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Top Ten Tuesday – 10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

op Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is actually Memorable Things Characters Have Said (quotes from book characters that have stuck with you), but I wasn’t feeling it so I decided it would be fun to share some of the great holiday fiction that has come out this year.  If you love holiday reads as much as I do, you’re going to want to put these titles on your reading list. I’ve read and loved two of them so far, A Holly Jolly Diwali and Christmas in Peachtree Bluff, and look forward to diving into the other eight this holiday season.  🙂

 

10 New Holiday Reads for Your TBR

 

1. THE CHRISTMAS BOOKSHOP by Jenny Colgan “When the department store she works in closes for good, Carmen has perilously little cash and few options. She doesn’t want to move in with her perfect sister Sofia, in Sofia’s perfect house with her perfect children and her perfectly ordered Edinburgh life. Frankly, Sofia doesn’t exactly want Carmen there either. Her sister has always been sarcastic and difficult. But Sofia has yet another baby on the way, a mother desperate to see her daughters get along, and a client who needs a retail assistant for his ailing bookshop, so welcoming Carmen might still have some benefits for everyone. At Sofia’s behest, Carmen is thrown into the daily workings of old Mr. McCredie’s ancient bookshop on the streets of the old dark city. Can she use her design skills to revamp the store and bring it back to popularity in time to benefit from Christmas shopping traffic? Can she choose between bad boy literary rock star Blair and quiet Quaker student Oke? And will she heal the rift with the most important people of all: her family?”

 

2. THE CHRISTMAS ESCAPE by Sarah Morgan  – “It was supposed to be Christy Sullivan’s perfect Christmas getaway—a trip to Lapland with her family and best friend, Alix. But facing a make-or-break marriage crisis, Christy desperately needs time alone with her husband. Her solution? Alix can take Christy’s little daughter to Lapland, and they will reunite there for Christmas Day. It’s a big ask, but what else are friends for? There’s nothing Alix won’t do for Christy. But Christy’s request to save Christmas is giving Alix sleepless nights. She knows something is wrong, but for the first time ever, Christy isn’t talking. And even the Arctic temperatures in Lapland aren’t enough to dampen the seriously inconvenient sizzle Alix is developing for Zac, a fellow guest and nemesis from her past. As secrets unravel and unexpected romance shines under the northern lights, can Christy and Alix’s Christmas escape give them the courage to fight for the relationships they really want, and save the precious gift of each other’s friendship?”

 

3. DEAR SANTA by Debbie Macomber – “Lindy Carmichael isn’t feeling particularly joyful when she returns home to Wenatchee, Washington, for Christmas. The man she thought was “the one” has cheated on her with her best friend, and she feels completely devoid of creativity in her graphic-design job. Not even carolers or Christmas cookies can cheer her up–but Lindy’s mother, Ellen, remembers an old tradition that might lift her daughter’s spirits.  Reading through a box of childhood letters to Santa and reminiscing about what she’d wished for as a young girl may be just the inspiration Lindy needs. With Ellen’s encouragement, she decides to write a new letter to Santa, one that will encourage her to have faith and believe just as she’d done all those years ago. Little does Lindy know that this exercise in gratitude will cause her wishes to unfold before her in miraculous ways. And, thanks to some fateful twists of Christmas magic–especially an unexpected connection with a handsome former classmate–Lindy ultimately realizes that there is truly no place like home for the holidays. In Dear Santa, Debbie Macomber celebrates the joys of Christmas blessings, old and new.

 

4. THE HOLIDAY SWAP by Maggie Knox  – “A feel-good, holiday-themed romantic comedy about identical twins who switch lives in the days leading up to Christmas–perfect for fans of Christina Lauren’s In a Holidaze and Josie Silver’s One Day in December.

