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10 Fantastic Suggestions You Can Add To Your Christmas Reading List

10 Fantastic Suggestions You Can Add To Your Christmas Reading List

It’s that time of year again. Target has rolled out their Christmas decorations and children have begun assaulting their parents with a barrage of daily reminders about their specific Christmas gift wishes. As the weather grows colder it’s time to pour a big cup of tea and begin reading some of your favorite Christmas books. Here’s a list of 10 wonderful Christmas books to add to your list.

1. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

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    “I’ve got the baby here,” Imogene barked at the Wise Men. “Don touch him! I named him Jesus.”

    This is a book to be shared. Read this one out loud to your family or a good friend and you will undoubtedly share many laughs and not a few tears. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the story of when the Herdman’s, who were the worst kids ever, decided to get involved in the local church Christmas pageant. It is hilarious, heartwarming and a definite must-read for the Christmas season.

    2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

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      “I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I can unlock the door remains to be seen.”

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      The classic tale of Little Women centers around the lives of the four March sisters, Amy, Beth, Jo and Meg and their mother while their father is away at war. While it isn’t strictly a Christmas book, there are many significant Christmas scenes in the novel and many people associate the novel with Christmas time. My three sisters and I watch the movie version together every Christmas and pretend that we are the March sisters!

      3. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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        “Always winter but never Christmas.”

        This fantastical tale is part of a greater series of books written for children. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a story about a magical land cursed by an evil witch. The land is cursed to be always winter…and never Christmas. The book chronicles how four young siblings quite literally stumble upon the world and are soon wrapped up in saving the land of Narnia.

        4. The Autobiography of Santa Claus by Jeff Guinn

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          This enchanting holiday treasure mingles historical fact with folklore and shares little-known facts about Christmas through the story of Father Christmas himself. Jeff Guinn also wrote How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas and The Great Santa Search.

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          5. The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror by Christopher Moore

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            “Life is messy. Would that every puzzle piece fell into place, every word was kind, every accident happy, but such is not the case. Life is messy”

            This hilariously ridiculous book will bring some spirit and laughter to your cold, dark December nights. Archangel Raziel has good intentions, but not the best mind to back them up. Read and see how one angel’s attempts to grant a child’s wish leads to the most horrifying Christmas party that one town has ever seen.

            6. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding by Agatha Christie

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              “A weak man in a corner is more dangerous than a strong man”

              If you haven’t read any Agatha Christie yet, then you should. Her books have sold the most copies, second only to the Bible. She is harrowed as the best mystery writer that has ever lived. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding is a classic Christie tale full of suspense, murder, a case to be solved and… Christmas pudding! Okay, not all of Christie’s novels have Christmas pudding, but this one certainly does!

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              7. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

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                “He was not the nostalgic type. You live life today, not tomorrow, certainly not yesterday, he always said.”

                This fast-paced novel by Grisham explores what happens when Luther and Nora Krank decide to skip Christmas entirely. The Kranks soon discover that skipping the holiday isn’t as simple or as easy as they had hoped it would be.

                8. A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

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                  New York Times best-selling author Fannie Flagg shares another warm, unforgettable tale of wonder. When Oswald T. Campbell receives bad news from a doctor he heads south to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the sleepy town of Lost River. There he seems to step into a world where time stands still and he has a magical Christmas that is full of faith and surprises.

                  9. Miracle on 34th Street by Valentine Davies

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                    “If you searched every old folks’ home in the country, you couldn’t find anyone who looked more like Santa Claus.”

                    This classic Christmas tale has sold millions of copies since it’s 1947 publication. The innocence and joy of Miracle on 34th Street have been keeping people company during the holiday season for decades.

                    10. Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

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                      “If you find that not many of the things you asked for have come, and not perhaps quite so many as sometimes, remember that this Christmas all over the world there are a terrible number of poor and starving people.”

                      Not many people know that the author of the legendary Lord of the Rings series wrote a collection of Christmas letters. Well, he did. Every December a letter that was post stamped from the North Pole would arrive for his children. The letter would be written is spidery, curly cursive and would full of tales from the North Pole. Now we can read those creative tales that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote for his children.

                      Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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                      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

                      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

                      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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                      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

                      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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                      Review Your Past Flow

                      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

                      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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                      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

                      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

                      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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                      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

                      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

                      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

                      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

                        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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