Thursday, December 12, 2013
One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is all the stories. Fairytales, coming of age stories, hilarious movies — we unpack them and dust them off every year, and the magic never fades.

Here are a few of the holiday tales we enjoy:


A Christmas Carol — This one is just so timeless I had to include it. I took my kiddos to a staged reading of this last year, a little nervous that they wouldn't quite "get it." But they loved it and really embraced the message, which was wonderful.

The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (classic) — I have loved this story since I was a little girl. The idea of the mean old Grinch doing such atrocious things and then finally realizing the true meaning of Christmas... still gives me chills and makes my heart grow three sizes bigger!

I'm sensing a theme here... I obviously appreciate stories in which characters grow emotionally!


Every year I re-read Louisa May Alcott's LITTLE WOMEN (and last year, Steph bought me an awesome purply hardcover edition that thrills me whenever I turn a page).  It's not a holiday story, necessarily, but the beginning chronicles what Christmas might have been like for a middle-class family during the Civil War.  Yes, they are a Northern family--a White family--yet want and poverty touches all walks of life.  These girls were thrilled to have an orange on the breakfast table and what they wouldn't do for a peppermint stick!  Or a new pair of stockings or gloves that were the right size and without holes in.  Puts things in perspective, even from a place of privilege.  And if there's one thing I need in a good book, it's perspective.

Some people enjoy Will Ferrell's sense of humor, others tolerate him.  Still others want to punch him in the face to make him shut up.  I'm in the camp where Will Ferrell grazes in the pastures of my spirit animal.  He is the part of me--the ten-year old boy who laughs at farts--that I keep carefully hidden away (mostly).  ELF is, therefore, a masterpiece of a Christmas story.  It never fails to tickle me.  It's probably my favourite Christmas movie besides RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER because, hello, childhood.

High-brow and Low-brow perfectly sums me up.  Xx


One of my all-time favorite holiday stories is the movie Love Actually. I know a lot of people hate it or think it's over-hyped, but I think it's such a great spider web of intersecting lives and stories, loves and lies, hopes and bittersweet realities -- all centered around Christmas! (Hm, but it is a shame that none of the other major holidays/religions are represented...) My favorite storyline is the one with Colin Firth as a stymied writer and his Portuguese maid. But I also adore the little boy in love for the first time (and the little girl's rendition of "All I Want For Christmas," dang!), and the heartbroken wife listening to Joni Mitchell, and the poor woman who can't hookup with the office hottie (Rodrigo Santoro) because she has to take care of her special needs brother. Is it all a bit contrived? Sure. But does it speak to the holiday spirit? To family and giving and love and loss? You bet your gingerbread cookies!


My favorite holiday story is the Nutcracker, specifically the ballet. I remember, when I was growing up, PBS used air my favorite version of the ballet every Christmas Eve at midnight. I would wait until the presents had been set out and my parents had gone to bed, and I would sneak out of my room to watch it. It was my own little tradition, just me sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV with the tree lights twinkling in the background. There was something magical about that.


What are some of your favorite holiday stories?


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Stephanie, Ingrid, Sarah & Kristan — we read, write, discuss and celebrate Young Adult lit.



on the shelf

The Bitter Kingdom
Wild Awake
The Raven Boys
Mind Games
Eleanor and Park
The Shattered Mountain
The Shadow Cats
Froi of the Exiles
Days of Blood & Starlight
Every Day
Jellicoe Road
Finnikin of the Rock
Guitar Notes
The Dead-Tossed Waves
The Crown of Embers
New House 5: How A Dorm Becomes A Home
The Fault in Our Stars

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