All they want for Christmas is a different life. When chef Charlie Goodwin gets hit on the head on the L.A. set of her reality baking show, she loses a lot more than consciousness; she also loses her ability to taste and smell–both critical to her success as show judge. Meanwhile, Charlie’s identical twin, Cass, is frantically trying to hold her own life together back in their quaint mountain hometown while running the family’s bustling bakery and dealing with her ex, who won’t get the memo that they’re over. With only days until Christmas, a desperate Charlie asks Cass to do something they haven’t done since they were kids: switch places. Looking for her own escape from reality, Cass agrees. But temporarily trading lives proves more complicated than they imagined, especially when rugged firefighter Jake Greenman and gorgeous physician’s assistant Miguel Rodriguez are thrown into the mix. Will the twins’ identity swap be a recipe for disaster, or does it have all the right ingredients for getting their lives back on track?

 

5. A HOLLY JOLLY DIWALI by Sonya Lalli  – “One type-A data analyst discovers her free-spirited side on an impulsive journey from bustling Mumbai to the gorgeous beaches of Goa and finds love waiting for her on Christmas morning.  Twenty-nine-year-old Niki Randhawa has always made practical decisions. Despite her love for music and art, she became an analyst for the stability. She’s always stuck close to home, in case her family needed her. And she’s always dated guys that seem good on paper, rather than the ones who give her butterflies. When she’s laid off, Niki realizes that practical hasn’t exactly paid off for her. So for the first time ever, she throws caution to the wind and books a last-minute flight for her friend Diya’s wedding.  Niki arrives in India just in time to celebrate Diwali, the festival of lights, where she meets London musician Sameer Mukherji. Maybe it’s the splendor of Mumbai or the magic of the holiday season, but Niki is immediately drawn to Sam. At the wedding, the champagne flows and their flirtatious banter makes it clear that the attraction is mutual. When Niki and Sam join Diya, her husband and their friends on a group honeymoon, their connection grows deeper. Free-spirited Sam helps Niki get in touch with her passionate and creative side, and with her Indian roots. When she gets a new job offer back home, Niki must decide what she wants out of the next chapter of her life–to cling to the straight and narrow like always, or to take a leap of faith and live the kind of bold life the old Niki never would have dreamed of.”

 

6. THE MATZAH BALL by Jean Meltzer  – “Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt is a nice Jewish girl with a shameful secret: she loves Christmas. For a decade she’s hidden her career as a Christmas romance novelist from her family. Her talent has made her a bestseller even as her chronic illness has always kept the kind of love she writes about out of reach. But when her diversity-conscious publisher insists she write a Hanukkah romance, her well of inspiration suddenly runs dry. Hanukkah’s not magical. It’s not merry. It’s not Christmas. Desperate not to lose her contract, Rachel’s determined to find her muse at the Matzah Ball, a Jewish music celebration on the last night of Hanukkah, even if it means working with her summer camp archenemy—Jacob Greenberg. Though Rachel and Jacob haven’t seen each other since they were kids, their grudge still glows brighter than a menorah. But as they spend more time together, Rachel finds herself drawn to Hanukkah—and Jacob—in a way she never expected. Maybe this holiday of lights will be the spark she needed to set her heart ablaze. 

 

7. NICK AND NOEL’S CHRISTMAS PLAYLIST  – “Nick Winters and Noel Carter have known each other their whole lives. After years of shared family holidays, working together on the Winters’ Christmas tree farm, and being each other’s safe haven, they wouldn’t dream of crossing the line from friends to something more….But when Nick comes home for the holidays after serving overseas and finds that his long-term girlfriend has decided to get her stocking stuffed elsewhere, Noel is there to pick him up and show him that instead of a Blue Christmas he can still have a Wonderful Christmastime without his cheating ex.  A night on the town and an impulsive kiss later has Noel thinking that perhaps this year they’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree as a couple, but only if the ghost – er rather – girlfriend of Nick’s Christmas past doesn’t decide to haunt their holiday…. “

 

