Tag: holidays

Dec 25

Merry Christmas!

Holidays 2

Salutations, Bookworms!

Just wanted to wish those who celebrate a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Monday to those who do not. Enjoy the day however you choose to spend it, and know that this little nugget wishes you well!

This was our first year doing a photo card, and I couldn’t possibly be more obsessed with this pic.

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Dec 01

Jibber Jabber

Blogging, Holidays, Personal 15

Well Hello Bookworms!

And just like that it was CHRISTMASTIME! Holy macaroni. I hope all of you in the US had a delicious Thanksgiving and that everyone not in the US had an opportunity to eat too much and nap this weekend. I’m still trying to get my brain back in the game post holiday weekend stupor, so I hope you’ll forgive me as I jibber jabber for a bit.Christmas Katoo

1. I’m closing my PO Box. I opened it because I thought it would be a bad idea to give out my address to strangers (it still is) with regard to blogging things. That said, I never did get famous enough for legit strangers (let alone stalker types) to send me anything. Plus, most publishers refuse to send books to PO Boxes, so it’s just a giant waste of money. If you desperately need to send me snail mail for some reason, email me and we’ll chat. 99% of you I consider actual friends anyway, so yeah.

2. The final installment of The Lunar Chronicles (everyone’s favorite fractured fairy tale series) was recently released, and I totally read it. However. I feel like I should talk about Fairest before I talk about Winter because I never discussed it. Since Fairest is technically a Lunar Chronicles prequel and fairly short, it didn’t seem to warrant a full review. Suffice it to say that despite my best efforts I found myself feeling sorry for Levana. I like a well rounded villain and all, but I didn’t want to feel sorry for the woman. She was so eeeeeeevil. Girl lost her shiz (for REASONS) BUT she easily could have made better choices. GET IT TOGETHER, MOON QUEEN. Gah!

3. I’ve been doing a ton of my holiday shopping online. I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to shop almost entirely online… I do like to peruse brick and mortar stores and find the perfect thing by chance, but I have a LOT of people to shop for and it gets pretty stressful. Sorry, serendipity, pragmatism wins the day.

4. If Hallmark holiday movies are to be believed, Europe is positively littered with tiny countries whose monarchies are teeming with extraordinarily attractive, unattached, and rebellious heirs. I get that the Cinderella story is appealing and all, but… Ah well. I’m pleased that Lacey Chabert has found a vehicle to showcase her talents at least. Not that I’ve been watching Hallmark holiday movies or anything…

5. As you know, the minute the clocks turn back, the only thing I want to do is eat and sleep, leading me to the obvious conclusion that I am part bear. Naturally, Thanksgiving is the best holiday for those similarly afflicted, as all one is expected (nay, encouraged!) to do is eat mass quantities and nap.

6. I say “y’all” in my writing constantly in spite of the fact that I NEVER say it in real life. Midwestern folk like myself tend to use phrases like “you guys” instead, but it lacks a certain cache in print… I’m a fraud.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have y’all started your holiday shopping? Are you in-person shoppers or online types?

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site- like, say, you want to do some holiday shopping and just happen to do to Amazon via the little search bar on the right?- I will receive a small commission.*

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Dec 03

Mail Call!!!

Blogging, Giveaways 12

Hey Bookworms!

I know you’re SHOCKED to see me posting on a Wednesday. I am, too! Last year about this time, I offered to send REAL MAIL to any reader of my blog who wanted a holiday card and Words for Worms bookmark. I was thrilled by the response, so I thought I’d make the offer again.

Now. The bookmarks haven’t changed at all, BUT. I will put a weird sticker on each of them to make them slightly different than last year, and 100% unique. I mean, I have a lot of bizarre stickers. Robots, monkeys, blimps, you really have no idea what you’ll get. So. If you want mail (and who doesn’t?!) fill out the form. (I’ve never made a google form below, but I THINK I did it right!)

Happy Holidays, Y’all!

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Dec 01

Guest Post at I’m Lost in Books!

Guest Post 3

Howdy Bookworms!

I’m guest posting today over at I’m Lost in Books. Becca is running a glorious Holiday Extravaganza and I seized the opportunity to evangelize on the glories of Christmas tree ornaments. You should go check it out. There are pictures, and Crazy Aunt Katie is on full display.

LostinBooksLogo_zps2b43a6e0

*P.S. If you’re doing holiday shopping this Cyber Monday and you go through a link on this site to Amazon, I’ll receive a commission. There’s a little search box thingie hanging out in the sidebar on the right. Just so you know. I’m definitely NOT asking you to do that because that would be shady. I’m just saying. If you feel like it. K thanks.*

Christmas Katoo

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Jul 04

Happy Fourth of July!

