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2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

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My Progress:

10 / 30 books. 33% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama (1)
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My Progress:

18 / 51 states. 35% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:

13 / 50 books. 26% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

20 / 50 books. 40% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:

38 / 50 books. 76% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:

33 / 52 books. 63% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:

23 / 40 books. 57% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge

13 / 40 books. 33% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:

5 / 25 books. 20% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress

25 / 26.2 miles. 95% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress

19 / 100 books. 19% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:

50 / 104 books. 48% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress

39 / 52 books. 75% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress

45 / 165 books. 27% done!
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


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!


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.  


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. 


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


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!


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... 


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.


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.


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.


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!

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