Here are some very nice Christmas related reads for you to enjoy.
You all know the story of Scrooge in Dickens' A Christmas Carol, but did you know that he had a wife? Poet Carol Ann Duffy tells the story of Mrs Scrooge, and Posy Simmonds adds the charming illustrations.
The Times has a couple of very nice Christmas short stories, Arvind Adiga's Last Christmas in Bandra, while Rachel Johnson writes about a Notting Hill yummy mummy who unwraps the truth in Severely Gifted.
In the Telegraph Justine Picardie tells the tale of The Little Cigarette Girl, and Jane Gardam the story of The Virgins of Bruges.
But any thoughts of fiction at Christmas lead back to Dickens, the man who invented the holiday in the form in which we know it (with turkeys and trees and all that marvellous good will and merriment floating around). Michel Kenny in the Boston Globe looks at the circumstances which lead Dickens to create his Christmas classic (and in just six weeks!). You can read the full thing here and listen to it here. (Another nice piece about Dickens and Christmas by John Walsh appears in the Independent.)
Meanwhile Edward Champion at the Guardian has some great online reading suggestions to save you from an overdose on Christmas kitsch.
A very happy Christmas to you all!
Postscript (26/12/08) :
Let me add one more story : A House by the Sea by Helen Dumore appears in the Independent.