Jessica Day George

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Christmas Kiss Off

And I mean it in the nicest way.

Basically, dear readers, I am going to be incommunicado for a little while. I am removing my author hat, and putting on my party hat, so that I can celebrate Christmas with my family and friends. There will be lots of food. And games. Movies will be watched. Books will be read. Songs will be sung. And if we're lucky, in the end, a good time will be had by all. I will no doubt be posting hilarious little sniglets on Twitter, but I will not be blogging, or answering non-urgent emails until after the New Year.

Why am I doing this to you, you ask?


Because it is Christmas. It doesn't matter to me if you are a Christian, but I am, and I look forward to Christmas all the year long. Christmas means family and fun, snow and presents and treats and some of the most wonderful movies, music, and literature. I like to rest from my year of labor, and reflect on all that I have done, all that I will do, and all that I have to be grateful for. I have a loving family, adorable children, a husband who would kill for me. I am healthy and safe, my house is warm and I always have plenty of food. This year I saw my babies turn five and one, I sent two new books out into the world to be read, I visited over a dozen schools, and rode the Matterhorn at Disneyland for the first time. (I mention this last because I have been to Disneyland four times, and this is the first time that the Matterhorn was open while I was there. Weird but true.)

Next year I will have only one book coming out. Boy will start kindergarten, Baby Girl will be walking and talking, the Man and I are planning a big vacation for just the two of us. A calendar will need to be purchased soon, perhaps more than one, and birthdays penned in, school visits and booksignings, appointments for the children and other plans made. But for the next few day I'm going to read my Christmas books, and think my Christmas thoughts, religious and secular, and drink my Candy Cane Cocoa.

It's going to be wonderful.

So take a moment for yourself, whether or not Santa is coming to your house. Indulge in a treat or two. Think about all that you've accomplished, and all that you hope to accomplish, so that when the new year comes you'll be ready for it. Read a favorite book while you're at it, sing along to the radio in the car . . . just do something that you really want to do!

I know that's what I'll be doing!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

See you in January!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's time for Christmas reading!

Every year I look forward to watching Christmas movies, listening to Christmas music, and most of all, reading my Christmas books. I try to add to all these things each year, and I love to recommend them to others!

So I proudly present to you my list of things not to be missed this Christmas season!

To Listen:

The Barenaked Ladies, Barenaked for the Holidays!
Includes Hanukkah songs, by the way, a mix of traditional and new tunes that is great for car listening and singing along.

Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong
She has such an amazing voice! This is a beautiful and soothing collection.

David Sedaris, Six to Eight Black Men
I'm not sure which of his audio collections you can find this in, but his story of learning about Dutch Christmas traditions has me in tears (of laughter) every time.

Mannheim Steamroller, Christmas in the Aire
Great for dancing around, baking cookies, decorating.

To Watch:


Just when you thought there couldn't be a new holiday classic, Jon Favreau made the world's most perfect Christmas movie. I loved it that he didn't have to give up his innocence and become cynical and worldly to survive, instead, his joy and love of Christmas changed everyone else.

A Christmas Story
You'll shoot your eye out, kid! Ho! Ho! Ho!

The Muppet Christmas Carol
A remarkably faithful version of Dickens' classic, with music and singing vegetables!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Always delightful.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians
Better with Mystery Science Theater 3000 commentary, but still so bad it's good!

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Simply a must-watch. (Memo to Linus: you're a smart kid, people would take you more seriously if you lost the blanket.)

And now, to READ:

Miracle and Other Christmas Stories
, by Connie Willis
A stellar collection of Christmas stories, some tender, some funny, some even a little bit scary, in Willis' superb style. The last story, Epiphany, is to be read AFTER Christmas, and is my favorite.

Let it Snow! by Maureen Johnson, John Green, and Lauren Myracle
New last year, this is three interwoven stories by some of the best contemporary YA writers on the scene right now.

The Legend of Holly Claus, by Brittney Ryan
A beautiful fairy tale about Santa's daughter, a gifted dollmaker cursed to have a heart of snow.

Skipping Christmas, by John Grisham
I beg you: ignore the dreadful movie version, Christmas with the Kranks. This is the tale of a modern day Scrooge, by turns frustrating (in a good way), funny, and at the last moving.

A Highland Christmas, by M.C. Beaton
I actually haven't read this yet, but a Hamish MacBeth Christmas mystery? Sign me right up!

Don't Bite Me, I'm Santa Claus! by Tom Plummer
A hilarious collection of essays and anecdotes about Tom, a German professor, his writer wife, and their children.

Miss Davenport's Christmas, by Marion Chesney
For those who love Regency-anything, a lighthearted romance about two repressed young misses celebrating their first real Christmas and meeting two dashing young lords!

Picture books:
Snowmen at Night, Snowmen at Christmas
Auntie Claus
Santa Calls
A Small Miracle
Robert Sabuda's Twelve Days of Christams and The Christmas Alphabet
Bob the Little Reindeer and Six More
(by Sandra Boynton)
Olive, the Other Reindeer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A Wish for Wings That Work
Red Ranger Came Calling
The Dinosaurs' Night Before Christmas
The Christmas Tapestry

My gift to you! Enjoy them all!

Merry Christmas!