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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 February 21, 2019

                      12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                      12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

                      15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and black tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here:

                      11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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