Christmas Traditions #5 – The reading list

I love to read.  In fact, Melissa without a book or magazine is more odd than Melissa with a book or magazine in tow.  At Christmas time,  I have a few books that I just love. And I re-read them faithfully every Christmas.
  1. Aunt Dimity’s Christmas by Nancy Atherton is a jewel of a book.  There’s a ghost, a mysterious man and a seriously awesome recipe for Angel cookies.  In addition to all that, it’s a wonderful story that makes me count my blessings, and remember why we celebrate Christmas.  I wholeheartedly wish I could give everyone a copy of this book.  It’s that good.  She has an entire series of these books and if you get the chance, they are all so enjoyable.
  2. Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon is equally enjoyable.  A small town Christmas as seen through the eyes of a Episcopal priest.  Jan Karon’s strengths as an author lie in her wonderful, written from the heart characters.  These characters are so alive, you expect to see them walking towards you out of the book.  I love her Mitford series, but this book is a particular favorite and a quick and easy read.
  3. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson.  When you are overwhelmed with holiday obligations, shopping for the umpteenth time at Wal-Mart because you have run out of tape  again, and you haven’t had a spare minute to yourself, stop and read this book.  Turn on the lights to the Christmas tree, listen to Lori Line’s Christmas album, and curl up on the couch with a blanket and read this book.  It’s a kids book. It’s a short read.  It’s an incredible book.  The view point is from a child, who watches from the sidelines, as a feared family of juvenile delinquents takes over the annual Christmas pageant.  You will be giggling and snorting with the descriptions of the pageant rehearsals, and the games that parents play with their children.  By the last chapter, you will be tearful. This book reminds us all to look deeper into ourselves and the sometimes frantic pace of the holiday season.
  4. The Convivial Codfish by Charlotte Macleod.  Totally madcap and off the wall murder mystery.  The two detectives, Sarah Kelling and her husband Max Bittersohn are entertaining as they negoitiate the first holiday together as man & wife.  To add to the holiday stress, Sarah is Protestant and Max is Jewish.  The humor and tact in which Macleod deals with the different expectations of  the holiday season coupled with the murder mystery is amazing.  I first read this book in 9th grade, primarily because there was a skull on the cover.  It was the book that started me reading Charlotte Macleod.
  5. Last but not least,  A Holiday for Murder by Agatha Christie. Not the most cheerful of subjects, but an English house mystery coupled with Christmas traditions.  Wonderful book as Hercule Poirot solves the mystery of who killed the host, and deals with the holiday in the English countryside.
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