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A Christmas book review!

Merry Christmas, dear readers! I hope you all get some quiet time this season to rest, reflect and enjoy. For me, that rest and reflection time begins when school ends. Santa Claus came to my preschool first thing in the morning this year. And so did all the mommies. And when they left 45 minutes later, and my wee preschoolers realized that they still had a whole day at school and were not leaving with said mommies, it was brutal. Many tears and much gnashing of teeth. "Dear Santa, please come next year after lunch and release all the children to their guardians when you Ho Ho Ho good-bye."

My sons and I celebrated our first day of Christmas break at the movies - Jumanji 2! Honestly, I had not thought a second Jumanji was really necessary, but I was wrong. This movie was hilarious and so much fun.

And now it is time to light a Fir Tree smelling candle, pour a cup of eggnog and read a good book.

For your Christmas reading consideration, may I recommend Blessings by Anna Quindlen? My good friend and loyal B&V reader, Melissa, gave me this book whence last she came into town. I really liked this book. The characters are well formed, and I'm still thinking about them. I'm also trying to cast the movie, which always tells me how much a book has affected me. This is the story of a baby who is left on the doorstep of the grandest house in a small town. But it is the yard guy who finds this baby and decides to keep her. And surprisingly, the crusty grand dame of the house decides to help.

My family has decided to make Jolabokaflod (try this pronunciation: Yola Boke Uh Flothe My oldest son tells me the last letter is not actually a "d", but an Icelandic character that sort of looks like one, and it is pronounced with a "th" sound) a Christmas tradition. This is where books and favorite chocolate is given on Christmas Eve. We tried this last year after church services and a lively dinner with friends. And I have to say it was a very nice, very soothing, calming way to finish up Christmas Eve, all of us curled up on chairs and couches, munching on chocolate and starting a new book. Try it - it's better than pretty pajamas, even! And Blessings would be a great Jola gift.

In case you're wondering, I like Dark Chocolate, and this year I've graciously offered to get my own chocolate, which will be a Dark Chocolate Caramel Cashew Turtle from The Chocolate Bar. Younger wants a chocolate covered Twinkie, also from The Chocolate Bar. Older likes Very Dark Chocolate with some kind of spicy extra, like chilies. And then my husband's favorite is White Chocolate. Which my friend, Michelle, says is not even chocolate at all, "It's a Fraud Chocolate!" That makes me laugh every time I think about it, but Whatever. Jola is not the time to educate one's palate, but to simply enjoy.

I hope you enjoy, too.

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