Characters Who Celebrate Christmas In the Story {reading challenge}

Holiday Baking

It’s the week of Thanksgiving here in America, and that means I’m busy baking and cooking up a storm. I finally decided on the new recipes I’ll be trying. I’ve been told holidays are not the times to test out new-to-me recipes, but I beg to differ. I’ve only come across a couple of duds over the years, and thankfully they were ones I taste tested before sharing… which means I didn’t share those couple of things. But I’ve found some really great dishes over the holidays through my teens and twenties. Now that I’m in my thirties, I feel like it’s practically tradition for me to try something new for Thanksgiving and Christmas and sometimes even New Year’s Day.

So the new recipes I’m trying this week are…

* seafood bisque
* praline pumpkin squares
* pineapple cream cheese cobbler
* honey biscuits

The tried-and-true recipes I’m making are…

* eggnog (non-alcoholic)
* pumpkin bread trifle (if the frozen bread is still good; if not, I’ll bring this one back another time)
* sweet potato casserole with brown sugar crumble on top
* Tex-Mex (turkey) sausage egg bake

What recipes are you looking forward to trying out this Thanksgiving?
What tried-and-true dishes are you making?




Reading Challenge

Shortly after Thanksgiving, as in merely a few minutes after midnight, it will be time to turn our minds to Christmas. This means playing Christmas music, putting up Christmas decorations, and watching Christmas movies. I’ll be reading a Christmas book or two, but I’m not real big into dumping heaps of those into my reading schedule, as they become predictable after a while to me.

However, I know other readers absolutely love reading lots and lots of Christmas stories during this season. Nothing wrong with that. I think it would be good for getting in that festive mood.

As you might have guessed from the picture at the top of this article, because obviously it wasn’t very subtle, the reading challenge for December is to read books that feature characters who celebrate Christmas in the story. It doesn’t have to be a huge scene, but there should be at least one sentence within the story that shows one or more characters celebrating Christmas.

Note: I know I have some friends who celebrate Hanukkah instead of Christmas, and I respect our difference in holiday preference. If you are one of my Hanukkah-loving friends, you may include stories in which Hanukkah is celebrated.

Second Note: My favorite thing about the Christmas season is remembering the reason why we celebrate. Jesus Christ was born into this world of sin in order to save us into eternal life (John 3:16). He is the true Reason for the season, and it’s His saving grace that we celebrate as we go through the holidays and wish people a merry Christmas. May the joy of Jesus enter your heart and fill you with a peace that surpasses all human understanding.

What books have you already fallen in love with that feature Christmas?
Which ones are you eager to try?



Blogging Plans for 2020

Over the next month, I’m going to be brainstorming some short stories. I have missed working on those lately, and I want to get back to them and bring you more short-story awesomeness.

Since this will take more creative time than my schedule normally allows, I have to cut something out.

In 2020, I will not be hosting reading challenges.

I’m sad to be taking a break from these fun challenges, but I’m hoping to have one to two new short stories for you every month next year. If I really get on a roll, there may be more, but I’m leaving some Mondays open for book reviews, as you know I won’t stop reading completely (book lovers have to read; it’s a part of our DNA).

The short stories will most likely (as is my plan now, at least) fit in with the virtues listed in Galatians 5:22-23a (HCSB), which says:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faith, gentleness, self-control.

They might be happy, sad, filled with gratitude, or any number of other emotions. Knowing me, they’re sure to contain several different feelings in each short story. But they will, in some way, highlight the virtues above.

I hope you’ll keep visiting to catch all the upcoming short stories. In the meantime, please enjoy my final (for now) reading challenge and have a very happy holiday season.

Which of my short stories (found in the right-hand sidebar) is your favorite?
What made it special to you?
Your answers to the above questions might inspire aspects or characters in my new short stories. I love your input!
Happy Thanksgiving!

