sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

January 4, 2017


secret santa revealed
posted by soe 2:16 am

Last month I took part in the bookish holiday Secret Santa event that The Broke and the Bookish, #TBTBSanta, runs every year.

Gina of Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers was my awesome Secret Santa. As you can see, she was remarkably generous, offering me gifts to open 12 days in a row. I do love surprises:

#TBTBSanta Presents

Paddington arrived with 12 numbered parcels. While I was oohing and aahing and hunting for package #1, Paddington raided the cupboards, since he was feeling a little peckish from his journey.

Paddington Makes Himself at Home

Once he was feeling like his normal, growly self, he gave me a hand with opening the presents.

#TBTBSanta Presents

The packages contained all sorts of goodies, from cute Japanese stationery …

#TBTBSanta Presents

#TBTBSanta Presents

… to adorable stickers, which Paddington thought we should immediately use on the Christmas cards.

#TBTBSanta Presents

There were a lot of books! Paddington loves a good story and is spending much of his time getting caught up on some fun books:

#TBTBSanta Presents

#TBTBSanta Presents

Paddington Reads by the Tree

Eventually he started inviting others in the household to join him for story time:

Paddington Hosts Storytime

(I could totally have edited out the vacuum cleaner, but a) real life and b) then you’d have missed Corey lying there on the floor, waiting to hear what’s going to happen next.)

#TBTBSanta Presents

Thank you so much, Gina! This was a wonderful package and I had such a fun time opening every single gift. I can’t wait to start reading! Now I just have to choose which book to begin with!

(And thank you to Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, who organizes this international gift exchange each year. It really is a blast!)

Category: books,christmas/holiday season. There is/are 4 Comments.

December 24, 2016


virtual advent: day 24
posted by soe 5:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 24 of the Virtual Advent Tour!


Guys, we made it. Whether by hook or crook, no matter how much we rush or how little we sleep, Christmas will arrive tomorrow. So in these final hours, I hope you are able to slow down, enjoy some Christmas music, hug your loved ones (in person or virtually), and ponder the blessings of the season, no matter how humble or unusual they might be this year. Then get some sleep. After all, tomorrow is Christmas!

Christmas Wrappings

Behind the final door in this year’s Virtual Advent Tour is, as it was last year, Teri at Henningsen Happenings. Teri has written about how her Christmas has changed this year and how she’s trying to make the most of it.

Thank you, Teri, for sharing this blog post with us and for taking part in the tour once again.


As you probably remember, I gave serious consideration to not doing the Virtual Advent Tour this year. I’m so glad, though, that you all convinced me that together we could make it work. Through this group effort of ours, I think we put together something pretty nice that I really looked forward to reading every day this month and that I hope you did, too.

I offer my formal thanks to raidergirl3, Bridget, Kat, Rudi, Jo Kay, Tami, Aíne Greaney, Deb Nance, Tasha, Molly, Teri, and Zoe. My thanks are especially deep toward those of you who took on a second blog post, relieving me of that responsibility.

So, as they sing on my favorite holiday special, Christmas Eve on Sesame Street,

Keep Christmas with you
All through the year.
When Christmas is over,
Spread some Christmas cheer.
These precious moments,
hold them very dear.
And keep Christmas with you
All through the year.

Happy Holidays! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

 

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 3 Comments.

December 23, 2016


virtual advent tour: day 23
posted by soe 5:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 23 of the Virtual Advent Tour!


For our penultimate stop, the Virtual Advent Tour heads back to Bridget at The Ravell’d Sleave. Today, Bridget shares some thoughts about adaptable traditions during the holiday season.

Thank you, Bridget, for another great post! I also appreciate all your support for the Virtual Advent Tour and for your ongoing participation!

Check back here tomorrow for the final stop on the Virtual Advent Tour.

 

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 22, 2016


virtual advent tour: day 22
posted by soe 6:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 22 of the Virtual Advent Tour!


One of my favorite Christmas albums and my favorite Christmas season concert came last year from Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings. She knew when we saw her last December that her pancreatic cancer was not treatable, but despite being sick she swore she’d go down singing because what else was there? She died this fall, but not before work had begun on this stop-animation of one of her holiday covers:

We had a vacant spot for today’s antepenultimate stop in the Virtual Advent Tour that yesterday afternoon Cindy of Cindy’s Love of Books offered to fill. I joyfully accepted her offer and look forward to reading what she has to say about the holidays. I’ll update this post when I log back in later today.

Thank you, Cindy, for jumping into the fray at the very last minute and for taking part in the Virtual Advent Tour after a couple years away! Welcome back!

Check back here tomorrow for the penultimate stop on the Virtual Advent Tour.

 

Category: christmas/holiday season. There is/are 1 Comment.

December 21, 2016


virtual advent tour: day 21
posted by soe 5:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 21 of the Virtual Advent Tour!


This morning at 5:44 EST (10:44 UTC) is the Winter Solstice, marking the darkest day of the year. However, however! Even today, sunset is coming smidges later than it did yesterday. And that’s going to keep happening. We aren’t going to be able to notice it for a while, since we get only seconds more a day. But seconds add up to minutes and minutes up to hours. We just have to be patient and have faith, and in the meantime light the lights, sing the songs, and celebrate what we can. I choose to celebrate all of you, who came together this season to make something I’ve enjoyed quite a lot. Thank you.

And, so, today the Virtual Advent Tour heads to Deb Nance at Readerbuzz. Deb has a suggestion for those of us feeling a little adrift this holiday season: start a tradition!

Deb, thanks for joining the Virtual Advent Tour again this year and for writing a great post!

Check back here tomorrow for the next stop on the Virtual Advent Tour.

 

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December 20, 2016


virtual advent tour: day 20
posted by soe 7:00 am

Virtual Advent Tour logo
Welcome to Day 20 of the Virtual Advent Tour!


Today the Virtual Advent Tour heads to Molly at my cozy book nook. Molly has written a post about her Christmas stocking tradition.

Thank, Molly, for the post and for taking part again in the Virtual Advent Tour!

In addition, I have a second treat for you: My awesome dad (who comments here as DOD) has written a guest post for us featuring a Christmas trivia game to challenge you. Put your holiday thinking caps on!:


You can hardly celebrate Christmas without music, but how much do we know about the songs we hear and love to sing? Here are iTunes’ top 20 downloaded songs of 2016 and the artists whose versions are currently the most popular. All you have to do is guess when they were written and whose versions brought the songs to our attention.

iTunes’ Top 20 downloaded songs of 2016

  1. “Hallelujah” — Pentatonix
  2. “All I Want for Christmas Is You” — Mariah Carey
  3. “Mary, Did You Know?” — Pentatonix
  4. “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” — Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  5. “Christmas Canon” — Trans-Siberian Orchestra
  6. “Jingle Bell Rock” — Bobby Helms
  7. “Last Christmas” — Wham!
  8. “Feliz Navidad” — José Feliciano
  9. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” — Brenda Lee
  10. “Little Drummer Boy” — Pentatonix
  11. “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” — Bruce Springsteen
  12. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” — Pentatonix
  13. “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” — Andy Williams
  14. “Noel” — Chris Tomlin featuring Lauren Daigle
  15. “Santa Tell Me” — Ariana Grande
  16. “The Christmas Song” — Nat King Cole
  17. “Underneath the Tree” — Kelly Clarkson
  18. “O Come All Ye Faithful” — Pentatonix
  19. “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” — Michael Bublé
  20. “Silent Night” — Pentatonix

[Find the answers after the jump. -ed.] (more…)

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