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2022 Literary Escapes Challenge

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My Progress:


43 / 51 states. 84% done!

2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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2022 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

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20 / 25 books. 80% done!

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66 / 53 books. 125% done!

Booklist Queen's 2022 Reading Challenge

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45 / 52 books. 87% done!

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2022 Nonfiction Reader Challenge


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2022 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

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41 / 50 words. 82% done!

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

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45 / 52 books. 87% done!

2022 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

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39 / 40 books. 98% done!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday: My Christmas Favorites


Happy Tuesday! How's everyone doing? I'm swell, especially because I have exciting news—on Sunday, I finished my 200th book of the year, meaning that, for the first time ever, I met my goal of reading 200 books in a year. Cue the confetti! I don't know how you tally up your totals, but I count books finished (not including picture books or anything under 50 pages) and not pages read, so it's possible I've read more pages in other years, just not this many actual volumes. I'm so proud of myself :) We won't talk about all the other more productive things I could have accomplished with all those hours...moving along...

Today's TTT topic is Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings/Bookish Wishes. It has this addendum, that I find kind of odd but others might enjoy: This was so popular when I did it in June that we’re doing it again for the holidays! List the top 10 books you’d love to own and include a link to your wishlist so that Santa can grant your wish. Make sure you link your wishlist to your mailing address [here’s how to do it on Amazon] or include the email address associated with your ereader in the list description so people know how to get the book to you. After you post, jump around the Linky and grant a wish or two if you’d like. You can make your identity known or be someone’s secret Santa! Please don’t feel obligated to send anything to anyone! If you would rather not include your wish list, just share the books you hope you find under your tree on Christmas morning. I can't imagine asking people to buy me books, so I'm going to skip this topic altogether. Instead, I thought it might be fun to share some of my favorite Christmas things—books, music, movies, etc. Before we get to that, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess, Jana, some love.


My Top Ten Christmas Favorites

1.


I think everyone is aware of how much I love A Christmas Carol by now. I re-read it every December to get me in the holiday spirit. It's wise, witty, and just wonderful. It also happens to be the only Dickens book I've ever read. Yay for novellas!

2.



There's nothing more festive than listening to Christmas music. I have many favorite holiday songs, but O Holy Night is the one I hands-down love the best. Which version do I most enjoy? I don't even know—I love it that much! As far as more jazzy Christmas tunes go, I dig God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and Go Tell It On the Mountain.  

3.

I've mentioned before that I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (commonly known as Mormons). One thing people of my faith revere is the Sabbath Day, which we try to keep holy. To this end, Mormons don't generally shop on Sundays or attend things like sporting events. Growing up, my father was adamant about us kids only watching uplifting things on the Sabbath. Other than videos produced by our church, he had two others he deemed appropriate: The Sound of Music and It's a Wonderful Life. My siblings and I viewed both so many times that we can still quote them word-for-word all these years later. My love for It's a Wonderful Life started then and continues now. It remains my all-time favorite Christmas movie. 

4.


You can't go wrong with the classics! Also, the Prep & Landing movies are just fun.

5.


Back to the Mormon thing...we don't drink alcohol. My mom made eggnog every Christmas Eve by mixing a carton of the stuff with a block of vanilla ice cream and a bottle of Sprite to create a yummy eggnog punch. I'm lazy, so I pour eggnog straight out of the carton into a glass and enjoy. No one else in my family cares for the stuff, which is perfect. More for me!

6.


My husband and I have both been trying to lose weight this year (he's dropped around 40 lbs.—we won't talk about how much I may or may not have lost/gained), so I actually have not made many of our usual treats this year. However, my stepsister gave us several pounds of vegan Wood Nook fudge that I just couldn't stop eating. I love me some dairy and I still found it addicting! I've never met a fudge I didn't like... 

7.


The Mesa Temple is a sacred, historical building owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It opened here in the city where I live in 1927. Every year, it hosts a large Easter Pageant on the lawn as well as an incredible display of Christmas lights strung all over its grounds. Both are popular, well-attended community events. The temple has been closed for the last few years for extensive remodeling and I've missed it for many reasons. Now that the renovations have been completed, the temple has been rededicated and will resume normal operations today. Unfortunately, there are no lights this year. Next year, though, my family and I will definitely be visiting the temple grounds to enjoy the display, as we have many times over the years.

8.


I talked about decorations in my last Top Ten Tuesday post. Although I don't have tons of them and the ones I do have aren't particularly unique, I love nativities. Why? A couple weeks ago, I visited a free nativity display in a woman's home. When I asked her why she started collecting nativities forty years ago, she said, "I just love Jesus!" That about sums it up for me as well.

9.


