So Christmas has officially started! Free from Uni, free from NaNo! (totally won it by the way…just!). This morning my tree went up, the house is decorated from top to tail with Christmas goodies. And the tinsel! Oh my love of tinsel shall never wane; you just open the box filled with it and the smell hits you in the face and it is beautiful. Walking down the aisles in the shops that are lined with tinsel is heaven upon gloriousness. Love it. But it also means it is the start of my Christmas reading. The same books get revisited every year because I adore them I have my Christmas movies and my Christmas books that get revisited every December and we can finally begin. The first is my absolute favourite, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. What I love about this book is that it is not just a beautiful message about Christmas and life and all those wonderful things, it is timeless, while not being timeless at the same time. It is clearly set in an era, you cannot escape that, but if there is something that the countless, countless parodies and variations of this book have demonstrated, is that the message and story is ongoing, universal, and something we always need to remember. This reading of course is coupled with dozens of viewings of A Muppet Christmas Carol which is as good as the book in all possible ways. The next annual reading is The Hogfather by Terry Pratchett. I first read this uni, which is actually many years ago now which is a bit depressing, but I adored it from page one. Pratchett’s humour and his absurdity works brilliantly, and while it is part of the Discworld series (of which I knew nothing about at the time) it actually all makes sense without you needing to know anything else about it. Though I suppose if you did you would get a few more references of have a better background, but truly, not important to have read the past ones. It is actually, proper, laugh out loud funny. Every page and every paragraph has something funny on it, and there is a beautiful message in it about the power of believing and what is means for the world. It’s spectacular. Of course we need a read of A Night Before Christmas, how can you not, along with How The Grinch Stole Christmas. Short and sweet but delightful poems about Christmas. I am trying to expand on this list a bit as well, so there is definitely some hunting going on about what new Christmas books I can read. Let It Snow is the only one to be added in the last five years since The Hogfather which is bad. I keep forgetting to track down new ones. The movies keep building, books, not so much. One I actually read before the Christmas reading , and will now be adding to my annual list, was Let it Snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle. It is absolutely brilliant! Three stories by three authors, and all three stories are so well told and each author is exquisite in the narration by the characters and the stories they have to tell. I am not giving anything away about that except saying it is a wonderful Christmas read, but it also works outside the Christmas season because it just does and it is wonderful. I have decided I need to start investing in books that cover Australian Christmases, like not just that have Christmas in them, but focused around Christmas. I have realised that a lot of the Aussie Christmas songs or books seem to be parodies or novelty. I want people to stop thinking Santa in shorts and thongs is comical and have a serious book about Christmas that may happen to include a Christmas with a beach, or a sweltering summer and advent calendars that melt, or just ones that show how beautiful Christmas can be here without the place being covered in snow. The songs are getting better I have found. Christmas in Australia by Christine Anu is a serious favourite, it just captures everything beautiful about Christmas here. I’m not saying Aussie Jingles Bells isn’t wonderful as well, but they don’t exactly play that at Carols in the Domain now do they. Perhaps the answer is to write my own Christmas story. That’s the new plan. I tried it in my first year of doing NaNoWriMo five years ago, but it ended up being a kind of set up that was like a diary entry/account of this lady’s life leading up to Christmas. It was not bad per se…for a first time NaNo thing, but it was just a bunch of chapters describing a woman’s day and thoughts leading up to Christmas and all the stuff she did. I recall writing four thousand words just on vacuuming the house before putting up the decorations. So there was that. But there were also other moments with the family watching carols, or going Christmas light looking, sitting listening to the cicadas on warm nights. I think this new task shall be a bit more story like. Something like A Christmas Carol without being like A Christmas Carol at all what so ever. So that is the current plan. Christmas books, Christmas movies, Christmas for all the days. The carols too, we can’t forget we can squeeze them in between the reading and watching and other fun times. I also have so, so much catching up on everything to do while Uni and NaNo stole my time. Crossing all the things we can finally get some time to actually post some reviews. I miss my reviews! And then I suppose we are also going to see if we can plan out a Christmas story? Why not try when it is the Christmas season. You have a lot to draw from and the references are all around you. But who can think of that now. My feet ache, everything aches from decorating, but the house looks wonderful, the tree looks wonderful, and it is only December 1st and I am totally ready to go for Christmas. As always I am all in and ready to go!