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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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                      Emily Myrin

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                      Last Updated on August 10, 2020

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                      Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                      Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important?”

                      1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                      It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                      But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                      Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                      Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                      “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                      And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                      Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                      2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                      Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                      You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                      Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                      Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                      3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                      A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                      But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                      Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                      Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                      4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                      This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                      Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                      What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                      This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                      If you want to learn about how to take action towards achieving your goal, here’s how: How To Take Action Towards Your Goals Right Now

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                      5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                      This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                      What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                      The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                      Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                      6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                      Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                      For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                      A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                      Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                      7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                      Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                      Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                      Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                      If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                      8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                      I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                      Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                      Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                      There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                      Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest! Find out more here: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                      If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                      Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

                      More Tips About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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