A Night of Christmas Lights

When my mom was in town over Thanksgiving we went to a Christmas lights display in the Dallas area called Prairie Lights. I thought I would share with you some of the photos I took from the evening to bring you some Christmas cheer!

Look at the little gnome house! How cute is that! BTW, I’ll probably say that a lot of things are cute. That’s just how I roll with Christmas lights.

This little temple was part of an area that featured jungle animals! You can also see the reflection of the brake lights from the car in front of us. One of many pictures I took through the windshield.

I love gingerbread! Naturally, I had to snap this pic!

This dinosaur was when I realized I could roll the window down and get clearer pictures. I’m so smart. Look at how smart I am.

A good manger scene always makes me nostalgic for my childhood. My mom always seemed to have at least three of them just out and about during the holidays. They were all connected to happy family memories.

Dragon. Need I say more. Also, look at all the people feet at the bottom of it! Love it!

I love the idea of the colosseum being used as the Reindeer Games Arena! my brain just thought “how cute!”.

I’m sorry, do you see the fish and ice cube decorated Christmas tree? I laughed when I saw this. This was in a area that featured penguins and this was their tree!

There were some of the highlights of the Prairie Lights show! We really did enjoy it and it was a great way to have some Covid safe family fun. I enjoyed myself and listening to my mom’s exclamations of happiness as she discovered each new thing. Yes, my mom’s joy brought me joy. And I found some joy of my own in the lights as well. Pretty sure I made those exclamations of happiness myself!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!

The Festive Christmas Book Tag

We lookie here. Another Christmas book tag. I may love Christmas so festive book tags seemed like the perfect way to express that. I found this one through Jenniely, but it was originally from booktuber GirlReading.

It’s just so cool!

Get it? Cool? Cause winter is cold?

A fictional family you would like to spend Christmas dinner with?

Well this ones easy. The Weasleys of course. Does anyone else what to give them muggle gifts and watch as Arthur tries to steal everyone’s presents to figure out how they work and what the point of them is? Just me then?

A bookish item you would like to receive as a gift?

Well that’s easy, a Book Nook! I wrote about the beautiousness of the Book Nook here. This one by Scrapbookstickers on Etsy is fantastic!

A fictional character you think would make a perfect Christmas elf?

Well this is easy. Pick a house elf. Any happy house elf. I know we all love Dobby (see gif below) but all the house elves at Hogwarts work to make the school look super festive.

Match a book to it’s perfect Christmas song.

Why was this so difficult? I mean, it was just so difficult. So I settled.

The book is To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers and the Song is Star to Follow by Trans Siberia Orchestra.

Bah Humbug. A book or fictional character you’ve been disappointed in and should be put on the naughty list?

John Farrell from the Postmortal. That guy was all kinds of screwed up. He made lots of bad life choices. And for a book about a guy with the potential to live forever, well. I still gave the book 4 stars though.

A book or a fictional character you think deserves more love and appreciation and deserve to be put on the nice list?

Anything by Mercedes Lackey, but more specifically, Vanyel from The Last Herald Mage trilogy. These books have everything. Plucky animal sidekicks, queer rep, a great magic system, good world building, compelling characters, sadness, happiness. Everything!

Red, Gold and Green. A book cover that has a wonderfully christmasy feel to it.

I reviewed this book and I just happen to think it’s so cute! The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guin. It’s exactly what it says on the cover. The perfect warm hearted Christmas time read.

A book or series you love so much, you want everyone to find under their Christmas tree this year so they can read it and love it too?

The Dragon Prince Trilogy by Melanie Rawn. I love this book series and I think everyone should read it. It has dragons, obvs, a strong female protagonist, a strong male protagonist, compelling villains, an interesting magic system, and fantastic world building. Did I mention the dragons? Plus, look at that beautiful Michael Whelan cover art!

What would your answers be to any of these questions? Do the tag and let me know!

12 Days of Christmas Book Tag

‘Tis the season…for a holiday book tag!

Yup, I decided to try my hands at a book tag. So I set to the Googles and stumble across this one on The Sassy Book Geeks page. It loosely based on this one from Lizzie Loves Books.

A 12 Days of Christmas Book Tag! As a Christmas enthusiast I had to do this tag.

Without further ado, let’s go!

On The First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: A Partridge in a Pear Tree.

The partridge stood alone in the pear tree. What is your favorite stand alone?

Sherlock Holmes as a woman…and a sorceress. I reviewed this one back in February and I loved it! Also, I don’t read many stand alones, and this was one of the few I did read that I loved.

On The Second Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Two Turtle Doves

Love is in the air! Who is your one true pairing?

Rohan and Sioned of The Dragon Prince trilogy! Their relationship is fire, quite literally.

On The Third Day Of Christmas, My True Love Sent to Me: Three French Hens

In the spirit of threes, what is the best trilogy you have ever read?

I couldn’t think of anything more timely, because I have just recently started reading the newer releases. This trilogy, released back in the 90’s, has everything, romance, political intrigue, fight sequences! Love it!