8. CHRISTMAS IN PEACHTREE BLUFF by Kristy Woodson Harvey  – “When the Murphy women are in trouble, they always know they can turn to their mother, Ansley. So when eldest daughter Caroline and her husband, James, announce they are divorcing—and fifteen-year-old daughter Vivi acts out in response—Caroline, at her wits end, can’t think of anything to do besides leave her with Ansley in Peachtree Bluff for the holidays. After all, how much trouble can one teenager get into on a tiny island? Quite a lot, as it turns out.  As the “storm of the century” heads toward Peachtree Bluff, Ansley and her husband, Jack, with Vivi in tow, are grateful they’re planning to leave for the trip of a lifetime. But Vivi’s recklessness forces the trio to shelter in place during the worst hurricane Peachtree has ever seen. With no power, no provisions, and the water rising, the circumstances become dire very quickly…and the Murphy sisters, who evacuated to New York, soon realize it’s up to them to conduct a rescue mission. With the bridges closed and no way to access Peachtree Bluff by land or air, they set sail on Caroline’s boat, The Starlite Sisters, determined to rebuild their beloved town—as well as their family.

In “pitch-perfect tones” (Publishers Weekly) and written with her signature Southern charm, New York Times bestselling author Kristy Woodson Harvey explores the magic of Christmas, the power of forgiveness, and the importance of family in a tale that reminds us that, no matter the circumstances, home is always where we belong—especially during the holidays. ”

 

9. THE SANTA SUIT by Mary Kay Andrews  – “When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.  At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold? Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.

 

10. A SEASON FOR SECOND CHANCES by Jenny Bayliss  – “Annie Sharpe’s spark for life has fizzled out. Her kids are grown up, her restaurant is doing just fine on its own, and her twenty-six-year marriage has come to an unceremonious end. Untethered for the first time in her adult life, she finds a winter guardian position in a historic seaside home and decides to leave her city life behind for a brand-new beginning.  When she arrives in Willow Bay, Annie is enamored by the charming house, the invigorating sea breeze, and the town’s rich seasonal traditions. Not to mention, her neighbors receive her with open arms–that is, all except the surly nephew of the homeowner, whose grand plans for the property are at odds with her residency. As Christmas approaches, tensions and tides rise in Willow Bay, and Annie’s future seems less and less certain. But with a little can-do spirit and holiday magic, the most difficult time of her life will become…a season for second chances.”

 

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Question:  Do you enjoy holiday reads?  Have you read any of these yet?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Hope to Find Under My Christmas Tree

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.  Top Ten Tuesday has been one of my favorite memes ever since I started blogging, so huge thanks to Jana for taking over the hosting duties!

This week’s TTT topic is Books I Hope to Find Under My Christmas Tree.  I honestly didn’t ask for any books this year, but even when I don’t, I usually get at least a couple of gift cards to the bookstore so here are some books I’d consider purchasing with those cards.

Wishing a very Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates the holiday!

 

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Books I Hope to Find Under My Christmas Tree

 

 

1. THE TESTAMENTS by Margaret Atwood

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2. DARKDAWN by Jay Kristoff

 

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3.  CHILDREN OF VIRTUE AND VENGEANCE by Tomi Adeyemi

 

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4. DEV1AT3 by Jay Kristoff

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5. CAPTURING THE DEVIL by Kerri Maniscalco

 

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6. THE LAST YEAR OF THE WAR by Susan Meissner

(or any other books from Meissner’s backlist)

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7. THE RECKLESS OATH WE MADE by Bryn Greenwood

 

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8. NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain

(or any other titles from her backlist)

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9. FOOLISH HEARTS by Emma Mills

(or any other books from Mills’ backlist)

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10. WINTER GARDEN by Kristin Hannah

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Question:  Are you hoping to get any books this Christmas?