Even though stamps are expensive and writing dozens of addresses out cramps my hand, I still love to send out Christmas cards every year. A few years ago, in the middle of a particularly exhausting December, I announced that I wouldn't be sending out cards. My mom called me to make sure I wasn't dying. That's how serious I am about my card-sending! Even better is receiving cards from family and friends. I love looking at their family pictures, reading their letters, and displaying all the cards we receive. It just makes me happy.

10.


Russell M. Nelson, the prophet and president of my church, is a retired heart surgeon, a dynamic leader, and a powerful speaker. I love the video messages he shares. Many of you enjoyed his Thanksgiving address from last year, which I posted here, so I thought I would share his Christmas message from this year. Enjoy!




Happy TTT!

71 comments:

  1. I love your Christmas themed version of today's TTT a little nicer than asking people to gift books. I just listed the books I hope family and friends might buy me this holiday.

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    1. Yeah, it feels so weird to ask people to buy me books. I'm not doing that. It was fun to think about my favorite Christmas things and to hear other bloggers' responses, so I'm glad I did this topic.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Alex!

      Delete
  2. I love this! Thanks for sharing all your Christmas favorites. I love President Nelson and his messages.

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    Replies
    1. Me too. His messages always inspire me!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

      Delete
  3. Wow, you read a lot of books this year!

    Good luck with your weight loss. I’m trying to lose some weight, too, but I’m enjoying treats over the holidays. Everyone needs a break sometimes. :)

    My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-bookish-things-i-hope-santa-bring/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm not even going to try until the holidays are over! There are too many sweets around and I just want to enjoy it all and not stress. I'll go back on my diet on January 1st along with everyone else. Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lydia!

      Delete
  4. This is so cute! I love O'holy Night! It is such a lovely song!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I love the words, the music, just everything. It's beautiful.

      Thanks for popping in, Amber!

      Delete
  5. I love your spin on this weeks topic, I always love seeing peoples favorite parts of Christmas so thanks for sharing this! I love sending & receiving cards too :)

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    1. Me too. I've loved reading all the comments on this post about other people's favorite parts of Christmas. So fun!

      Thanks for stopping by, Melissa!

      Delete
  6. I totally agree, I LOVE sending out Christmas cards! I normally send them out the weekend after Thanksgiving, and I send about 75 cards on a regular basis (some years a few more, and very rarely a few less). This year I was late sending them out, and a friend texted me to see if I was okay because ours is usually the first card they get and it hadn't arrived yet! Made me feel good that they noticed. :) Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2021/12/21/top-ten-tuesday-books-i-hope-santa-brings-2/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're Christmas card die hards! LOL. I love it. I usually order around 100 cards. I send the bulk of them to out-of-town friends and family since we hand out homemade doughnuts to neighbors and local friends. This year, I ordered 150 cards, so EVERYBODY is getting one. Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Nicole!

      Delete
    2. And there's another thing we have in common. I usually make about 100 to 120 cards and send them to friends and family all over the world.

      Delete
  7. This is such a fun post! Loved reading about all your Christmas favorites. And congrats on reading 200 books this year! That's awesome! Merry Christmas! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It was a fun post to put together. Merry Christmas to you as well!

      Thanks for popping by, Ashley!

      Delete
  8. What an awesome post!! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself here, love it. I LOVE sending and receiving Christmas cards!! I wish everyone loved it too. haha. It's just so nice to get that nice mail that isn't a bill. I have a little tree that I hang them all on. It seems like less and less people send out cards now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? It's so fun to get a mailbox full of cards and not just junk mail! I love the idea of hanging them on a tree. I just stick mine on the wall with that plasti-tack stuff. It makes for a festive wall :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

      Delete
    2. I used to do that, now I have a sort of iron stair gate where I can attach them with a magnet!

      Delete
  9. I love fudge, too! I am also a fan O Holy Night. I haven't received as many holiday cards this year, but I haven't sent mine out yet. I'm still waiting on them to be delivered from Costco. Hopefully I'll get them out before Christmas. Happy holidays!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our Costco no longer has a photo center inside of it, so I had to have mine delivered, too. It took longer than usual and cost more. Luckily, I got mine ordered early. I haven't gotten as many this year either. Maybe because stamps are so expensive?

      Merry Christmas, Deanna, and thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  10. I love this list! I also really like getting and sending Christmas cards. My favorite book is Twas the Night Before Christmas, which I read with my daughter each year (and, yes, she is now 21).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad Christmas cards haven't gone out of style! They're one of my favorite parts of the holiday.

