Last weekend I had planned on going to my local garden store to buy a little tabletop Christmas tree, but I was feeling under the weather – so instead, on Sunday, I got inspired and constructed my own Christmas tree made from books. Several friends and family members have shared pictures of book trees with me and I always thought it looked like too much of a hassle to do myself. It did take a couple of tries to get a structure that resembled a tree, but I used this tutorial and finally got I shape I could live with. After I put the lights and ornaments on and stuck the star on the top I saw how great it looked and I am perfectly thrilled with my homemade tree.
Do you put up a Christmas tree? I’d like to feature a few bloggers’ and readers’ trees here next week – if you’d like to share your tree on Gudrun’s Tights, email a photo to me at gudrunstightsatgmaildotcom. I know this is very last minute so if I don’t receive any submissions I will feature some other Christmas-y photos.
Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! It is my pleasure to spread a little Christmas cheer and I hope, even if you didn’t win, that you’ll find a copy of A Christmas Memory at a library or bookstore to read during the holidays. And now, on to the winner. Congratulations to:
Lisa, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do! Email me with your mailing address and I will get it into the mail next week.
Have you heard of #ShareAdvent? The Skin & Blister blog has started this really thoughtful advent activity calendar that prompts readers to participate in a different activity for every day of the Christmas season and then to share what you’ve done on Twitter and Instagram:
I love this idea and plan to do as many of these as I can during December. I think it is a great way to focus on simple pleasures during this hectic and stressful month. If you’re interested visit Skin & Blister to sign up!
It’s the day after Thanksgiving and it is now acceptable (here in the States) to acknowledge that Christmas is coming! One of my favorite traditions of the holiday season is to read holiday-themed books. One of my most beloved stories is A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote. A Christmas Memory is a bittersweet story that I try to read every year during the holidays. It is told from the viewpoint of a child, Buddy, and recounts his memories of his Christmases in Alabama during the 1930′s. Buddy and his cousin, whom he calls ‘my friend’ throughout the story, embrace the traditions of the season by scraping together all of the money they can find to buy ingredients to make fruit cakes. They make them for friends, family and even President Roosevelt. They also find joy in harvesting their own tree and making presents for each other. This autobiographical tale takes the reader back to a simpler time and introduces us to the unforgettable character of Buddy’s cousin, who was based on Capote’s real relative, Miss Sook. This is a gem that I highly recommend.
This year I am giving away a beautiful copy of this timeless story to one Gudrun’s Tights reader. The lovely illustrations are by Beth Peck and there is a CD included with the story narrated by Celeste Holm.
Please enter the giveaway at the form HERE. The giveaway is international and open until midnight, Arizona time, on November 29. One entry person. Winner will be chosen randomly and announced next week.
My continued craving for holiday reading brought me to A Holiday for Murder, also known as Hercule Poirot’s Christmas. I’ve seen the tv version of this mystery novel, but couldn’t remember who the culprit was so thought it would be safe to read it. It isn’t really a Christmas story – the murder takes place at Christmas, but there is hardly any mention of the holiday or the traditions surrounding it. That was okay, though, because reading it reacquainted me with Agatha Christie, whom I haven’t read in many years.
This novel finds Poirot spending Christmas with Colonel Johnson when they are called to Gorston Hall, the scene of a horrific murder. Simeon Lee, the wealthy patriarch of a bickering family, has had his throat slashed. His four sons and their wives, plus two unexpected guests, have assembled for Christmas and they all become suspects as the room Lee was killed in was locked from the inside and the window closed. The assumption is that an intruder would not have been able to leave the house unseen.
The usual interrogations and sly Poirot ‘conversations’ soon give him all the information he needs to reveal the killer of Simeon Lee. It is a very tricky outcome and I definitely didn’t guess who the culprit was.
Agatha Christie is a forceful writer and I’d forgotten how colorful her characters are. I wouldn’t recommend this novel if you are looking for holiday cheer, but it is a good example of the ‘locked room mystery’.
I’d like to read some of her other novels next year – do you have a favorite Christie novel? What is her best mystery?