Give the Gift of Reading: Do a Kids’ Christmas Book Advent Calendar

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Those who know me know I’m always on a quest to make sure my son loves books as much as I do.  As part of this quest and also to offset the endless array of electronics and video games that always dominate his Christmas list, a couple of years ago I put together a Christmas Book Advent Calendar for him to make sure he gets plenty of reading time throughout the holiday season.  Like a traditional advent calendar, mine was comprised of 24 books, one for each of the days leading up to Christmas, and the books were an assortment of traditional classics that were favorites of mine when I was his age, as well as some contemporary stories that are popular now.  I also selected some books that were funny, some that were more serious, and I also tried to include a variety of both secular and religious stories.  Most of the books I selected could easily be read in a single night, although I did have a couple of longer ones that I assigned to weekend days in case he couldn’t finish them in one night. My son had just turned 7 that year so I of course tried to make my selections a mix of books he could read on his own coupled with books his Dad or myself could read to him.

I’m not super creative when it to decorating so my calendar display was pretty basic.  I just wrapped each book in festive paper, numbered them 1-24 in the order I wanted them to be opened and read, and then I arranged them in a decorative holiday basket.  You can always check out Pinterest for tons of more creative ways to display your calendar.

Cost was, of course, an issue since books are not cheap, but I scored a lot of great deals on Black Friday Weekend, which is why I’m posting this now, and I also picked up a lot of heavily discounted books at our local book fair and of course through Amazon.

I’m happy to say that my son LOVED doing the Advent Calendar.  He even got to the point where he would run down first thing every morning to unwrap the day’s book to see what we would be reading that evening.  We had a great time with it — lots of laughs at silly books like Jingle Bells, Batman Smells and lots of smiles reading all of the traditional favorites like How the Grinch Stole Christmas.  He still has all of the books on his shelf, has already pulled several of them out to re-read again this year, and is currently begging me to do another Advent Calendar this year.  I’m not sure I can come up with an age appropriate list on such short notice, but it does make me smile to know that he enjoyed it that much, considering it’s not an xBox game, haha.

Anyway, I wanted to pass along the list of books that I used for my Advent Calendar in case there’s anyone else out there who is looking to do something similar for their children.  It’s a lot of work to put one together but so totally worth it.  Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!

 

24 Perfect Books for a Child’s Christmas Book Advent Calendar

 

1. Turkey Clause by Wendi Silvano

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Goodreads Synopsis: Turkey is in trouble. Again. He made it through Thanksgiving without becoming a turkey dinner, but now it’s almost Christmas, and guess what’s on the menu? Turkey decides the only thing to do is to ask Santa for help. He sets off for the North Pole, but getting in to see Santa at Christmastime isn’t as easy as Turkey expected. It’s going to take all his ideas—and his clever disguises—to find a way into Santa’s house. After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise, and Santa has the perfect solution! In this holiday treat, a companion to Turkey Trouble, Wendi Silvano’s story is once again matched with the artwork of Lee Harper.   (Read more…)

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2. The Berenstain Bears and the Joy of Giving by Jan & Mike Berenstain

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Goodreads Synopsis:  In The Berenstain Bears and The Joy of Giving Brother and Sister Bear can’t wait for Christmas and all the presents they’ll open. But during the Christmas Eve pageant, something special happens! The Bear cubs learn a very valuable lesson about the joy of giving to others.   (Read more…)

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3. The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas

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Goodreads Synopsis:  It’s the poky little puppy’s first Christmas, and he’s not sure what to expect. When he meets an animal friend who’s lost his home, Poky’s quick to help–and learns all about the spirit of Christmas.  (Read more…)

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4. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Adapted by Rick Bunsen

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Goodreads Synopsis:  In this comic retelling of the traditional Christmas story, Rudolph runs away from home to escape everyone’s teasing, travels to the Island of Misfit Toys with his elf pal, Herbie, and then faces down the Abominable Snow Monster -all before guiding Santa’s sleigh through that famous foggy Christmas Eve.  (Read more…)

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5. Frosty the Snowman by Diane Muldrow