      We read TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS each year, too. Doesn't matter how old the kids get! My husband likes to put his own spin on the story every year, so it's always entertaining :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

      Delete
  11. What a beautiful post this week! I absolutely love eggnog, and no one else in my family does either, so I get all of it to myself too. And I also drink it straight - it's the best! And congrats on reaching an amazing goal of 200 books! Merry Christmas to you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? You have to have a very discerning palette to love eggnog the way we do! It's delicious.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

      Delete
    2. We have to make our own because you can't buy it here. But it wouldn't be Christmas without eggnogg in our house.

      Delete
  12. I love this, thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cindy! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      Delete
  13. I love this idea of sharing your favorites! That's so cool. Have a lovely Christmas!

    Genesis @ Whispering Chapters

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a fun post to put together and I'm really enjoying reading about other people's Christmas favorites. I hope you have a wonderful holiday as well!

      Thanks for popping by, Genesis!

      Delete
  14. I love what you did with this week's topic. Many of my favorites are the same as yours. President Nelson's message was very touching. We need more love and kindness in this world.

    Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

    https://thebookconnectionccm.blogspot.com/2021/12/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-books-i-hope.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the many things I love about this time of year is that people just seem happier and act nicer. I know not everyone loves the holidays, which makes compassion even more important. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

      Thanks for stopping in, Cheryl!

      Delete
  15. 200 books is amazing, congratulations! O Holy Night is my favorite Christmas song too. I just wish I had the talent to sing it well. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have no singing talent, but I still sing "O Holy Night" loud and proud. In the car. When I'm alone. It's not pretty when I sing it, ha ha.

      Merry Christmas to you as well and thanks for popping by!

      Delete
  16. I've never met a block of fudge I didn't love either! Haha. And It's a Wonderful Life is such a good movie. Merry Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I've never had much success making it, so I have to buy my fudge or what to get some from friends/neighbors. It's probably good that I don't have ready access to my favorite holiday indulgence!

      Merry Christmas to you as well and thanks for popping in!

      Delete
  17. I skipped this week as well because I can't imagine asking people online to buy me books. Awkward! I really like how you flipped the topic. :)

    Merry Christmas!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's weird, right? Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

      Merry Christmas to you as well and thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lectrice!

      Delete
  18. Let's get the book count out of the way - I count each book I finish. Now this list. We love so many of the same things, and it's not easy finding a fellow egg nog lover. So, *high five* Yes to It's a Wonderful Life, and I really identify with the rage about the commercialization of Christmas in CB Christmas. Love that one! My runner up would be Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol. I don't know, I love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I said above, it takes a very sophisticated palette to appreciate the deliciousness of eggnog. Some of us have it, some of us just...don't. Glad you're part of the eggnog club :)

      Oh my goodness, I haven't thought about Mr. Magoo in YEARS! I haven't watched that adaptation in forever and ever. I'll have to see if I can find it somewhere. The other adaptation of A Christmas Carol that I like is the one with Patrick Stewart as Scrooge. And, of course, It's a Wonderful Life is an A CHRISTMAS CAROL adaptation in its own unique way.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  19. 200 books is an incredible achievement! Congratulations and merry Christmas :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm trying to decide if I should set next year's goal at 200 again or up it...we'll see.

      Merry Christmas to you as well and thanks for stopping in, FangirlFlax!

      Delete
  20. Congrats on 200 books! That's awesome. I do love fudge...mmmm I'm craving some now.

    Lauren @ www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    Replies
    1. Right? My stepsister gave us some fudge, but it was waaayyyy back at Thanksgiving time. I need more!

      Thanks for popping by, Lauren!

      Delete
  21. I loved reading about all your favorite parts of Christmas. I, too, love It's a Wonderful Life and the animated Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas. Every year I eagerly look forward to drinking Borden's (local dairy) Egg Nog. Yum!

    Congratulations on meeting your goal of reading 200 hundred books this year! And congratulations on holding yourself to such a high standard.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really can't believe there are people out there that don't love eggnog! It's the best. We have some Borden products here, but just cheese, I think.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deb!

      Delete
  22. You are making me crave an eggnog latte from Starbucks, which is like the only beverage I like that they make.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't drink coffee, but I do like anything eggnog flavored. I've heard of eggnog cookies, but have never had them. Maybe I'll try that next year!

      Thanks for stopping in!

      Delete
    2. That sounds interesting. Will have to find some recipes.

      Delete
  23. This is such a great (and very festive) change of topic! My family and I don't celebrate Christmas but it's always hard to not get caught up in the spirit of it all—especially after having grown up in a country that starts preparing for the holidays the minute Halloween ends! 😆 I love Christmas music and love Mary, Did You Know. Pentatonix has a gorgeous version of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bet! I just love the feeling that's in the air at Christmastime. People are generally more kind and compassionate. I wish it lasted all through the year.

      I LOVE Pentatonix! I have lots of their Christmas songs on my Christmas playlist.

      Thanks for popping by!

