Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Twelve Days of Christmas Giveaway Hop, hosted by Stuck in Books!

Let’s talk about holiday traditions. I’m being deliberately inclusive here. I don’t celebrate Christmas, I celebrate Hanukkah instead. You may celebrate both, neither, or something else altogether. My husband and I kind of celebrate December, as in its a great occasion to give each other presents, whether there’s a holiday involved for either of us or not. And we both get a couple of paid holidays from work, which is also a nice thing to celebrate.

While I’ve never had a Christmas tree, for obvious reasons, I have always enjoyed decorating other people’s trees, especially since I’ve never had to clean up the mess. I’ve also had one or more cats continuously for the past “lo these many years” and cats and decorated trees only mix badly, messily, and with broken ornaments and shredded wrapping paper.

What about your holiday traditions, whatever holiday or holidays you celebrate this time of year? Answer in the rafflecopter for your chance at a $10 Amazon Gift Card or a $10 Book from the Book Depository to make your holiday just a bit shinier, whatever it might be.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And for more great bookish prizes, be sure to visit the other stops on the hop!

Happy Holidays 2015

grumpy cat xmas

As someone who does not celebrate Christmas, my attitude is sometimes a lot like the one that Grumpy Cat exhibits above. Some of my fondest Christmas memories are of driving around Chicago at Christmastime, listening to a compilation of Dr. Demento Christmas carols and hunting out the most outrageous and over-the-top Christmas light displays in the neighborhood.

This year, no one seems to be dashing through the snow – mostly because there isn’t any snow! Except, of course, for Anchorage, none of the places that we have lived are remotely cold enough to snow this year. Not even Chicago! And the northeast is having a heat wave. (We’ll be in Boston in a couple of weeks, and I’m crossing my fingers for the unseasonable warmth to continue!)

But seriously, even though Christmas is not everyone’s holiday, this year, just like every year, we could all use a little more “peace on earth and goodwill to all”.

So Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Happy (belated) Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa and best wishes for whatever you celebrate this year. Including the two lovely four day weekends in a row!

Chrismukkah 2014

christmas-vs-hanukkah

Today may be Christmas as well as the last day of Hanukkah, but there are plenty of holidays to celebrate in late December.

And if none of the others appeal, there’s always Festivus.

But seriously, whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Yule, Solstice or simply that the days have started getting longer again, have a happy whatever you are having, and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Happy New Year 2014

Picture of Champagne bubbles by Gaetan Lee from wikimedia commonsHappy New Year! 

Those are champagne bubbles in the picture. I hope your celebration included something suitably sparkly and bubbly. (We toasted the New Year with hard cider, but it still bubbled and had a kick!)

Now that 2013 is over, tomorrow we’ll take a look at the books we’re looking forward to in 2014.

Under the Tree: Happy Chrismukkawanztice!

Book-Christmas-TreeHappy Chrismukkahwanztice Everyone! Regardless of your spiritual persuasion, Chrismukkahwanztice in the United States is essentially a celebration of capitalist excess. One in which gifts are de rigueur. Which really does make this the best time of year for us Book Pushing Book Lovers. Not only do we get lots of books – we get to force them on others! It doesn’t get any better than this!

In honor of this holiday – and assured that this post won’t go live until after the presents are already opened (no spoilers!) – Reading Reality Proudly Presents: Under Our Tree!

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Grizzly MazeFor Mom: This last summer, my mother came to visit me up here in the Frozen North, and all she wanted to do was go rustle up some grizzlies. Ah, how about no? I am exceedingly opposed to being eaten. Tried directing her towards the Live Bear Cams (just as good without being eaten) to no avail. She wants to stalk the grizzlies.

The Grizzly Maze: Timothy Treadwell’s Fatal Obsession With Alaskan Bears by Nick Jans & Grizzly Man (documentary). Happy Holidays, Mom! You’re not allowed back in Alaska until you provide me with a full report of both the book and film (included because there is a recording of his death).

HogfatherFor Cass: Oh come on, you know perfectly well that friends and family have long since learned to adhere to ISBNs when buying books for us Book Hoarders, or just give gift cards. This year I have made a series of extremely special requests from my international contacts.

Small-Gods1The Terry Pratchett Discworld Collector’s Library! Look at those glorious covers. Not available in the United States. AS IF THAT WOULD STOP ME. Plus, I needed to upgrade to hardcover. I’ve read through three copies each of Hogfather, and Small Gods.

For Grandma & Grandpa: Anyone who has ever lived here in the tundra understands that though we have an overwhelming bounty of fresh fish, we have no decent fruit. At all. By the time it gets here, it’s already going bad. To cope with this disparity, my grandparents and I have come to an understanding. I send them boxes of fresh Alaskan salman, halibut, scallops, and crab, and in return, they send me boxes of fresh apples, peaches, and pears. It really is a beautiful system. Right up until  grandpa tells me that he breaded and fried fucking halibut cheeks as though they were goddamn fishsticks!

Alaska CookbookThe New Alaska Cookbook by Kim Severson. Okay, grandpa? You have no more excuses. If you’re just going to bread and fry everything, I’ll start sending dogfish.

For Dad: My dad and I share a love for political science fiction. I first introduced him to Robert J. Sawyer with a Father’s Day gift of the Neanderthal Parralax. Which he dearly loved. He’s an easy mark this year.

Calculating GodCalculating God by Robert J. Sawyer. Science Fiction for the politically minded atheist! I could have gone with something by Dawkins, but it turns out he’s a misogynist motherfucker. Not giving him any of my money. We’ll try some PZ Meyers or Skepchick swag for your birthday.

For Nicki: You are unhealthy invested in Twilight. It’s a sickness that I’ve done my damnedest to cure you of, but just keep falling short. I blame the cocaine in the library books.

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier & Sarah Rees Brennan. Enjoy! Perhaps fiction can reach you in ways the Power & Control Wheel could not.

persuasion-teeFor Becky: I know that Pride & Prejudice is your favorite book of all time, and no author could ever compare to Jane Austen. How about we take some Jane Austen and make it aesthetically pleasing since I can’t slog my way through any of it?

Persuasion by Jane Austin via Litographs. That’s right. Your book is on a shirt. How awesome is that?! Just don’t get mad at me if people start squinting at your boobs. And on that note, Susan is getting Alice in Wonderland, and Rachel needs The Great Gatsby…..

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How about you? What books are under your tree?