On the Fourth Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent to Me: Four Calling Birds

Since series usually consist of four or more books, what is your favorite series?

The Crown of Stars series by Kate Elliot is equal parts amazing world building and fantastic character development. I need to re-read these.

On The Fifth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Five Gold Rings!!!

One ring to rule them all! Who is your favorite villain/antagonist?

The scariest villains are the one’s that could exist in real life, and since Voldemort was essentially Hitler with magic. Yeah, scary dude.

On the Sixth day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Six Geese a Laying

Creation is a beautiful things. What is your favorite world/world building?

The Perilous Order of Camelot series has some of the best world building. I mean, it literally starts with the creation of the universe. Gotta love that!

On the Seventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Seven Swans a Swimming

Who needs seven swans when all it takes is one good animal sidekick? Who is your favorite animal sidekick?

Yfandes is one of my favorite sidekicks. She is a steadfast and sure, which is exactly what Vanyel needs in his life.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eight Maids A Milking

Milk is so 18th century. What book or series takes beverages/food to a whole new level?

I love the way the hobbits love food and drink. Mushrooms! Second breakfast!

On the Ninth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Nine Ladies Dancing

Dancing is just one skill of a lady. Who is your favorite kickass female lead?

Sarra from Exiles is a fantastic leading lady. She is intelligent and strong willed, but not unwilling to accept help from others.

On the Tenth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Ten Lords A Leaping

Who is your favorite leading lad?

Rohan loves books and really hates the High Prince. Not that he doesn’t deserve it. Did I mention he is also a prince?

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Eleven Pipers Piping

What is your favorite book or bookish this about music? (It can be about music, reference music a lot, etc.)

Vanyel wants nothing more than to be a bard and escape his father’s keep. Music is his life. His whole life. Here’s hoping he actually has the bardic gift.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Drummers Drumming

What is your favorite book of the year?

This was by far my favorite book this year. And that ending. Oh my goodness that ending! This is a must read for anyone for sure.

How would you answer any of these questions? Let me know!

The Autobiography of Santa Claus – A Book Review

So I’m just gonna say it: This book is freaking adorable.

It really, truly is.

It follows the story of Santa Claus, from his humble beginnings as Nickolas the priest, to his later life as Father Christmas. It covers the course of about 1700 years so we get to see some of human history through his eyes. Which is fascinating!

His adventures take you all over Christendom, as Nickolas is a priest after all. And Santa does only go where the legend of Santa spreads. You watch as he encounters historical figures (most real, one or two not so much), places, and events. You see and experience these things through his eyes.

Now the book does shy away from some of the harsher realities that take place but also embraces others. Like the persecution of early Christians by the Roman empire. It’s not graphic though.

It’s very much a work of fiction but would stand up to some of the autobiographies I have read. It reads very much like a true story, and you find yourself getting swept up into the world of Saint Nickolas as a result.

I loved the way quiet way Nickolas moved through this world, just wanting to give gifts to those less fortunate than he. He was so determined to remain anonymous that he was well and truly shocked when gifts kept being given in his name.

His helpers are a ragtag bunch of interesting historical figures. From former slaves to warlords to priests to writers and many more! To give just one of them away would take the fun out of finding out for yourself.

You can tell Jeff Guinn, the author really did his research on various topics, religious beliefs, and peoples. He also happens to have a reference list in the back of the book just in case you wanted to doubt that he put in any research time on this book.

Cause he did.

And this book reads like a love letter to Santa Claus as a result.

To sum up, I truly loved this book. I thought it was well written and well researched. The characters were bright and vibrant. The world was colorful. The pacing was consistent throughout, which was nice. I can’t say it enough, I loved this book! 5 out of 5 stars.

A Nice Cup of Cocoa

I’ve waxed poetically about the humble cup of tea in the past.   I figured why not write about its holiday counterpart, the cup of cocoa.

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Especially because it’s now cocoa season.

Cocoa season and Christmas always seem to coincide with each other, but the two are not mutually exclusive.  Although, me putting a candy cane in my hot coca will cease after the holidays are over.  That’s mostly because they stop selling candy canes!

That’s a travesty.  Easy to make peppermint hot cocoa?  Why wouldn’t you want to put a candy cane in your chocolatey beverage?

Or a cinnamon stick?!?!?

Okay, so I might have a cocoa problem.

Can you really blame me?

Christmas Cards

It’s that time of year again.

The time when we start prepping for the holidays.

This year I am sending out greeting cards.  I don’t usually manage to do this, but since I have the time I might as well.

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I have all my pens laid out.

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I’ve been practicing my hand lettering.  I can’t call it calligraphy, cause it ain’t that fer sure.  But hand lettering, I can go with that.

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I’m excited to get these cards out this year.  I am going to be sending them to more than two people, so it should take a few days to be ready.  And then I can mail them out when it gets closer to the holiday.

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This is going to be a fun next couple of days.