November 07, 2011

Just What I Needed...


Photo by Yatharth

Yes, I'm taking on another challenge, but a short one.  Ever since I watched my first Christmas movie of the season a few nights ago, I've been wanting to find a Christmas reading challenge, preferrably one that didn't require me to read Romance novels that simply use Christmas as a pretty backdrop.  I was even considering devising one of my own, when I couldn't find one that fit what I was looking for, even though I really didn't feel equal to hosting yet another challenge right now.  But then!  The True Book Addict to the rescue!  Aided, of course, by Book Dragon's Lair, who first brought the challenge to my attention.  At The Christmas Spirit, The True Book Addict's dedicated Christmas blog, you will find the delightful Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge.

So, I'm signing up for the Mistletoe Level (2-4 books), as well as the Fa-La-La-La Films bonus round, since I have an extensive canon of Christmas movies that I always try to see at least once between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve.  I'm not sure if I'm meant to write up posts about each of the films or not, but I'll definitely be posting reviews for the books, anyway.

Just in passing, I have to say that one of my absolute favorite things about this challenge is the fact that it follows the traditional liturgical calendar for Advent and Christmas pretty closely, running from the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent through the full 12 Days of Christmas, ending on Epiphany/Theophany, January 6th.  (In case anyone's wondering, Epiphany is the Western Christian celebration of the Visit of the Magi to the Holy Family.  Theophany is the Eastern Christian celebration of Christ's baptism.  I like to celebrate both!)

Let me give you just a bit of backstory, to explain the two books I have chosen to read for the challenge.  Both are by that legendary Christmas author, Charles Dickens.  I know, I know; A Christmas Carol is so ridiculously cliche and overdone by now, that you're wondering WHY ON EARTH I'd bother to RE-read it.  Which is why I'm giving you the backstory.  :)

The first time I ever tried to read this book, I was in FIRST GRADE!  Ambitious, wasn't I?  I admit, I didn't understand quite a few of the words in the book, but even that was a helpful exercise, the first time I consciously read for context.  I must say, the elementary school librarian was rather aghast at the idea of me taking on such a grown-up book, but to her credit, she let me check out the book, and I enjoyed what I could comprehend of it.  The last time I read it, I was in 7th grade, and it was assigned to us in a literature class.  That time, it made a lot more sense.  Clearly, this book and I have serious history, and I've always loved it.  I think the time has come to refresh my memory.

Secondly, I'm going to read Dickens' The Cricket on the Hearth, which will take its place in my Victory Garden when it's completed.  It beat me when I was 13; this time, I'm going to make it through it, especially since it's not that long.  Wish me luck!


  1. Welcome to the challenge! So glad you're joining us. I for one would NEVER consider A Christmas Carol cliche. It's my absolute favorite! Enjoy!


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