What Christmas Means to Me

Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. It’s magic and joyous and kind. It’s as much the gifts you get as the gifts you give, yet as I’ve gotten old enough to go out and buy my own gifts for people, it’s the look on someone’s face when I give them something they really love that puts the biggest smile on my face.

Everyone on this earth wants to feel joy and happiness and to feel cared for. Christmas is the time where I really feel and see that all around me.

Then there is the romantic parts of it. Mistletoe and ice skating dates, drinking egg nog or a peppermint mocha with someone your getting to know, feeling that romantic pull in your heart. It’s a beautiful thing and it makes me feel excited, because I’ve never experienced that in person before and love during the holidays feels like it’s sprinkled with that little extra spice of magic.

People change during this time of year. There is more kindness. More remembering that we really are all in this life together and we are all deserving of being treated well. A lot of people donate time to feeding the homeless and more people give a little extra to those in need. More people are willing to give the benefit of the doubt and understand that mistakes are human.

This time of year is special. The decorations all around are gorgeous. There is a festive spirit you can feel in the energy of the people around you. I’ve seen so many guys wearing Christmas sweaters this year… so so many. More then the girls and I thought to myself, “the men really came through in terms of spirit this year and I want to hug every single one wearing one of those sweaters because I’m so proud. All of the women too while I’m at it. The Christmas cheer ends nowhere in my heart.”

But, what I’m most happy to say here is that this has been my favorite Christmas so far. It’s been happier then any other Christmas I’ve had and it’s because I’m happier now then I’ve ever been. Every single day of my life recently has been so joyful and full of life that it baffles me. I’m treating myself the way I always deserved to be treated. I follow my joy at all times. I follow my excitement at all times. Everything is working out for me. I’ve never appreciated myself or life in general more.

This Christmas feels so rich. Rich in happy moments with my family. Rich in dancing. Rich in singing until I got my annual sinus issues and even that hasn’t been bad at all. I’ve never had such a good time while my nose and throat were acting up in my entire life. I’m so deliriously and wonderfully happy and I know there is no end to it in sight. I know that my life is just going to get better and better. There is so much good to experience. So much music to fall in love with. So many books to read and movies to watch. So much to laugh about. I feel so blessed this Christmas and I know it’s a feeling I will have for the rest of my life.

Christmas is like all the best parts of life to me. I can only explain it as these visions of beautiful moments in my head. Moments like when I gave the item in my hand to a woman who was looking to buy that item and didn’t know where to find it. Then I just went back and got another one to buy myself. Moments like one of the guys that work as a janitor taking out the trash from my store so I didn’t have to do it myself. Then another time me holding the door open for the same guy when I was on my way to storage (which he didn’t want to accept at first.. which made my eyes roll, but I digress). Moments like my sister tickling me when I was trying to get her to fist bump my hand and us both ending up laughing tell we started coughing because it was all too much. Moments like picking out a free ornament from World Market with my family and finding the most beautiful animal ornaments to hang on the tree.

Christmas is a beautiful time of year. Filled with the taste of peppermint and lots of music and cheer. I love it with every fiber of my being and I appreciate so much Christmas this and every year.

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My Favorite Christmas Films

Every year I watch many Christmas films and a lot of the times it is throughout the year because my mom adores them, but there are a few that have become my favorites and I’d love to share them with all of you!

The Christmas Chronicles

At the time of writing this I am re-watching this film. It’s a fun, rocking-Christmas type of film. It’s fun with adorable little elves and the coolest Santa ever! A second film is coming out next year and I can’t wait to watch it!

Every Home Alone

I have watched every home alone over and over and over. I don’t know why, but I adore these films. They make me laugh every time and I couldn’t stop watching them as a kid. This is the exact collection I had as a kid and I remember binging them all the time on my own again and again.

The Christmas Calendar

I watched this for the first time a few days ago and did a whole post on it, but I really do find this film adorable. It’s super romantic and it lights up my heart in such a pure way.

Christmas With the Kranks

This movie is so laugh out loud funny. It’s a good jolly competition and that makes a wonderful film to me.

The Santa Clause Films

This is classic Christmas for me. This is what gave me the original idea of what Santa was like and I couldn’t stop watching as a kid.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

This movie is so wholesome. I know it’s about someone hating Christmas, but in my heart I believe that the Grinches heart was always big, because sometimes caring too much can leave you feeling cold even though it’s really just fear of things that could go wrong that don’t define what will actually be.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Speaking of classic Christmas, nothing is more classic to me is The Nightmare Before Christmas. I’ve come to love it more and more over the years and now it doesn’t really feel like Christmas till I watch it.

Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

What are your favorite Christmas movies?

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A Christmas Gift

That Christmas teddy bear

Underneath the tree

A special soft something

That Santa left for me

When the world felt cold and broken

I’d hug that teddy bear

Feel that soft sweet something

That made everything feel fair

A kindness from the red suit

The white bearded Santa Claus

A simple brown little teddy

Gave me a hope that it all would end

Mommy would say she loved me

Behind a genuine smile

And my dad would be there to kiss me

And sing me a lullaby

Ohh Santa I am so grateful

For the gift you gave to me

To see past the truth I’m seeing

To hope for new reality

At night I’ll sing a Noelle carol

And hold my teddy tight

And tomorrow will be better

By the end of my lullaby

A note: As a child, I always had stuffed animals. I never slept without them. I never thought about anything bad while holding one and they helped me to feel safe. I know that this poem is sad, but it is in essence a hopeful one. Those bad situations come to an end and there is always hope for bright spots in the future. Christmas to me is about hope and from that this poem was born.

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Watching: The Christmas Calendar

I just got done watching probably one of the cutest and most romantic Christmas movies I’ve watched. It has everything I love about a good romantic Christmas movie magic, curiosity, adorable moments, and absolute wonder. Christmas is the most magical time of the year. Falling in love during that time sounds like another kind of magic.

Emily receives a Christmas Calendar with little notes from a secret admirer. The whole town gets involved as each day the mystery unravels itself and everyone is wondering who is the guy? Overall, the concept is adorable. Who wouldn’t want to be wooed in such a creative and romantic way.

All the while a new baker comes to town and enters competition with Emily and sparks start to fly. It awoke the part of me that deeply desires to love and be loved. When the two were baking together and having a great time I wondered what I’d be like to have that one day with the person I spend my life with. I’m barely decent at baking so It’d be messier and more about figuring it out together, but I love that idea more.

Watching this I just felt that something in me light up that loves to love and deeply wants to spend my life having fun and learning and growing together with someone I love and who feels every ounce of that love for me as well. Something gentle and soft and kind. Something peaceful. Something I’ve tasted before and fell way too short.

Love is at the beating heart of what Christmas is to me. Love for your family. For your neighbors. Love for the people you work with. Love for those you like and those you don’t. And yes romantic love too.

This romantic little story does what every good Christmas film should, it inspires hope. It gives you all the warm and fuzzy feelings about what could and will be. One day, it’s fun to think about, what a Christmas would look like beside the guy that holds my heart. So I hold hope in my heart for that one day and all the one days that will come after.

What I also loved about the film was the mischievous actions from some of the characters that added a little spice and hilarity to the film. Some people live to cause chaos and having those chinks in the film was a lot of fun.

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Watching: Noelle

The first Christmas movie I’ve decided to watch to kick off the beautiful season is Noelle. Due to a lovely friend and coworker being amazing I got the chance to watch this film off Disney plus and I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed it for all that it was.

The story sets around Noelle and her brother Nick Kringle. Nick from a small child has been raised to become Santa. Noelle was raised with no expectation. She always wanted to do something important, but she was never taken seriously.

Santa passes away and it is time for Nick to fill Santa’s shoes, but he is terrible at it. Noelle tells him to take a break and so he does, but then he doesn’t want to come back.

Noelle then goes on a journey meeting a man named Jake and his son Alex. Together they set off to find her brother.

Overall, the movie is adorable. Obviously kid friendly. But, surprisingly not at all romance based which is unusual for Christmas films like this one, but I’m kinda happy that it isn’t.

Of course my favorite character was the little reindeer Snowball. I love adorable baby animals in films. They add a layer of cute that I cannot resist.

The movie is as it presents itself to be. It is un-complicated and there isn’t anything twisty about it. It has some very adorable moments as well as some good bits of humor. All in all, a great film for the season!

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My Christmas Playlist!

I love music and dancing. I love listening to good music almost more then anything else. I listen to so much music and so much variety of music that most turn up a brow when they know I’m that small percentage of people who max out the Spotify limit and makes a ginormous playlist instead of liking songs, because it doesn’t let me like them anymore because I’ve liked way too many.

This year I shared with all of you my Halloween playlist and since then that playlist has grown as my playlists always do, but that just means I have new music to share for next year!

