Wednesday, December 08, 2010

It's starting to look a lot like Christmas - and I'm giving away books!

At least at our house it is! We bought a new tree this year because ours was just too big around and took up too much room. We decided to go skinnier and taller. At nine feet, the tree's waaay taller than what I had in mind, but Tim and Kelsey liked the taller one and it turns out that I'm very pleased with it. I have about ten boxes of ornaments and while I still couldn't fit them all on, it is loaded down with them, just the way I like it!! Here's a pic of one section of the tree.

My Christmas celebrations officially start tomorrow with a Christmas dinner/gift exchange with friends I've met through work (some I've known for 33 years), my mom and whichever of my daughters is around. Turns out Kelsey won't be home from school until the 17th, so she'll miss out. Next week our office is having a Christmas lunch since the bosses' schedules wouldn't allow for a weekend dinner out for staff and families, and then lunch with another friend that I used to work with. Lunch with friends in Cincinnati area on the 17th is one that I'm really looking forward to. We'll do a cookie exchange and an ornament exchange, great fun! Our office has an ornament exchange/lunch on the 22nd, more fun! Sounds like a lot of eating and a lot of ornaments, doesn't it? lol
Are any of you big Christmas music listeners? I started listening a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, and my boss and I have been trading holiday CDs for the past week, so fun! I don't like to listen after Christmas Day and always feel like I haven't listened to nearly enough holiday music when Christmas is said and done, so I start extra early!
Ohio, like so many other states, has been hit hard by cold, snowy weather. Not more than a couple of inches of snow, but blustery and cold. Our low tonight is supposed to be below 10 degrees. I wish Mother Nature would get the stick out of her but and let us slide into winter a little more gradual!
What's anyone reading these days? I finished Maya Banks' latest, NO PLACE TO RUN, this evening and could cry that I'm done. I'm loving this series and want more, more, more!
Packing up five boxes to send to the troops - included lots of Christmas goodies and need to get off my butt and get them to the post office so they'll get there in time. I'm really pushing the envelope on having enough time for them to ship.
Anyone remember the contest I talked about earlier? It's going to start with this post. I'm going to let it run until December 20th. I'll draw two names from all who comment between now and then and each will get a large flat rate box filled with books. As usual, send a friend who mentions your name and you'll get an extra entry for each friend. I don't have time to name all of the books or allow anyone to pick and choose - what I can fill the box with is what you'll get! Some of these books have been read, some not, some may be autographed and some may be ARCs - I can guarantee that they are clean and in good (if not excellent) condition. If you win and don't need/want them all, I only ask that you pass them on to a friend, hospital, retirement facility or library.
So talk to me - let me know what's going on with you. What are you reading? What are your holiday or wintertime traditions, whatever religion you follow, or don't! And be sure to send your friends over!
I'm hoping to get back on here regularly so we can talk books and what we're reading. If anyone would like to be a guest blogger, post a book review, etc., please let me know at and we'll work out the deets! Same for authors - want to chat up your books? We can make it happen! I draw the line at political rants or rude/offensive posts, that's just not my style or anything I want to put up here.


Laurie said...

Hi Laurie Your tree looks fantastic!

John and I are going out on Saturday to one of the Christmas tree farms that are close by. It's always a lot of fun finding the perfect tree to cut down. The fresh pine smell makes all the effort worthwhile.

This year we are celebrating in Wisconsin! My 3 sons are flying up from Florida on the 20th. We're looking forward to a white Christmas this year. We have about 2 inches on the ground with 4-6 inches expected later today. We will celebrate with my FIL, 2 SIL's and their families, my sister and her family and my daughter and her husband. I'm so excited!

I'm currently reading Christmas themed books: I'm Your Santa-Foster, Kelly and Castell. I recently finished Mary Balogh's Under the Mistletoe and Kay Stockham's A Christmas To Remember. Next up will be Janet Evanovich's Visions of Sugarplums and an old Mistletoe Miracles-Neels, George and Lennox.

I love Christmas music. My favorites include: John Denver's Rocky Mountain Christmas, Andy William's and Barbra Streisand's Christmas CD's, The Nutcracker, Il Divo,, Charlotte Church, Josh Groban, The Charlie Brown Soundtrack and Raffi's Christmas. The Moody Blues and Jethro Tull CD's are good for something different. I heard the new Glee Christmas CD. I wasn't that thrilled with it.

Best wishes to you and your family. You're
a great inspiration with your dedication to sending packages off to the troops!

Enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!

Ammy Belle said...

Your tree is making me so jealous that I still have a week at school before I get to go home and enjoy the holidays properly! It looks beautiful!

I am, unfortunately, still at school - two exams and an essay to go, and then I am homeward bound!

Though I just stumbled across an art gallery down the street from my apartment and now have fallen in love with a very expensive piece (I just keep walking by it wistfully). Funny how these coincidences happen.

I am currently reading a treatise on Copyright law (Goddess save me), and "The Life of O'Reilley" by Brian Cohen. Hopefully this time next week (after my last exam) I will be in the throes of "Last Sacrifice" by Richelle Mead! :D

I would like to thank you for your generosity! It's a way cool contest and I am telling all my bookaholic friends about it!

Anyways, thanks!
Ammy Belle
apereiraorama @

Estella said...

Your tree is gorgeous!
I enjoy Christmas music. My favorite song is Silver Bells.