      Delete
  24. I love this post! Such a great idea! O Holy Night is a great Christmas song to be sure!

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    Replies
    1. There are lots of Christmas songs I like, but O Holy Night has just always really spoken to me. I adore it!

      Thanks for stopping in, Carrie!

      Delete
  25. Congratulations on reaching your 200-book goal this year. That's pretty amazing to me. Sometimes I feel that all I do is read, and even then there is no way I could reach that number. What percentage of your reads do you review?

    I like your twist on the Top Ten list this week...brought back a few memories of my own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good question. In the past, I have always striven to review every book I read, even if it meant posting five reviews a day! Last year, I stopped reviewing 2020 reads on December 31, even though I still had a bunch to go. It was so liberating! This year, I've kind of been picking and choosing which I review. I'd guess I've reviewed 75% of what I've read or so? Something like that.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Sam!

      Delete
  26. You always have the best twists to the topics. I might copy it next year. LOL

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week. Merry Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. For sure! It was a fun list to put together and I think it's always interesting to hear about different people's favorites and holiday traditions.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting! Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  27. Ooh, I suspected you'd go rogue this week, but I thought for sure you were gonna do Part 1 of your "Top 10 Books of the Year" so that you could ultimately pick 20. How are you ever gonna pick favorites from a list that size??

    By which I mean, SUPER CONGRATS on the huge finish! Even when I had nigh-unlimited free time, I only managed that once; it is definitely not an easy goal. But now you get to reap the benefits of knowing about a ton more excellent books.

    Also solid pick on the Christmas music; God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen has gotta be my fave. And I'm the only one in my family who likes eggnog too! I don't know what's not to love about its delicious creaminess with holiday spices. Never thought of mixing it with Sprite, though...I can't quite picture how that would work.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oh, RS, you know me so well! I came THIS close to doing exactly that, but I decided to save it for a few weeks. Something to look forward to, yes?

      The funny thing about reading that many books - at least for me this year - is that the majority of them were just mediocre to good (but not excellent). There weren't that many standouts, actually, so we'll so how many favorites I come up with.

      God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is such a fun one!

      It seems like eggnog is one of those love-it-or-hate-it kind of things. It actually is good mixed with ice cream and Sprite - kind of like a root beer float, I guess?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
    2. I should have checked for this reply before commenting on your most recent one, but that's an interesting point about the overall quality of a large number of books. I had the same issue with my year of 200, actually. Raising a glass (of the 'nog) to a greater percentage of awesome books in '22.

      Delete
  28. Great list! I love The Grinch and Charlie Brown Christmas. Those are my favorite animated Christmas specials as well. Thank you for visiting Long and Short Reviews!

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    1. They're both such festive and nostalgic movies! I love watching them every Christmas.

      Thanks for popping in, Poinsettia!

      Delete
  29. Congratulations on your reading achievement of 200 books! 👏

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    1. Thank you so much and thanks for stopping by, Kristine!

      Delete
  30. I love seeing your Christmas favorites. The Grinch (only the animated one) and Charlie Brown are two of my favorites as well. I love Christmas carols and love the ones you mention though my favorite is The Holly and the Ivy.

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    1. ONLY the animated Grinch for me, too. It's perfect as is. I'm glad you mentioned The Holly and the Ivy - it's an underrated Christmas carol for sure.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Katherine!

      Delete
  31. Oh my gosh, 200 books? Like TWO HUNDRED. Teach me your ways! That's amazing.
    O Holy Night is my favourite carol as well. It's just so beautiful. And thanks a lot, now I'm craving fudge...
    This was a really cute post idea. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha. Yep, 200. It's a mix of adult, MG, and YA books. I don't have any big secrets, but I read fast, I always have a physical book and an audiobook going, I don't watch t.v., and I deleted all games off my Kindle, so all of those things help a lot.

      O Holy Night really is such a lovely and powerful song. And fudge, I mean, you just can't go wrong there. I'm still hoping one of my neighbors or friends drops off a goodie plate with some on it! Yum.

      Thanks for popping in, Ashley!

      Delete
  32. Fun post! Thanks for sharing your holiday favorites with us and congrats on meeting your reading goal. Very impressive! I do drink alcohol but I have to say that I actually prefer eggnog without it and I'm all about just pouring it from the carton and drinking, lol. Merry Christmas Susan!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like we eggnog aficionados agree - straight, undiluted, out-of-the-carton eggnog is the best. I also have to say that I prefer the real stuff. I had to buy light eggnog the other day because that's all the store I was at had and it just wasn't the same. Eggnog is supposed to be as rich as you can get it!

      Merry Christmas, Suzanne, and thanks so much for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  33. Congratulations on meeting your goal!! It's a Wonderful Life if my husband's favorite Christmas movie too.

    ReplyDelete

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