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Goodreads Synopsis: Everyone’s favorite snowman with a magic hat, a button nose, and eyes made out of coal comes to life on Christmas every year. Based on the beloved 1969 television special, this Little Golden Book retells the whole magical story of Frosty the Snowman for boys and girls 2–5! (Read more…)

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6. The Little Christmas Elf by Nikki Shannon Smith

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Goodsreads Synopsis:  Nina, the littlest elf in Santa’s workshop, doesn’t finish the teddy bear she’s making in time for it to get loaded onto Santa’s sleigh-but, encouraged by Santa Claus himself to not give up, she works far into the night to finish it. While Santa is out delivering presents, a baby is born. Santa comes back for Nina’s now-finished bear—and guess who he takes along to deliver it? (Read more…)

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7. Junie B. First Grader:  Jingle Bells, Batman Smells (P.S. So Does May) by Barbara Park

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Meet the World’s Funniest First Grader Junie B. Jones!  Ho, ho…uh-oh! With over 50 million books in print, Barbara Park’s New York Times bestselling chapter book series, Junie B. Jones, is a classroom favorite and has been keeping kids laughing and reading for over 20 years! In the 25th Junie B. Jones book, it s holiday time, and Room One is doing lots of fun things to celebrate. Like making elf costumes! And singing joyful songs! Only, how can Junie B. enjoy the festivities when Tattletale May keeps ruining her holiday glee? And here is the worst part of all! When everyone picks names for Secret Santa, Junie B. gets stuck with Tattletale you-know-who! It s enough to fizzle your holiday spirit! Hmm . . . or is it? Maybe, just maybe, a Secret Santa gift is the perfect opportunity to give May exactly what she deserves. (Read more…)

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8. Bear Stays Up For Christmas by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

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Goodreads Synopsis:

“The day before Christmas,

snuggled on his floor,

Bear sleeps soundly

with a great big snore….”

Bear’s friends are determined to keep Bear awake for Christmas! So they wake Bear up and have him help them find a Christmas tree, bake cakes, hang up stockings, and sing Christmas songs. Bear stays up — by discovering that giving is one of the best Christmas presents!

How a SURPRISE visit from someone very special gives Bear and his friends a Christmas to remember makes an enchanting holiday story for young readers. With Karma Wilson’s memorable text and Jane Chapman’s glowing illustrations, Bear Stays Up for Christmas is a book to cherish throughout the year.   (Read more…)

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9. How Santa Got His Job by Stephen Krensky

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Have you ever wondered what Santa did before he was Santa?  When Santa was young and needed a job, no one was looking for a man in a red suit to deliver gifts on Christmas. So Santa tried just about everything — from a chimney sweep to a postman to a circus performer. But none of these worked out. It wasn’t until he met a group of elves who helped him use all his special talents, that Santa was able to find his dream job.  (Read more…)

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10. How Santa Lost His Job by Stephen Krensky

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Santa has the best job he can think of — brining presents each Christmas to children all around the world. Every year he prepares for his trip: He trims his beard, takes a bath, gets dressed, and packs up his sleigh fort he long night ahead. But there are always a few unexpected delays that make things a little hectic. Muckle, one of the elves who helps Santa, thinks he can come up with a more efficient way of delivering the toys — a method that won’t involve Santa at all. (Read more…)

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11. The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Kids will adore this sequel to the New York Times bestseller The Biggest Pumpkin Ever!  When the mayor of Mouseville announces the town snowman contest, Clayton and Desmond claim that they will each make the biggest snowman ever. But building a huge snowman alone is hard! They work and work, but their snowmen just aren’t big enough.  Soon they have an idea. As the day of the contest approaches, Clayton and Desmond join forces to build the biggest snowman ever. (Read more…)

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12. Mickey’s Christmas Carol by Disney

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Relive this wonderful Disney classic film in a beautiful, hardcover, 96-page classic storybook that accurately captures the movie magic and places it right into a child’s hands. With every turn of a page, adventure unfolds to create memories that will last a lifetime. (Read more…)

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13. Mortimer’s Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Mortimer Mouse needs a new house — a house that’s not so cold, cramped, and dark. Where can he go?He sees a huge tree covered with twinkling lights. And next to the tree, a mouse-size house. And inside the house, a wee wooden manger just Mortimer’s size. But statue people seem to already live there! One by one, Mortimer lugs and tugs the statues out of the house — only to find them all put back in their places each evening! What is Mortimer to do?

