Jostein Gaarder's The Christmas Mystery (Phoenix House pounds 14.99) is a typically inventive and sophisticated fable, divided into 24 chapters, about a magic Advent calendar. Young Joachim finds a secret story as well as a picture for every day; interlocking chapters tell the story of his modern Christmas and the quest of Elisabet, who travels backwards through time and space to the first Christmas.
The Discworld celebrates Hogwatchnight, not Christmas. In Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (Gollancz pounds 15.99), the Guild of Assassins receives a pile of gold from persons unknown to whack the fat man. It's all a very far cry from Father Christmas: The Truth by Gregoire Solotareff (Mac-millan pounds 9.99) which imagines his secret life in gloriously silly pictures (left).Reuse content