10 Alternative Christmas Tales

We’re all familiar with classic Christmas tales of outcast mutant reindeer, hallucinating old men, and thieving green goblin cartoons, but there are plenty of other holiday parables and stories that spin a more unconventional twist on the year-end holiday. Whether you celebrate or not, here are ten alternative Christmas accounts whose offbeat weirdness will add any needed merriment to this holiday weekend.

The Twelve Terrors of Christmas

John Updike examines the facts of Christmas mythology with a skeptical eye — and the help of Edward Gorey’s satirical illustrations — in The Twelve Terrors of Christmas. He recontextualizes Santa as a concept (“There is a point where altruism becomes sick”), the freakishness of reindeer (“hooves that cut through roof shingles like linoleum knives”), and the psychological toll (“fear of not giving/receiving enough”) with a bemused detachment that will make you appreciate the absurdity of it all.