Thoughtful Thursday: What’s your favorite fictional midwinter holiday celebration? (Giveaway!)

Even though he was born on a planet in a distant galaxy, and traveled billions of years and visited thousands of planets, Doctor Who manages to spend quite a few Christmases on Earth, usually near London. Whether it is the emergence of the 10th doctor (and the destruction of Harriet Jones’s political career), a fight with an arachnid queen from the center of the earth, or a retelling of A Christmas Carol on a planet where sharks fly, Doctor Who nearly always delivers a Christmas-themed episode.

The Doctor isn’t the only one. Many fantasy writers celebrate a holiday close to the December solstice in their fiction. It may be Christmas, Hanukkah, the birth of the Prophet, or it may be a completely made-up holiday. If it is on another planet it may not even be connected to the idea of solstice, but it still shows up.

What is your favorite fictional midwinter holiday celebration? Tell us which one you love the most, and why. One random commenter with a USA address will win a book from our Stacks.

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Marion Deeds, with us since March, 2011, is the author of the fantasy novella ALUMINUM LEAVES. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies BEYOND THE STARS, THE WAND THAT ROCKS THE CRADLE, STRANGE CALIFORNIA, and in Podcastle, The Noyo River Review, Daily Science Fiction and Flash Fiction Online. She’s retired from 35 years in county government, and spends some of her free time volunteering at a second-hand bookstore in her home town. You can read her blog at, and follow her on Twitter: @mariond_d.

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  1. The only one I can think of is Winter Fair from the Vorkosigan series. I guess that will have to be my favorite!

  2. The Winterfair story was the first thing that came to mind for me, too. Some of the Lynn Flewelling stories have midwinter religious pageants in them though I think.

  3. Mark Thompson /

    You couldn’t do much better than the Christmas celebration in THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE.

  4. Shiznatikus /

    Erastide from David Eddings’s Belgariad/Malloreon series has always been a favorite. I still wish there were more details about it within the story.

  5. I think I most prefer The Feast of Alvis, from Sealab 2021.

  6. I think my favorite is Will Stanton’s Midwinter birthday and Christmas in The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. :)

  7. Why, the Longest Night and the Midwinter Masque from Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Legacy books, of course!

  8. Sandy Giden /

    The only one that comes to mind is the holiday celebration in the first Harry Potterbook.

  9. Arcanist Lupus /

    How Lovely Are Thy Branches, a Young Wizards novella by Diane Duane is very heartwarming and sweet. Also, it involves a tree-like alien excitedly getting decorated, which is hilarious and adorable.

    Nobody’s mentioned Hogswatch yet? Shame.

    Also, Talia’s first Midwinter Festival in Arrows for the Queen by Mercedes Lackey. Rather than spending the holiday lonely in an empty castle, she spends it with Jadus and the servants, feeling welcomed and loved for maybe the first time in her entire life. It is easily the most heartwarming scene in the book.

  10. Melanie Goldmund /

    Well, it’s not really a celebration, but the part where the Very Hungry Caterpillar spins a cocoon and spends the winter turning into a beautiful butterfly sounds good to me right now. Except that I’m still stuck on the “eat ten of everything” page.

    Other than that, I guess my vote will have to go to Winter Fair from the Vorkosigan Series, too, because I can’t think of anything else, either.

  11. Stephanie A Cain, if you live in the USA, you win a book of your choice from our stacks.
    Please contact me (Marion) with your choice and a US address. Happy reading, and happy winter holidays.

    Happy winter holidays to everyone.

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