Reading Challenge: 20 Books for Christmas: Did I complete it??? #20booksforchristmas #ReadingChallenge @littlejojackson

A few months ago I joined in for the 20 Books for Christmas reading challenge hosted by Tea and Cake for the Soul. The goal was to list 10, 15, or 20 books and read them. Did I complete the challenge???

Here are the books including reviews written from my original list:

1. Christmas with a Cowboy – Review

2. The Christmas Tree Keeper – Review

3. Christmas in Winter Hill – Review

4. 25 Days ‘Til Christmas – Review

5. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles- Review

6. A Wedding in December – Review

7. The Illustrated History of the Snowman – Review

8. The Journey of Joseph Winter – Review

9. Letters from Father Christmas –

10. Let it Snow by CJ Carmichael – reread

11. Spirit of the Season by Fern Michaels –

I ended up reading all the books above EXCEPT for Let it Snow, which was a reread.

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Book Review: The Illustrated History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein #BookReview #20booksforChristmas #Snowman

The Illustrated History of the Snowman

By Bob Eckstein

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My thoughts:

I don’t know what it is that’s so fascinating about snowmen, but just like scarecrows, they captured my heart as a child and I’ve loved them ever since. We draw them, decorate with them, make snowman Christmas cookies, watch them on TV, and build them outdoors the first chance we get. So when this book was staring at me at the bookstore, there was no leaving it behind. I knew my family would enjoy it, and we surely have for the past two winter seasons.

“Who made the first snowman? Who first came up with the idea of placing one snowball atop another and then sticking a carrot in the top sphere?”

The author set out on a quest to find out who made the very first snowman. Here in this book he presents all of his extensive (over seven year) research on the history of the snowman. It goes way back in time all the way to the dark ages. The book is somewhat of a snowman ‘encyclopedia’–chock-full of beautiful photos from around the world, which I’ll admit was my favorite aspect of the book. There’s so much to learn here though: world records including the largest and smallest snowman, snowmen in pop culture (my favorite: the Burl Ives snowman from the original children’s special), snowman festivals, appearances of snowmen with historical figures and even wars, how they’re celebrated in other cultures, use in art and politics, and fun little facts about snowmen that are sure to surprise you.

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We had no idea just how much historical background the snowman actually had! It was nostalgic for me in many ways, especially looking at some of the old vintage snowman ornaments and decorations from the past. We also loved the fun facts.

“Average number of calories burned, per hour, building a snowman: 238”

If you like snowmen, definitely give this book a try. My whole family has enjoyed it, including the children. My only wish is that the organization were different; it would be nice in chronological order. There are a few parts that are quite offensive too, but it’s fairly easy to skip over those. It’s good to be aware of that if you’re viewing this with young children.

This book is one to revisit over and over again.

4****

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Book Review: Christmas in Winter Hill by Melody Carlson #Christmas #20booksforChristmas #Christian #BookReview

Christmas in Winter Hill

by Melody Carlson

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My review:

“God allows the rain to fall on the just and unjust. We’ve all had our troubles.”

Krista decided to relocate with her 8-year-old daughter, Emily, to Winter Hill, Washington. She’s taking on a new job as city manager and hoping for a new start. Winter Hill seems like a sweet little town, but Krista soon learns that along with this small town comes a huge annual Christmas festival, and as city manager she’s going to have to get involved. The issue is that Krista really doesn’t like Christmas. Growing up in foster homes, Christmas was never her favorite time of year and only brings back memories or her past. The town seems welcoming at first, but once Krista starts making changes at her new job everything becomes quite a mess, and it seems like moving to Winter Hill may have been a huge mistake.

“Christmas is a time for miracles. Maybe it’s time for yours.”

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Book Review: Christmas with a Cowboy (Longhorn Canyon #5) by Carolyn Brown #20BooksForChristmas #BookReview #Christmas #Romance

Christmas with a Cowboy (Longhorn Canyon #5)

by Carolyn Brown

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My thoughts:

Maverick travels to Ireland with his grandmother and ends up meeting a girl named Bridget that he practically falls in love with at first sight. They get together for an evening of romance but part ways as Maverick must head back to his ranch home in Texas.

Little does Maverick know, Bridget has a connection to his family and winds up in Texas a year later where they meet again, right in his grandmother’s house. This time, Bridget has a baby with her (Laela), and Maverick is determined not to let this chance at love pass him up again. The question is: can Maverick settle down and leave his party-life behind?

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