It’s not until he overhears a very special story that Mortimer realizes whose house he is sharing and where Mortimer himself belongs. It is the story of Christmas and the ngiht the baby Jesus was born that warms Mortimer’s heart in this magical holiday offering from award winners Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. (Read more…)

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14. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

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Goodreads Synopsis:  The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. They lie, steal, smoke cigars, swear, and hit little kids. So no one is prepared when this outlaw family invades church one Sunday and decides to take over the annual Christmas pageant.

None of the Herdmans has ever heard the Christmas story before. Their interpretation of the tale — the Wise Men are a bunch of dirty spies and Herod needs a good beating — has a lot of people up in arms. But it will make this year’s pageant the most unusual anyone has seen and, just possibly, the best one ever. (Read more…)

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15. The Littlest Christmas Tree by R.A. Herman

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Goodreads Synopsis:  The Littlest Christmas Tree wants to find a home for Christmas in this companion to the bestselling favorite The Littlest Pumpkin.

There are only five days until Christmas, and the Littlest Christmas Tree is still waiting for a home. All it wants is for a family to take it home, decorate it, and sing its favorite song, “Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are thy branches…”

But as Christmas nears, and one by one the other trees find homes, the Littlest Christmas Tree begins to think that no one will ever take it home. And then, on Christmas Eve, its wish comes true when the man who runs the Christmas tree stand takes it home to his family. (Read more…)

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16. The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton

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Goodreads Synopsis:  n all the world, there is no place like Halloweenland, and Jack Skellington is Halloween’s most important figure. It’s Jack who devises the holiday’s most macabre tricks and frights, and he’s delightfully done it year after year. But this year, something isn’t quite right: Jack has grown bored with the usual Halloween pranks, and the joy of seeing shock and horror on people’s faces has faded.

Then one night, while out for a walk in the woods, Jack sees something he’s never seen before – a strange door carved into a tree. Stepping through the door Jack stumbles into a world unlike any he’s ever known. He finds himself in a bright, colorful place called Christmas Town. Jack has finally found what he’s been looking for, and knows right away what needs to be done. He will bring Christmas to Halloween – with Jack starring in Santa’s role!

The beautifully designed commemorative edition celebrates the twentieth anniversary of this classic book’s initial publication and features meticulously reproduced original artwork from the incomparable visionary Tim Burton. (Read more…)

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17. Santa’s Stuck by Rhonda Gowler Greene

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Goodreads Synopsis:  This playful picture book answers the age-old question: Just how does Santa shimmy up and down chimneys? Not very easily sometimes! When the rotund fellow with a sweet tooth overdoes it on the snacks, he gets stuck inside a chimney. The reindeer on the roof try pulling him out, to no avail. A dog, a cat, and some kittens try pushing from below, with no luck. It takes a tiny, ingenious mouse to come up with the way to POP! Santa out so that Christmas can go on. Good show—ho, ho, ho! (Read more…)

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18. A Charlie Brown Christmas by Charles M. Schulz

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit — except for Charlie Brown. It seems like everybody has forgotten what Christmas is truly about. But Lucy, Linus, and the whole Peanuts gang have some holiday surprises that will make even Charlie Brown feel merry! (Read more…)

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19. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards a mysterious train that waits for him: the Polar Express bound for the North Pole. When he arrives there, Santa offers him any gift he desires. The boy modestly asks for one bell from the reindeer’s harness. It turns out to be a very special gift, for only believers in Santa can hear it ring. (Read more…)

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20. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss

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Goodreads Synopsis:  “The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don’t ask why. No one quite knows the reason.”

