Book Flight: Christmas

Christmas came early this year, at least at our house. We’re feeling the weight of all the chaos and ugliness in the world right now, so it felt like we needed a little extra light this year. Adding to that was our lack of decorating last year, since we were just a couple of weeks from moving into our new home. Our first Christmas in our new home is definitely something that deserves some extra celebration.

Our Christmas tree went up the first week of November, along with all our decorations. Christmas music is playing regularly. We’re wrapping gifts and planning meals and lingering a little longer in the hope of Christmas.

My reading is changing gears, too. Last year was the first time in a really long time that I read Christmas books. I’m diving into my Christmas reading list for this year as soon as I wrap up a handful of review books.

First I’ll share a couple of favorite Christmas books from last season, then I’ll share what I’m planning to read this Christmas season. (I do have affiliate links in today’s post – they don’t cost you anything extra, but if you choose to buy through them, it helps me out. )

The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck

I love The Wedding Collection series, and this sweet Christmas story is the perfect addition to it. You can get a Kindle copy for just 99 cents (as of 11/16).

Like a Winter Snow by Lindsay Harrel

If you haven’t read The Secrets of Paper and Ink by Lindsay Harrel, you need to read it now. Lindsay released this Christmas story based off the book last year, and she released another one this year (more on that below). I love the town of Port Willis and every story from this series is so good. It’s also a great bargain at $2.99.

What I’m reading this year…

It Happened at Christmas by Christen Krumm

One of the categories for this year’s Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge is “a book by a local author.” This YA twist on one of my all time favorite movies, While You Were Sleeping, was written by a local author. I’ve had my copy for months, just waiting for Christmas to come around. I can’t wait to read it! You can pick it up on Kindle for $3.99.

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

I finished the Royal Wedding series this year and saved this for Christmas. Our local library has a copy. You can also find it on Kindle for $4.99. And for the record, Rachel Hauck writes the the best wedding books.

Christmas at the Circus by Joanne Bischoff

I just read The Lady and the Lionheart earlier this year and loved it. I was so excited to find out there’s a Christmas story, too! It’s only 99 cents on Kindle.

Like a Christmas Dream by Lindsay Harrel

Christmas books in this series are automatic preorders for me. The newest book is only $2.99 on Kindle. I can’t wait to start this one!

What are your favorite Christmas books? What are you reading this year?

Five Minute Friday: Cancel

I haven’t posted with Five Minute Friday in years, but I’ve decided to restart it this month. You can check out the linkup and read more posts here: Each week a prompt is posted, and you set a timer and write for five minutes. No editing. No rethinking. Just five minutes of writing. Below is my response to “cancel.”

It feels like life itself was canceled this year. Graduations. Birthday parties. Competitions. Church. Work. Everything put on hold while a virus ravaged the world.

I’ve alway been an introvert, I’ve always found peace and solace in being alone. But this…this is different. I hate this kind of alone. I hate not being able to worship with everyone at our church because we need to protect people. I hate not being able to see my sons compete in Fine Arts because it was all canceled.

But some things can’t be canceled, and I’m trying to hang onto those. Sunrises and sunsets. Walks down our quiet country roads. Taking care of my chickens and gathering eggs every day. Writing my list of 1,000 gifts in my gratitude journal. Reading. Putting up our Christmas tree early, because we desperately need more light and hope in the world.

And hope itself…that can never be canceled. My faith in Jesus…that isn’t canceled, either. Hope is real, and we need that even more in the middle of a canceled year. So this year, this Christmas season, I’m hanging onto the things that a pandemic and a year of loss can’t take away.

Finding Sanity in a World Gone Mad

The past two weeks have been brutal. Tell me I’m not the only one feeling the pressure? The pandemic, the vicious election here in the U.S. and the aftermath we’re still dealing with, the uncertainty that’s become a constant in our daily lives. It’s too much to take.

Last week I couldn’t even process my thoughts enough to post. This week I’m still overwhelmed but I’m trying to appreciate the small things that help me hang on to my sanity these days. Here are a few things I love right now…

Fall colors
Fresh eggs
Putting our Christmas tree up early
My new favorite tea
Electric blankets and sleepy Yorkies

What small things do you love right now? What’s helping you stay sane in a stressful year?

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