Tag Archive | holiday

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

The Man of the House, the Furry One and I offer you all our best wishes for the holidays season! May you have a wonderful time and enjoy this magical time.

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Wordless Wednesday : Pile of Books, or Christmas Tree?

The perfect tree for a reader! ^_^

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here!

‘Tis the Season to Review Books; 4 Reviews of Holidays-Related Books

I read a lot more holiday-related books last year than I did this year, but by the time I was ready to review them, it was January and it felt a little late to post these reviews. So, I’m doing this all at once, reviewing my sole Christmas read of 2011 (which was a disappointment) and last year’s reading (much better!) If you’re looking for a last minute holiday read, maybe these books will inspire you; if not, you can¬†take¬†a look to holidays-related posts for¬†plenty¬†more reviews and suggestions!

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The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson
Pages : 266
Genre : Fiction, Holiday
Stand Alone
My Rating : 

What it’s about : Gaby has a huge surprise for her kids : she is getting married on this Christmas, to one of the three men in her life – but they won’t know who until the big day!¬†But for Gaby, this special day is also the occasion to celebrate with all of her family again, for the first time since her husband passed away five years ago.

My Thoughts : The Christmas Wedding¬†was meant to be a cute story¬†focused¬†on family, and of course the mystery of Gaby’s wedding. And while I imagine it would make a good movie, the story felt a little rushed for me. There were many characters, each with their story lines, and in the end I felt like I never connected and only got a glimpse of their lives. I was also more interested by Gaby’s children than by the wedding mystery! It wasn’t bad, and for a holiday read, it was quick and had a little heart. So while I wouldn’t exactly recommend it as a must-read, I would say borrowing it is a safe bet if you’re not too sure about it either.

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The Stupidest Angel by Christopher Moore
Pages : 306
Genre : Fiction, Fantasy, Holiday, Zombies!
Stand Alone
My Rating :

From the book’s cover : ‘Twas the night (okay, more like the week) before Christmas, and all through the tiny community of Pine Cove, California, people are busy buying, wrapping, packing, and generally getting into the holiday spirit. But not everybody is feeling the joy. Little Joshua Barker is in desperate need of a holiday miracle. No, he’s not on his deathbed; no, his dog hasn’t run away from home. But Josh is sure that he saw Santa take a shovel to the head, and now the seven-year-old has only one prayer: Please, Santa, come back from the dead. But hold on! There’s an angel waiting in the wings. (Wings, get it?) It’s none other than the Archangel Raziel come to Earth seeking a small child with a wish that needs granting. Unfortunately, our angel’s not sporting the brightest halo in the bunch, and before you can say “Kris Kringle,” he’s botched his sacred mission and sent the residents of Pine Cove headlong into Christmas chaos, culminating in the most hilarious and horrifying holiday party the town has ever seen.

My Thoughts : There’s no way I could have summarized this book in my words in such a perfect way! Because the book’s summary not only tells you what this fantastic novel is about, it also gives you a great idea of Moore’s voice and humor. The author definitely has a special brand or writing and humor, and I can see now why his books are so popular. The Stupidest Angel is not a cute Christmas tale, nor is it all fluffy and sentimental. It takes the magic of Christmas and turns it on its head, replacing it with silliness and zombies. It’s different, and funny, and while not something everyone would enjoy, it is something that those looking for a different kind of holiday reading will appreciate. The tagline, A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror,¬†really says it all!

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Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Pages : 166
Genre : Non-Fiction, Short Stories
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about : A collection of short non-fiction stories, of the author’s personal experiences with the holidays.

My Thoughts : Without a doubt, the star of this too short book is the first essay, SantaLand Diaries,¬†describing with great humor Sedaris’ life as an elf for Macy’s Santa. It was entertaining and memorable and sometimes heartbreaking – which I cannot say of the following stories, I have to sadly say. There are other interesting stories, but the first one is by far the best. Reading this book made me realize one thing though; I’m not sure I’m a Sedaris fan. I remember reading him a while ago and I thought I enjoyed it, but reading Holidays on Ice was a¬†roller-coaster; I sometimes couldn’t let go of the book, and sometimes just couldn’t bother picking it up again. So overall, not great, but really not bad either; certainly worth a try!