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My fellow Bookworms,

You know you’re living the American Dream when the annual parade that goes through your community produces gems like this.

bobafett

 

Happy Independence Day, y’all! (And, um, Happy Friday to all my super fantastic international readers!)

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Dec 17

God Bless Us, Every One: A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Classics 29

Happy Monday, Bookworms. In honor of the holiday season, I decided to re-read my all-time favorite holiday story, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It’s a classic tale of redemption and good triumphing over indifference. In light of all that’s gone on in recent days, I think it’s helpful to focus on some of the positives in the world. Teachers are often unsung heroes because so much of what they do is intertwined with politics. I firmly believe that most teachers try to help their students to the very best of their ability, regardless of what test scores may say. When the chips were down, the heroic teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary that laid down their lives to protect their students. Let’s just take a second to be grateful for awesome teachers, shall we? My love affair with A Christmas Carol began in school, thanks to some of those fabulous teachers.

When I was in the 4th grade, we did a class production of A Christmas Carol. I wanted to play Ebenezer Scrooge (because it was the lead role, and I have always been a praise junkie), but instead I was cast as potentially the coolest character in the whole story- The Ghost of Christmas Present. I got to wear what I believe was a seasonal altar boy’s robe and a wreath on my head. I look good in hats… Even if they’re made of evergreen. I REALLY wish I had a photo of this. Sadly, I do not. Instead I offer you this:

Here's a photo of me wearing antlers instead.

Here’s a photo of me wearing antlers. Also Jim. Looking annoyed with me.

When I was in the 6th grade, my English teacher assigned us our first major paper. It was a compare/contrast paper highlighting the differences between Dickens’s original text and two movie versions of the story. The teacher in question reads my blog. The internet is funny that way. Hi, Mrs. Y! (You can’t see it, but I’m waving at you right now.) I’m sure you cringe at my “artistic” use of fragments and run-ons, but I assure you that I really DO know the rules. I just flout them. Trivial tidbit: if you read A Christmas Carol you’ll notice that instead of being divided into chapters, it’s divided into sections called “staves.” A “stave” is the plural word for staff, as in, music staff. Dickens was being cheeky and “composing” his Christmas “carol” as though it were actually music. It’s enormously clever. Let’s all give a polite poetry clap to Charles Dickens’s humor…

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay! I don't remember how to read sheet music but I'm sure that's not what this photo is depicting.

“God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay!” I don’t remember how to read sheet music but I’m sure that’s not what this photo is depicting. Whatever, it’s positively Dickensian.

On the off chance that you’ve never read A Christmas Carol, seen a single movie adaptation of it, or watched a sitcom in the last 150 years, I’ll give you a little synopsis. Ebenezer Scrooge is a wealthy man, but he’s the biggest grump in all of London. He’s rich, but super cheap. He gives nothing to charity, he underpays his clerk, he is mean to his only living relative, and he’d rather be cold than spend money on coal t0 keep his office warm. He used to have a partner in crime named Jacob Marley. Marley died 7 years before our story begins, but chooses to come back in his ghostly form to give Scrooge a warning one Christmas Eve. Marley tells Scrooge he needs to quit being a cheap bastard because if he doesn’t, he’ll be forced to wander the afterlife dragging chains and being miserable. He tells Scrooge that he’ll be visited by 3 spirits that night (to which Scrooge rather glibly replies that he’d like to see them all at once to get it over with…You’ve got to give him credit for being ballsy. I wouldn’t argue with a ghost…)

Scrooge goes on to be visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future. It’s a fascinating journey through Scrooge’s psyche as we explore Christmases past. We get to watch the childhood traumas he experiences that turn him into a big mean jerk. We see his lost love. We see the glimmers of humanity that must be hiding under the gruff facade. The Ghost of Christmas Present (a part I am known to have played more brilliantly than any other 4th grader ever… Obviously) takes Scrooge on a tour of the present’s festivities. Scrooge visits the nephew he constantly brushes off. He sees his clerk’s family subsisting on his meager salary, but displaying love and joy despite their poverty. The Ghost of Christmas Future shows Scrooge a bleak picture of what will become of him if he does not change his ways.

You know what happens when Scrooge gets up on Christmas morning?! He changes his ways! He jumps on his bed, he buys a giant turkey, and he goes to dinner at his nephew’s house. He gives Bob Crachit a raise! He gives a fat chunk of cash to charity and he begins to laugh again. Is there anything more heartwarming than a story of redemption? A story that celebrates giving, joy, and caring. A Christmas Carol is a classic for a reason. It reminds the reader that there is more to life than money. There is immeasurable joy to be had by helping out our fellow human beings. Decency and kindness don’t go unnoticed.

