Sunday Bookends: Christmas books, Christmas movies and Christmas events

It’s time for our Sunday morning chat. On Sundays I ramble about what’s been going on, what I and the rest of the family have been reading and watching, what I’ve been writing, and some weeks I share what I am listening to.

What’s Been Occurring

I’m all in for Christmas this year.

Am I alone in this?

Erin from Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs and I started watching Christmas movies in the beginning of November and for many, that is way too early. In fact, it is usually way too early for me too, but this year I was craving light, cozy, and happiness and had no problem starting the Christmas season celebration early.

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved Christmas and it gave me such a cozy feeling, but over the years that feeling faded. Christmas wasn’t always happy. Sometimes it was stressful and brought back heartbreaking memories of those we’d lost.

This year, though, for some reason, all of that has been pushed aside and replaced with warm joy.

Last year I was definitely grateful to be spending Christmas with my family after being in the hospital on Thanksgiving, but I was still too tired to be as excited as I wanted to be.

This year I am grateful and excited when I think about decorating for Christmas or watching Christmas movies, or working on my little Christmas story for the blog. I feel like this young lady I watch on YouTube. Darling Desi sometimes is too giddy and happy for me, and I feel like she’s fake, but then I realize that she isn’t fake, she’s simply in the mood for happiness on her YouTube videos and she hopes to pass that feeling on to her viewers.

She’s creating a space for happiness, all things fluffy, and nice and she welcomes people to that space, knowing that their lives and hers are not perfect but do need a bit of respite from time to time. Her channel is that respite and it’s very nice, even if I occasionally roll my eyes at some of the things that make her giddy. She really just seems so young to me sometimes, but I’m sure she’d feel the same about me but the opposite direction. *wink* Really, though, I often find the things that make her giggle with delight do the same for me.

I’ve never thought of myself as a “girly-girl” but when I feel giggly over a pretty L.M. Montgomery book cover with her or smile as she sips some fancy tea or shake my head with amusement when she dyes her hair orange-red again, I realize I’m a little more girly than I realized. I even like to watch her decorate her bedroom and fancy bed with fluffy lace and frills.

The weather this week wasn’t super cold. Not until we got to Saturday when we actually wanted to leave the house, that is.

Yesterday our little town held a Christmas festival of sorts with vendors, cookie sales, book sales (glee!), a scavenger hunt, hot chocolate, and ice carving. In the evening they held a tree lighting and caroling and then a light parade or Christmas parade.

The scavenger hunt involved going to each business and finding the photo of an elf and then writing down what the elf was doing in the photo. The entire time Little Miss and her friend were running to stores, I just wanted to go to the book sale and see if they put out any extra books from the day before when I checked. The selection wasn’t the worst, but I’m short and the way they set the books up made it hard for me to see them well.  Plus the books are for sale for a donation and I feel like I have to give a big donation for what I take home with me because I often take home a large pile. My pile wasn’t as large Friday but on Saturday I grabbed a lot more, especially children’s books and a history book on Vietnam for The Boy for later in the year.

Today I might visit my parents but I’m not sure yet because we might actually get a snow/rain mix. If that happens, we usually stay home because my mom doesn’t like us to be on the road, even if we are only seven minutes from their house. It is a very hilly, windy, twisty seven minutes.

What I/We’ve been Reading

The past week I have been making my way through Shepherd’s Abiding by Jan Karon, as a Christmas tradition I started last year. I’m really enjoying it. It’s just such a pleasant and relaxing read, but it’s also very moving.

A few months ago, Little Miss ran to me in the library and handed me a cute little 5”x6” book and said she thought I’d like it.

It was cute and had a cornucopia on the front and I figured those were two reasons she grabbed it. I didn’t know what to say since I’d never heard of the author, but I read it and ended up really enjoying it. It was called A Quilter’s Holiday by Jennifer Chiaverini and it’s a part of a series so I’m sure I’ll be going back to the library to pick up others (if I can get over my fear of damaging library books).

On Friday, Little Miss came running to me again with a book the same size and thrust it at me.

“I think you’ll like this one.”

It is called Christmas Cookie Murder and is by Leslie Meier.

I was a bit disturbed by the cookie skull and crossbones and Little Miss thought it would be right up my alley, but she knows her dad and I watch a little of mysteries so I think that’s why she chose it. The thing is, I don’t know where she finds them or chooses them from the shelves. She couldn’t even see the front photo but somehow, she picks great books because I am breezing through this book, desperate to find out who committed the murder and why.

Like the other book she picked, it’s fairly light. I’d call it a cozy mystery and I think I’ll be reading more by Leslie.

I had a goal to finish a couple more Christmas-themed books, including Dawn Klinge’s America’s Favorite Christmastown and The Mistletoe Countess by Pepper Basham by the end of December, but I don’t think I’ll make the goal since I also have to read the chapters of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn that I assign the boy. Sigh. I feel I’m in high school again.

The Husband is reading – gasp! He says he is in between books. I have no book to

Little Miss and I are reading Paddington at night but I am so excited because I have been wanting to read her The Greatest Christmas Pageant Ever, which was read to be in elementary school, but I didn’t want to spend extra money to order it and when I went to the book sale yesterday they had a copy which I got for a small donation. It was so exciting!

What We watched/are Watching

Early last week I watched Holiday Inn. I wrote about it earlier this week on the blog.

The Husband and I watched an episode of Brokenwood Mysteries that made me cry.

Last night we watched The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special and, well, it was okay, but I am a bit over Marvel at this point. You ever hear the saying, ‘too much of a good thing?’ Yeah, that’s the case here.

Erin and I are watching It’s A Wonderful Life for our Christmas movie this week if you would like to join in.

I really hope to finish A Man Called Ove, which is a Swedish movie, that I started last week, later this week. I don’t think the previous sentence made sense, but, well, it’s getting

What I’m Writing

I am sharing twelve chapters of a Christmas short story, novelette, whatever it is called, on the blog. I started Friday, December 8 and it will finish on December 20th.

I’m still working on the end of the story while I wait for the final of edit of Shores of Mercy to come to me so I can put the finishing touches on that and get it ready to publish on January 31.

This week on the blog I shared:

What I’m Listening to

This week I’ve been listening to Steven Curtis Chapman’s new album and some Christmas music on the local Christian radio station. The station has also been sharing Christmas radio dramas including A Candle in the Window.

What have you been doing, watching, reading, listening to or writing? Let me know in the comments or leave a blog post link if you also write a weekly update like this.

2 thoughts on “Sunday Bookends: Christmas books, Christmas movies and Christmas events

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