My mother collects Christmas tree ornaments. She puts about five ornaments on each single twig of the tree (I kid you not), and the overall effect is slightly overwhelming but very beautiful and festive. Over the years, I have been given a few ornaments for Christmas, so that my own tree looks quite nice, too. I don’t receive the very best ornaments, but sometimes she finds more than one of a sort at some flea market or Christmas fair, and then she passes it to me. Or I have liked one so very much that she found it in her heart to part with it. (She is a true collector, and doesn’t part with her treasures easily.) Here are some of my ornaments that I really like: […]
What do you listen to just before Christmas?
– Rike Horstmann
Many of you got up at some unearthly time this morning to start your Christmas shopping. And for the next month or so, it is going to be go –go –go with more shopping, cooking, parties, children’s Christmas programs, and visiting relatives, leaving you with very little time to sit down and read. Of course you can buy the books you want to read, and after the holidays have a lie in and pamper yourself- there is definitely nothing wrong with that. But I like reading around the holidays. Many of the stories seem kinder, gentler, and filled with family.
What I do like is that holiday stories tend to have a lot of my favorite plot devices- like friends to lovers, pets, babies, and extended family. I am not saying that I want the stories to be sugarplum sweet, which I think is a […]
Happy Christmas everyone!
– Rike Horstmann
From a Very British Christmas:
Why, America, do (you) not bother with Boxing Day? What’s the rationale there? Is it because you’ve already had a lot of days off, what with Thanksgiving and Christmas Day? Do you not wish to enjoy another day in which you can look over your pile of presents, and then eat leftover turkey and watch another blockbuster movie? Are you that motivated that you have to get straight back to work as soon as is humanly possible?
. . . Boxing Day is also traditionally the first day of the post-Christmas sales. So a sizeable chunk of the population will be standing in a queue, ready to barge older and frailer people out of the way in the quest for a knockdown sofa. And if you don’t fancy shopping, your football or rugby team will oblige with a nice match to watch. That’s what we’re doing. Meanwhile, over in the US you’re, what, taking down […]
The idea to talk about Christmas stories crystallized after several readers posted on the Romance Potpourri Forum asking for holiday recommendations and my completion of a Christmas anthology review. After reading several stories that just didn’t do it for me, I realized that I want a certain type of story around Christmas. AAR staffers have definitely written about Christmas stories in the past, so I was able to find a lot of guidance. Rike has talked about her love of comedies and redemption – themed holiday stories. AAR conducted several mini polls about favorite Holiday stories and anthologies such as the ones in 2005, 2006, 2007 and then in 2009. Lynn has also written about her love of Christmas anthologies, and I suspect that there is much more information on the site.
Like every year, next to a number of Christmas presents I liked hugely (thanks again ever so much, guys!), there were two items under the tree that I was not quite to pleased with. I speak of them in the past, because in the week since Christmas I have managed to be rid of both of them. The chocolates I didn’t like I just placed on the table one night next to the wine – and the box was empty after just twenty minutes. […]
I love giving books for Christmas and birthdays, but for some people this is not feasible, as they don’t like reading or don’t like movies, or I just don’t know enough about their tastes to choose just the right gift for them. This leaves me with edibles (excellent gifts! as long as you’re sure about people’s tastes, and in this case, food allergies …), pretty pieces for decorations (excellent for those who like to decorate their houses – otherwise, not), vouchers and … cash. […]