I’m being rather cowardly in avoiding in-depth discussion of the nightmare that occurred in Connecticut on Friday. My heart broke along with the rest of the world when the story broke. I simply can’t wrap my mind around that much sadness without plunging into a black hole of despair… Which will accomplish absolutely nothing. Right now I CHOOSE to celebrate the good. I want to buy someone’s coffee. I want to send a card to a little old lady. I want to give a gift just for the sake of seeing the recipient smile. I can’t undo what’s been done, but I can refuse to allow tragedy to define my behavior. I’m going to spread some JOY to chase away a tiny corner of darkness. I encourage you to do the same. As Tiny Tim so succinctly put it, “God bless us, every one.”

And God bless free clip art.

And God bless free clip art.

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Dec 14

A Christmas Miracle: The Most Glorious Tale of the Wrapping Paper

Confession Friday, Humor, Personal 36

I like to buy wrapping paper on sale after Christmas. I’m rather particular about the paper, as I prefer penguin print (which comes as a surprise to exactly no one.) Last year I found myself wrought with the most frustrating of first world problems: wrapping paper storage. They make these lovely tubs to store wrapping paper. I like plastic storage items- they are significantly better at fighting your traditional basement storage foes (humidity, bugs) than their soft sided counterparts. Sadly, my wrapping paper tub was of the short variety, and I had purchased paper of the long variety.

Womp, womp.

Womp, womp.

“No big deal,” I thought to myself, “I’ll run out and pick up a taller wrapping paper container. I know they exist, my dad has one.” Thus I embarked on the most annoying shopping hunt that has ever been. I went to every single store that could conceivably stock the tall container. No luck. I trolled the internet tirelessly. No. Freaking. Luck.

Oh, there were “products.” There were soft sided boxes, racks to hang on the back of your door, a plethora of containers that were too short to be useful. I was several times teased with the majestic object of my affection only to be foiled by the dreaded “NO LONGER AVAILABLE” notice. To say I was annoyed is an understatement. I was absolutely fixated on this wrapping paper problem.

“WHY would they MAKE wrapping paper in tubes and NOT make a suitable storage option,” I’d cry shrilly to anyone willing to listen to me complain about something so mundane. Then, one afternoon my husband called. He sounded exceedingly proud of himself…

“Katie! I’ve got a solution for you!” I then had one of those rare moments of psychic awareness. Dread filled the pit of my stomach. “Please tell me that you did not just cut the ends off of the rolls of paper!” Silence on the other end of the line.”But they fit in the container now!” How could he not understand?! One does not simply destroy rolls of wrapping paper to make them fit into storage containers!

Jim's "solution."

Jim’s “solution.” Really Jim? Really?

It does not matter if the paper was bought at a hefty discount or that big chunks of it get tossed during the wrapping process anyway. It was the PRINCIPLE of the thing. Katie vs. The Man. The Man wasn’t going to get away with this! But. The Man did. After nearly crying over my massacred rolls of paper, Hubs went out and very sweetly purchased a laundry hamper to use for storage, but it wasn’t the same. It had no top. It was not impervious to basement-ness. I never did bring the paper down to the basement to store, for fear of humidity… (Also laziness. That would have been heavy. We have a lot of paper.) I stared at it spitefully in the corner of the guest room all year long.

The laundry hamper of disappointment.

And then it happened. THE MIRACLE! This year I was out Christmas shopping. I couldn’t find what I was looking for (an ornament shaped like a camera, if you must know) so I was store hopping. I stopped in a K-Mart. I rarely ever shop at K-Mart, unless I can’t find things other places. It’s kind of out of the way, and the lighting is bad. I like a brightly lit store. Sue me. It was at this moment that the SUN broke through the ceiling of that dingy K-Mart aisle. The Cherubim and the Seraphim joined their voices into the most beautiful rendition of Handel’s Messiah that has ever been heard by earthly ears:

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah! (Look! THE PAPER FITS!)

Hallelujah! (Look! THE PAPER FITS!)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (I was so excited, I bought two!)

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (I was so excited, I bought two!)

HALLELUJAH!!! And then we had the merriest of Christmases.

HALLELUJAH!!! And then we had the merriest of Christmases.

Miracles don’t always have to be healing the sick and raising the dead, people! Sometimes they appear in the form of molded plastic. May you all have a MIRACULOUS Christmas! (And if you do not celebrate Christmas, may you enjoy your respective holidays! Or, at the very least, the day off work for no good reason!)

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Nov 22

Gobble, Gobble, Y'all!

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Happy Thanksgiving, my Bookworms! Today I am thankful for you YOU, and all of the cooking karma you mustered up to send to me. Gobble, gobble!

Yes, that’s a turkey on my head. Nothing to see here, people. Move along.

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