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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 December 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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