It's been All-Christmas-All-The-Time over here. I got involved in some local planning for holiday events, and then there's the three family Christmases to prep for. One tree is up and decorated, and this weekend I'll work on the second. Christmas cards will go out soon (email me if you'd like to be on the list and don't think I have your address). The only thing missing is my Christmas books.
I haven't been able to locate them since the move last year. I'm sure they'll turn up eventually, but a little part of me is panicked. Two strays were located because they never got packed up and lived in my daughter's closet.
The Polar Express, one of our favorites.
And a 1968 copy of Charles Dickens' Christmas Books including A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, The Cricket on the Hearth, The Battle of Life, and The Haunted Man.
The Cricket on the Hearth is charmingly divided into chapters titled, "Chirp the First", and so on. It opens:
The kettle began it! Don't tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said. I know better. Mrs. Peerybingle may leave it on record to the end of time that she couldn't say which of them began it; but I say the kettle did. I ought to know. I hope! The kettle began it, full five minutes by the little waxy-faced Dutch clock in the corner, before the Cricket uttered a chirp.
I find Dicken's style of narrating as though speaking directly to the reader both sweet and mischievous. Your word this week from the paragraph above is:
Thanks for hanging in last week! Heads up that there'll be no challenge the week of the 22nd since I anticipate most of you will be busy and spending time with families. Until then, happy writing!