Dr. Seuss’s small-hearted Grinch ranks right up there with Scrooge when it comes to the crankiest, scowling holiday grumps of all time. For 53 years, the Grinch has lived in a cave on the side of a mountain, looming above the Whos in Whoville. The noisy holiday preparations and infernal singing of the happy little citizens below annoy him to no end. The Grinch decides this frivolous merriment must stop. His “wonderful, awful” idea is to don a Santa outfit, strap heavy antlers on his poor, quivering dog Max, construct a makeshift sleigh, head down to Whoville, and strip the chafingly cheerful Whos of their Yuletide glee once and for all.

Looking quite out of place and very disturbing in his makeshift Santa get-up, the Grinch slithers down chimneys with empty bags and stealing the Whos’ presents, their food, even the logs from their humble Who-fires. He takes the ramshackle sleigh to Mt. Crumpit to dump it and waits to hear the sobs of the Whos when they wake up and discover the trappings of Christmas have disappeared. Imagine the Whos’ dismay when they discover the evil-doings of Grinch in his anti-Santa guise. But what is that sound? It’s not sobbing, but singing! Children simultaneously adore and fear this triumphant, twisted Seussian testimonial to the undaunted cheerfulness of the Whos, the transcendent nature of joy, and of course, the growth potential of a heart that’s two sizes too small.

This holiday classic is perfect for reading aloud to your favorite little Whos. . (Read more…)

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21. Santa’s Birthday Gift by Sherrill S. Cannon

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Goodreads Synopsis:  If your child or grandchild has ever wondered where Santa fits in with the traditional Christmas story, now you can read them Santa’s Birthday Gift. Finally, a book that ties two holiday traditions into one inspirational tale of wonder – as Santa brings gifts to baby Jesus. The cleverly-written, rhyming book reveals Santa’s adventure from toymaker to star follower — right into the heart of Bethlehem where he meets Baby Jesus in the manger. Delivering toys to a king is a touching experience for both Santa and readers alike, as they discover where the tradition began — Santa makes a promise to Jesus to bring gifts to good boys and girls each year on Jesus’ birthday. This delightful story is engaging and delivers meaningful lessons using recognizable nativity characters, and of course, Santa and Jesus. Author Sherrill S. Cannon says her inspiration for this book came from her granddaughter who, after hearing the Christmas story, asked, “But where’s Santa?” Cannon has been weaving stories and poems even before she could write. She enjoys the creative process and says her goal in each book is to teach good manners, as well as caring for others. Her background is in physical education, sports photography and she also had a column in a newspaper. Cannon is already working on several new children’s books. (Read more…)

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22. Humphrey’s First Christmas by Carol Heyer

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Goodreads Synopsis:  This book is suitable for ages 4-8. We have all heard the story of the three wise men, who brought their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. But what about the camels who carried them? Here is the imaginative story of Humphrey the camel and his long, cold journey to Bethlehem. In addition to an engaging text and gorgeous, whimsical artwork, this story reminds readers of the importance of Christmas and the true meaning of gift-giving.  (Read more…)

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23. The Night Before The Night Before Christmas by Natasha Wing

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Goodreads Synopsis:  It’s December 23, and Christmas is just around the corner. But one family is having trouble getting its act together. Once again, Natasha Wing follows the rhythms and meter of Clement Moore’s classic Christmas poem, yet gives it her own entirely original twist.  (Read more…)

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24. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

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Goodreads Synopsis:  Once upon a time, children imagined St. Nicholas as a stern, skinny bishop who was as likely to dole out discipline as Christmas presents. But thanks to the anonymous publication of the poem “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas” in the TROY SENTINAL in 1823, a plumper, merrier St. Nick was born, transformed into the sleigh-riding, chimney-diving, jolly old elf we now call Santa Claus. (Read more…)

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Question:  Have you ever tried to do a book advent calendar?  Which books did you use?