2015 Christmas Spirit Readathon and Reading Challenge

22 Nov

xmas spirit read-a-thon 2015

xmas spirit reading challenge 2015

Aren’t these beautiful banners? They were created by Michelle Miller for these events which she graciously hosts for us at her lovely blogs, Seasons of Reading and The Christmas Spirit.

My focus for this year’s Christmas Spirit Read-a-Thon and Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge will be Christmas traditions.  First, I am reading from three books which describe Christmas traditions in Scandinavia. For the Read-a-thon my first goal will be to read Sigrid Undset’s book, Happy Times in Norway, the first third of which is devoted to her memories of a Norwegian Christmas before the Second World War. Undset, best known for her masterpiece trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter, wrote this memoir of the prewar years while living in New York, having fled the Nazi invasion and occupation of Norway.

Happy Times in Norway cover

For the Reading Challenge, I also  plan to cover the Christmas traditions in two books: Of Swedish Ways by Lilly Lorenzen and Of Finnish Ways by Aini Rajanen. Together, these three books will be part of the Travel the World in Books Reading Challenge, and I’ll write about them at my Northern Lights Reading Project.  These will also be some reading for my Nonfiction November!

One of my own Christmas traditions is to break out (and dust off) the cookbooks! Last year I tried a wonderful Scandinavian Christmas cookbook.  This year I have decided to browse through my two Gooseberry patch Christmas books, which have delightful reminiscences of family Christmas traditions submitted by readers and compiled by the authors over the years.  The recipes are very homey and festive; I usually get some new ideas for dressing up turkey leftovers (such as easy Turkey Tetrazzini) from these books.  They also have ideas for simple decorations and fun activities to do with kids during the holiday season.

Gooseberry Patch Christmas books.jpg

Another of my Christmas traditions is to read something by Dickens, and this year I will read his last Christmas ghost story, The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain.


Haunted Man frontispiece 1848 by Bradbury & Evans – Heritage Auction Galleries. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons

He wrote it in 1848, interrupting his work on Dombey and Son.  Since I have just begun reading Dombey myself, I thought it was perfectly fitting that I too interrupt his novel to enjoy this Christmas novella! It can be found online at several places.

Finally, my last reading tradition is to gather some daily advent reflections. This year I am looking forward to one by Mother Mary Francis called Come, Lord Jesus: Meditations on the Art of Waiting.

Advent readings

I wish everyone happy reading, Happy Thanksgiving, and many unexpected joys in the holiday season ahead.

Angel figurine





5 Responses to “2015 Christmas Spirit Readathon and Reading Challenge”

  1. Sharon @ Faith Hope & Cherrytea November 22, 2015 at 2:01 pm #

    Love your lineup , Lucy! and the recipe books are perfect additions 🙂
    The Advent meditations on waiting is now on my list as well – TY!

    Happy Thanksgiving and Christmas Spirit Reading !

  2. momssmallvictories November 22, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    These look like some great holiday reading and you get to Travel the World in Books. You just reminded me I need to get on doing a sign up post for holidays around the world for next month! Happy reading!

  3. JaneGS November 24, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Looks like you have a marvelous lineup for December. I like that you’re keeping the Nordic Lights theme and continuing to explore Scandinavian customs and culture. The Gooseberry Patch cookbooks look like fun.

    The Haunted Man looks great–Dickens is really a master of the ghost story–I’m surprised that it is his last if it was written during Dombey, as he wrote a lot after that time, but maybe just not official Christmas stories.

    I’m looking forward to Michelle’s Read-a-Thon as well. Last year I really didn’t do much Xmas reading and I missed it!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Maria Behar December 11, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

    I would really love to read the two books, “Of Swedish Ways” and “Of Finnish Ways”! I enjoy discovering Christmas traditions from other countries.

    As for the advent book, I can see that it’s wonderful spiritual reading. As a matter of fact, I’ve been looking for some good Advent reading, and this fits the bill perfectly!

    Hope you enjoy these books! Have a WONDERFUL holiday season!! : )

  5. Maria Behar December 11, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    P.S. Forgot to comment on the Dickens story. I’ve never heard of it before, but I will definitely look it up online. Glad you mentioned it!! : )

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