I am reading Spun by sorcery by Barbara Bretton.

Happy Holidays to you and yours!

April said...

I'm hoping you "get back on here regularly" too! I miss reading you.

Pat L. said...

I am reading Carolyn Brown's Honky Tonk Christmas. Nice series.

Christmas books and music put me in the spirit.

Wonderful prize you are offering.

Anonymous said...

Hi, The tree is beautiful.

I celebrate with my daughter and her family both Christmas Eve and Christams - My daughter cooks for Christmas and this year we will go out for a bite Christmas Eve - my sister and I used to cook a big Italan feast for the eve but she is now in a nursing home, so it will be just my daughter, son in law and myself on the eve and then on Christmas Day, same people plus my grandaughter and her husband and my beautiful great grand daughter.

I love to read holiday books but right now am reading Phantom Waltz by Catherine Anderson.

My daughter, Pat L (patoct) sent me over here for a chance to win that wonderful box of surprise books.

Happy Holidays to all and thanks so much for the wonderful contest.

Helen L.

Judy F said...

Well my tree looks sad compared to yours. But I love yours.

Working tonight. sigh.

I love christmas music.

I am so behind I need more time to get everything done.

flchen1 said...

Hi, Laurie! Long time no see ;) I can't believe how fast the year's flown by; I'm SO not ready for Christmas yet! I finished reading Malcolm Gladwell's What the Dog Saw (I love his books--soooo interesting!) and am about to start Susan Mallery's The Best of Friends based on a friend's recommendation. (She said it made her bawl; I'm a little nervous ;))

Just got the tree up today and the lights on it, but no ornaments yet--will round the kids up to help this weekend :)

Hope you're doing well!!

Barbara said...

Hey Laurie-

Good to see a post from you again. The tree looks wonderful. I don't put up a tree at home...too much work but I do have a "purple tree" at work. Technically it's more lavender I guess.It has white lights, decorated with purple and pink ornaments and this year has an angel trimmed in pink as the topper. Oh yea has a very special "Kermit the frog" ornament on it too.

I am doing my Christmas cards this weekend, trying to finish my shopping and then the wrappiing which I hate.

Your upcoming Christmas festivites sound great. We had our Company Christmas party last Friday night. We usually have an office pitch in too.

Good to see you back blogging......Have a great holiday.

Anonymous said...

I'm really getting into the season. I have my dog all decked out in Christmas colors, and me, too. We certainly get comments at the dog park. LOL. Pat L. said to come post here for the prize. I think she should share with me. HaHa. Lovely tree, Laurie. I hope to get mine up this next weekend, just in time to put presents under it.

TJRussell said...

Well, my name didn't show up. I'm not really anonymous. It's TJ.

Cybercliper said...

I'm usually pretty sad to see Fall roll around because that means Winter is not to far behind. I'm not a big fan of the cold, windy days, and grey skies. My internal clock gets all out of whack with the dark days.

So to cheer myself up, I will spend the Winter reading, crocheting, and cross stitching. And Christmas time means my favorite - chocolate covered cherries, gingerbread, and hot chocolate on cold evenings! I feel better all ready...

Anonymous said...

To go into NYC to see the Christmas Tree with my sons and family and to make cookies with my grandson are traditions we've started the past few years.

Your tree is absolutely gorgeous! and where do you store all those ornaments all year? That's the $64,000 question! I have seen a van in our neighborhood here on LI that puts up and takes down your holiday decorations!!! So you don't even have to store a thing in the attic or freeze up on the ladder! and you can get whatever the newest decos there are for that year!
Right now, I'm reading Gladys Taber's The Book of's a lovely read for me at this time of year as it brings me back to the traditions we used to celebrate in Masssachussetts with Mama and Dad.

My good friend for 30 plus years Pat L. brought me to your site so we can share books we both like to read! She's a hoot when it comes to all these contests!

So, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and leave some time between festivities to do some serious reading! Mickey Mac

Anonymous said...

My mom sent me here, Pat L. We both like to read. She is jealous because I get to read more books than she does.

Christmas Eve we go to my sister in laws, and Christmas day with my parents. It is so much fun to spend Christmas with our 2 year old.

Karen T.

Your tree is gorgeous.

I am currently reading Sudden Death by Allison Brennan, love those suspense books.

Spav said...

I love your tree! I haven't even started decorating yet, I think I'll have to start tonight!

Right now I'm reading Touched by an Alien by Gini Koch and I think it's going to be one of my favourite books of the year. It's been amazing so far!

Jane said...

Merry Christmas. What a pretty tree. I do like to listen to Christmas music, but sometimes I have to change the station because the songs are repeated so often. I've been reading Heather Graham's Bone Island trilogy and some historicals, including Tiffany Clare's "The Surrender of a Lady."

Anonymous said...

Your tree is really beautiful. I would love to have a tree decorated like that. I was sent here by Pat L. a great person I met online here a few years ago. She is always keeping me up-to-date with contests.
I just read Nora Roberts "Public Secrets" wonderful book a terrific read. I just started her last book in the Bride Quartet Series.

Anonymous said...

You did a great job decorating that tree.

I am reading Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle; she writes nice Christmas books.

I would love to win a surprise package of books and thanks to my friend, Pat L. for giving me the opportunity.

Lynn R.