However, this post is about my Christmas playlist! I have some classics, some new songs, but all the joyful songs of the season! I made sure that my Christmas playlist was as positive as possible. Music that makes me feel alive. Music that makes me dance and sing and feel joy. I love that having played this at my work that my coworkers and I have had some good laughs dancing along to the music and that it’s been such a good time.

This Christmas is going to be one of my favorites. I can feel that deep in my heart. It’s started off with a bang and I’m excited for all that the season will bring.

On to the music!!

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The Book Raven: 25 Days of Blogmas!!!

I am so excited to announce that I am doing 25 days of blogmas this December!!!

Usually for Christmas I do three posts for Christmas my books of Christmas past, present, and future. This time, I’m making Christmas a whole month extravaganza and I’m so excited about it!

I don’t yet have ideas for all the posts that I’m going to post, but for the ones I do I’m super excited about. Particularly my December Friday the 13th post! 😉

Anyway, this is going to be a wonderful December! I don’t know what all is coming this month or all that I’m going to write about, but I know it’s going to be fun and that is all that matters!

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Books of Christmas Future 2018

The future is an enigma. No one can know truly what is to come or what will be. One can only let the universe know their hopes and see if the universe grants what they wish to be.

Maybe the future will grant me a story of lives past

Or maybe the future will be where it’s at

A continuation of a story I started in the past

Or something totally new to keep the imagination something that lasts

Maybe a story to spark love in my heart

Or something where demons live supreme

Maybe something with a bit of tongue in cheek

Or something written a bit uniquely

Maybe something to spark some fear

But you can’t be without a bit of tears

What ever Christmas future brings

I know I’m going to love the adventure they bring

Thanks for reading! Let’s all hope for some great stories in our Christmas futures! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below.

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Books of Christmas Present

This year, I did not receive any books for Christmas. It was a very clothing heavy Christmas this year. Which makes sense due to my rapid weight loss journey over the course of the past months.

In a way it gave me a chance to appreciate the books on my shelves that I own and haven’t yet read.

Truly the Books of the Present are all the amazing books on my shelves and in my kindle library that are just waiting to tell me their stories. I can’t wait to dive into them.

This post almost turned into something sad. Not because it is absent of books or anything. But because, Christmas this year has not felt like Christmas for me. I notice in my own family that everyone looked like they were going through the motions this year and it felt like the spirit of the season was completely absent.

However, it’s good to remember that no matter what we are still family and that we love each other. Even when times get hard. That because of the love we feel for each other we can get through any obstacle.

If anything, this Christmas is teaching me to try and take action to bring joy into my life. Instead of letting things remain in a negative state. Because I don’t like feeling down during the holiday season. This Christmas is as it is, but next Christmas will be here before I know it and I want to enjoy it for what it should be.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day. I hope it was filled with joy and good interactions with family, friends, and loved ones.

Thank you all for reading!

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-Till next time!

Books of Christmas Past 2018

I hope everyone is having a fun wonderful and safe Christmas Eve. I hope everyone is spending some quality time with family, friends, and loved ones this holiday season. As is tradition on my blog I every Christmas Eve, day, and day after I create Books of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. Last year I was fortunate enough to receive some really great books for the holidays!

Without further ado here are my books of Christmas Past 2018:

The Girl Who Could Silence the Wind

I have yet to read this beautiful looking book. It was a giveaway surprise I received shortly before Christmas last year and I’m sad that I hadn’t gotten to read it just yet. It’s magical realism which is a genre that always captures my attention and I know that when I finally get to it I’m going to adore this book!

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Last year I received this incredible gem of a book and I adored reading it. The Stalking Jack the Ripper series is one of my absolute all time favorites and I’m so excited to one day pick up Escaping Houdini!!! I could scream my love of this book for ages and never stop. If your interested here is the link to my review.

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long while now, but this and many other books have been put to the side for a while due to the events of recent times. I’m hoping I get into reading it in the new year!

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

I can’t believe I got this book only last year. I loved reading it, but I didn’t realize that it was going to mean as much to me as it does now. This book is special. In a much deeper way to me then it was when I first read it. I’m going to make it a point to re-read this and Shadowsong in the new year. If you are interested in all my thoughts and feelings here’s a link to my review! This book was one of my favorites of 2017, but now I’m willing to say its one of my all time favorites ever.

The First Four Books In the Throne of Glass Series

This book was the start of a really fantastic series for me. I enjoyed reading immensely. Especially the books after ‘Throne of Glass’.

Again such a great series. It just gets better as it goes on.

Thanks for reading!!! Merry Christmas Eve to all of you! I hope you have amazing times with your family, friends, and loved ones!

-Till next time!