in simple, down-to-earth language, but Winterson has the trick of being both humorous and unexpectedly profound. An admitted Christmas ...more
Phillip Sawyer
Dec 31, 2016 Phillip Sawyer rated it it was amazing
This book is for anglophiles, Christmas junkies, cookbook and nostalgia lovers. Based on the English tradition of Christmas ghost story telling, Winterson gifts us 12 stories, 1 for each of the 12 days of Christmas, and 12 memories of Christmas past each with an accompanying recipe. Written for an English audience who goes "sledging" instead of sledding and who entertain in lounges instead of living rooms, it is easily accessible to U.S. readers. The stories, like the recipes, are varied and som ...more
Katie Farmer
Jan 10, 2017 Katie Farmer rated it really liked it
Oh, I adored this.

This being my first experience with Jeanette Winterson, I was a bit worried that she wouldn't live up to the hype. She did. Completely. Her writing was beautiful and atmospheric. There are so many different kinds of Christmas stories in this collection and I appreciated all of them. She tackles so many different tones and themes, doing them all so well. I also enjoyed her commentary that came along with the recipes she included. I found that some of her thoughts were so poignan
Dec 26, 2016 Tweller83 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-read, holiday
I'm not sure what to say about this one. I didn't love it but didn't hate ir either. Some of the stories were weird, others were just meh. I liked a little less than half of them, The Snowmass was very sweet, The Christmas Cracker funny and heartwarming, The Silver Frog cute but expected fairy-tale, The Lion, the Unicorn and Me interesting and goid, and the best of all, The Glow-Heart. The feasts were recipes, none of which appealed to me. The stories that went with the recipes were a better par ...more
Jan 01, 2017 Ali rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Twelve stories and twelve feasts for twelve days, it simply oozes Christmas spirit. The volume opens with ‘Christmas Tide’ an introductory essay by the author, ruminating on what Christmas is and where it, and all those traditions we take for granted come from.

The twelve stories which follow are a wonderful mixture, incorporating magic, love, ghosts and Christmas gatherings. There is snow, mistletoe, and mysterious spirits, a Christmas tree in a New York apartment, a haunted house a small silver
Maureen Forys
Dec 21, 2016 Maureen Forys rated it liked it
A nice alternative to Hallmark Christmas movies. These are actually pretty scary. The author does an exceptional intro and explains the history of Christmas and how we've come to celebrate it. She casually mentions that ghost stories were an integral part of Christmas through the industrial revolution. 30 pages later, I'm TERRIFIED and don't want to go upstairs alone. Her Christmas ghost stories will not be remade by the muppets. They scared the shit out of me. Anyway, her short stories are brok ...more
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Play Book Tag: Christmas Days- Jeanette Winterson- 5 stars 4 17 Dec 12, 2016 12:09PM  
Novelist Jeanette Winterson was born in Manchester, England in 1959. She was adopted and brought up in Accrington, Lancashire, in the north of England. Her strict Pentecostal Evangelist upbringing provides the background to her acclaimed first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, published in 1985. She graduated from St Catherine's College, Oxford, and moved to London where she worked as an assi ...more
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“Odd that a festival to celebrate the most austere of births should end up being all about conspicuous consumption.” 2 likes
“I am sure that if we can find reconciliation with our past – whether parents, partners or friends – we should try and do that. It won't be perfect, it will be a compromise . . . but it might mean acceptance and, the big word, forgiveness.” 1 likes
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