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Home in Time for Christmas by Heather Graham
Pages : 285
Genre : Romance, Time-Travel, Historical Fiction
Stand Alone
My Rating : 

What it’s about : Melody is driving home for Christmas when a man suddenly appears in front of her car, all dressed in what looks like a¬†Revolutionary War-era costume. It’s too late to avoid him, and Melody hits him. When Jakes insists he’s from another time, Melody is sure she hit him a little too hard on the head. Feeling guilty, she brings him home to her parents as a friend, just in time for a very unique Christmas.

My Thoughts : At some point in my blogging life, I’ll have to actually come out of my denial and admit that I do, sometimes, enjoy the occasional romance. I certainly enjoyed this one!

It had the Christmas magic mixed in with the additional time-travel magic. Melody was actually likable and, for a book that was mostly light fun, I was surprised by the fact that she wasn’t too cardboard-like. I like the other characters, too, and the story would make an excellent Christmas movie! It’s sweet, but not excessively sweet, more on the side of romantic-comedy than comedy-comedy, which is probably why I liked it so. I also appreciated the historical aspect.

Wordless Wednesday : Eggnog and Meringues for the Holidays

‘ Tis the season to fill our bellies!

Homemade eggnog with cinnamon, with homemade vanilla meringues. Yum!

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here!

Knitting for Christmas

To be honest, I never thought I’d be one of those¬†people. You know, that extremely crafty crowd of people who love to make things, and who make all of their Christmas gifts?

I’m way too lazy for that.

But here we are, December 2011, and it turns out that I’m actually using all the craftiness I have to make my Christmas gifts. In the recent months I’ve been faced with both a problem and its solution : I had very little money for Christmas gifts this year, and I have an immense stash of yarn. So I decided, I’ll be knitting for Christmas! I still have lots to do, but I’m confident I can make it (especially once the extra yarn I ordered finally arrives home!)

I really wanted to share with you all what I’ve been working on, but since I have some friends and family members (whom these gifts are for) who sometimes stop by the blog, I have to be careful!

So think of it like a game : what am I making, and for whom?

There’s this one, that’s finished and ready to be wrapped :

And this colorful buddy, which is close to completion but is still missing some crucial parts :

This one, I have yet to start (there’s a clue in this post) :

This is going to be super colorful, and I am actually putting the last touch to it this very afternoon :

And there are more! I am currently waiting on Christmas colors to make my mom some cute, tiny, Christmas ornaments, and on some pink to make my friend a toy for her new baby ūüôā And then, I promised something for the Man of the House, but that will depend on how much time I have left!

I’ve knit something for my mom almost every year since I started knitting about 4, 5 years ago, but it’s the first time that I actually decided to make this many gifts for Christmas. It’s been keeping me busy but it also feels really good at the same time! I hope the recipients will enjoy them at least half as much as I enjoyed making them. ūüôā

Anyone else crafting some of their Christmas gifts?

Review : Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares

Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Pages : 260
Genre : Ya, Fiction, Holiday!
Stand Alone
My Rating :

What it’s about :

It’s Christmas time in New York, and Dash is making his way through his favorite bookstore’s shelves when he makes an interesting discovery : a red notebook filled with dares, written by a girl he’s never met. Intrigued, Dash not only accepts the challenge, but decides to challenge Lily back… As they complete the dares and get to know each other, the question arise : could they be a perfect match?

What a fun, fun book! This is my second experience with David Levithan, and it definitely makes me want to give a second try to Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which I couldn’t get into the first time I gave it a try.

First of all, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares is a fun read, entertaining, with Christmas magic but written with intelligence, too. Lily’s and Dash’s chapters alternated perfectly, not too fast not too slow, in a way that allows the reader to know each of them well. And although at times I found Dash sounded a bit too adult for his age, I loved the writing, which was both heartfelt and clever.¬†I laughed, and I felt bad for them at times, too. I could understand why Dash wasn’t amazed by Christmas, and why Lily lived for it. They were complete individuals, with many different aspects to their personalities.

I also appreciated that the book wasn’t focussed heavily on romance. Even though it’s definitely there, there is a lot more going on in the story and between the characters. I liked that there were other things going on in their lives, even though the notebook is at the center of it at the time. It made them feel more real.

I would suggest this as a great book for the holidays, but even now as winter sets in with its cold winds and dark nights, Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares would be a nice read to bring some charm and magic to a quiet evening.