Random Christmas Recommendations

Christmas is often a fun but busy time of year - it can be hard on the wallet and trying on the patience, but ultimately delivers a nice break in the mundane routine of life, a new promise of hope and family, a chance to reunite with people you ignore half the time, and of course a time to feel a little like a kid again.

I've done previous posts for other years on favorite Christmas music and movies, but never much on books since I rarely read holiday-orientated stories. Thought I would do a mishmash this year of past mentionables, adding in a few new thoughts on book-related.

   Some Favorite Christmas Reads   

Naturally A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens makes this list. I'll mention it first since it's so well-known and the first thought when it comes to adult fiction for Christmas. It's not perfect, but it's a classic story that makes you realize a positive attitude can mean the world to more than just yourself. As Scrooge goes through three stages with three ghosts, the reader gets mental food for thought and a heartwarming finale to boot.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a timeless children's rhyming adventure that I can't outgrow. Besides the catchy writing bolstering the fun of the story, the Grinch manages to still come down from simple prose to deliver a pure message that applies to all ages. The adorable and brightly colored illustrations enhance the holiday joy of reading this one.

While not wholly Christmas-themed, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe can't be left out in the cold. It speaks so heavily of winter that most readers can easily picture the snow-covered everything. The Witch Witch and her monstrous minions ride around on a mockery of a sleigh, hot chocolate is a treat to visit friends for, and you'd better not forget your winter coat. You don't get a large tree with bundles of presents, but you do get characters despairing of the horror that it's "always winter, but never Christmas!"

On an adult note that's still Christmas and still fun, try out the murder mystery Murder on the First Day of Christmas by Billie Thomas. If you want a clever whodunit while a mom/daughter team pair up to nab a killer during this wintry weather, here's a book to grab and read by the fire.

Again not a complete Christmas celebration, The Family that Lived Under the Bridge celebrates the joyous good in the world when people come together to bond, support and uplift. Nods of adult humor flavor this timeless children's story when a cynical hobo shuns community and spirit for the sake of loneliness and negativity. It's not all about the holiday, of course, but there is winter and presents and a tree that brings light to children's eyes and emphasizes the special endurance of the holiday.

'All through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse..." Well-regarded Christmas poem 'The Night before Christmas' deserves its classic reputation. Fun and whimsical, this spirited story is perfect to read the kiddies to sleep before the big reveal on Christmas morn.

Finally, not all fun has to be wholesome and good when it comes to the season - Krampus gives us another grin for Christmas as the demented Santa substitute crashes the holiday party.  That's actually my planned Christmas related read in 2016. Check out the morbidly humorous movie too, for it's a treat.

  Tunes to End The Year  

Previously posted in past holiday editions of Tune-In Tuesdays, here are a few favorites that always make the list.

Some 8Tracks Compilations

Christmas Movie Favorites

Finally, in the past I have done some various memes and posts. Here is one I did years back mentioning 10 of my favorite things about Christmas.

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