9 thoughts on “Characters Who Celebrate Christmas In the Story {reading challenge}

  1. Andrea,I look forward to the last reading challenge. I always enjoy the Christmas season and reading a Christmas book. Thank you for the challenges. It's been a delight and a fun way for me to read through some of my books. I plan to keep it going. Thanks for the great start!For Thanksgiving, I'll be baking, as usual, the turkey, dressing, and sausage balls along with a pumpkin pie and an apple pie. I'm also looking forward to tasting those new (and old) recipes you have planned! Yummy!!As time moves on, I look forward to 2020 and the short stories you will create with endearing, quirky, eccentric characters you bring to life! Whatever characters jump from your head to the paper, I'm sure will be enchanting!

  2. Thanks for supporting me through the reading challenges, Mama. It's been fun having you along for the journey.I'm glad you mentioned quirky, eccentric characters. They definitely need to come out in my brainstorming, as those are the most fun to write.Sounds like you're also doing lots of baking. Have a blast! And I can't wait to eat a few of those sausage balls. They're the best… now that I like them. 😉

  3. I know I'll have a whole lot of books for this new reading challenge. 🙂 I shouldn't have any trouble finding books that have characters who celebrate Christmas.I keep looking at your stories on the side and want to read them, but I don't do well reading stories on the computer, but maybe if they're not too long I can handle it.As for baking, I leave that to my sister. I'll help cut out and decorate cookies, but otherwise I don't really like cooking or baking.I know I'll miss your challenges next year, but I can totally understand needing to take a break. I'll be hosting a reading challenge on my blog again starting in January. Thanks so much for having all these challenges. I know I've read more books that I wouldn't have otherwise picked up. 🙂

  4. Rebekah, thanks for jumping in for the reading fun every month. I hope you'll still pop in every now and then.My short stories are typically between 1,000 and 2,000 words, so they aren't overly long. May I suggest beginning with the Thanksgiving Disaster one? Not only are we celebrating that holiday this week, but I feel it is the best one I've written so far.Have fun decorating those cookies!

  5. Oh, that's not too long for a short story. (I was thinking several thousand words.) I'll start with the Thanksgiving story. 🙂 We need more of those.

  6. Okay, I said I'd have a long list for this month. It's not as long as I thought it would be since I really didn't have a lot of time to read early this month and many of these stories are short. But here's my list.1. Welcome, Santza – Constance Savery2. Arne and the Christmas Star – Alta Halverson Seymour3. Stille Nacht – Ryana Lynn Miller4. Tin Can Serenade – Amanda Dykes5. Kind – Kellyn Roth6. The Philanthropist's Christmas – James Weber Linn7. Gianna's Christmas Wish – Amanda Clark8. Some Christmas Camouflage – Elisabeth Grace Foley9. To Springvale for Christmas – Zona Gale10. Gingerbread Treasures – Rebekah Jones11. Sylvie of Amber Apartments – J. Grace Pennington12. Sincerely, Jem – Kate Willis13. Carousel Horse Christmas – Danni Roan14. Stubby Pringle's Christmas- Jack Schaefer15. Blizzard in the Bluegrass – Hallee Bridgeman16. Wrong about Mr. Wright – Chautona Havig17. When Snowflakes Never Cease – Amanda Tru18. Right Number – Perry Elisabeth Kirkpatrick19. One Enchanted Christmas – Melissa Tagg20. Bespoke – Amanda Dykes21. The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas – Madeleine L'Engle22. Christmas with Tucker – Greg Kincaid23. A Cinderella Christmas – Amanda Tru24. Kate's Christmas – Sarah Holman25. Christmas Hostage – P.D. Atkerson26. Melody's Christmas – I.D. JohnsonAnd I think I'm done reading Christmas stories for now. 😉 I still didn't read all the new ones on my kindle, but I made a dent. And I found some I didn't want to even bother reading, so deleted some.Thanks for the fun challenges this year!

  7. Rebekah, it's been such a blast having you along for the reading challenge journey with me. Great job on your Christmas books this month! And way to go on cleaning out some not-so-interesting-anymore titles! I hope to still see you around on the blog in the new decade we're stepping into. Can you believe we get to live in the Twenties?! 🙂

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