Sunday, December 27, 2009

final TSS of 2009

As I sit here typing, looking out the living room window at the snow that continues to flurry since Christmas Eve, I am filled with a thankful heart. It is hard to believe that this year is nearly over and we are about to embark on a new decade in the 21st Century --- when did time start zooming past me?

The year began rather bleak, with the economy uncertain and my husband just recently unemployed, but somehow, some way we have made it through. There may be nothing left in the savings account, but we are now both gainfully employed in jobs that, for the most part we enjoy, and we are living in a house that keeps us safe and warm. Christmas Day was celebrated with all the kids + my mom spending the night in various sections of the house - and everyone actually getting along! It was such fun to watch the kids play the various games that Santa brought (who would have though that the $3.00 gift of Dominoes would be the hit of the day?!) and the holiday traditions seemed to be more meaningful this year. I am truly blessed.

While we do not officially celebrate Boxing Day in this part of the world, I took it upon myself to embrace this English holiday by relaxing all day Saturday, eating only fun, leftover holiday food, and reading on the couch in front of the well-lighted Christmas tree. It was truly relaxing! I was thrilled to pick up my copy of The Children's Book from the local library earlier in the week, and I have been snuggled up with it for most of the weekend. I know that it has received mixed reviews around the blogosphere, and while it is most definitely not a fast-paced, plot driven book, there is something very comforting about reading a book about an author of children's books and discovering how real-life events are transferred into fantasy stories.
Each child had a book, and each child had his or her own story. It had begun, of course, with Tom, whose story was the longest. Each story was written in its own book, hand-decorated with stuck-on scraps and coloured patterns. Tom's was inky-blue-black, covered with ferns and brackens, some real, dried and pressed, some cut out of gold and silver paper. Dorothy's was forest-green, covered with nursery scraps of small creatures, hedgehogs, rabbits, mice, blue-tits and frogs. Phyllis's was rose-pink and lacy, with scraps of gauzy-winged fairies in florid dresses, sweet-peas and bluebells, daisies and pansies. Hedda's was striped in purple, green and white, with silhouettes of witches and dragons. Florian's book was only little, a nice warm red, with Father Christmas and a yule log. (page 88)
I have always enjoyed scrapbooking and have tried to make one album for each of the children when they graduate from high school. The above passage reminds me of what I might do if I were a storyteller - and rather than make a scrapbook of memories, I would instead write each child their own fantasy story. There is something rather romantic in that daydream.

Since this book is over 650 pages long, I do not anticipate reading much else over my Christmas break. I do, however, plan to finalize my reading challenges for 2010 --- there are still a few that I am considering --- and I will make that one of my final posts of 2009. I will also need to review all the books that I have read this year and attempt to post the Cozy Book Nook's list of Best Books Read in 2009. There will be lots of literary activity over the next few days -- not the least of which will involve trips to Borders and Half Priced Books, as I received gift cards to both of these great stores. I plan to go by myself so that I may spend as much time as I want browsing up and down the aisles, reading book jacket flaps and introductory chapters, and carefully deciding which books to purchase now --- and which to add to the TBR list.

I hope that all of you had a wonderful, relaxing, blessed holiday spent with family and loved ones, and that you too are able to take some time for yourself in these last few days of the year.


  1. Enjoy your last few days of leisurely reading and browsing for new reads. Sounds idyllic to me! Glad you had a wonderful Christmas.

    Here's wishing you a happy New year.

  2. What a lovely post Molly. It is nice to reflect and realize how much we have to be thankful for despite the not so great times that we all experience in any given year.

    Can't wait to read your review on The Children's Book. enjoy

  3. Sounds like a wonderful holiday, Molly! I spent yesterday curled up on the couch with a book, too. Hope the rest of your vacation will be just as relaxing.

  4. Isn't it nice to snuggle with a book when it is snowing outside? We had sleet up until Christmas night, and ever since there have been big beautiful flakes coming down. I predict sledding in our near future!

  5. I hope you enjoy the book and the rest of the weekend and Christmas break. :-)

  6. I'm glad to hear you had a wonderful relaxing Christmas and you could brush the stresses of everyday life aside. Wishing you a great 2010! I've noticed that ever since I had The Girl, time is flying by...and I'm not ready for it. :(

    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. Oh, enjoy The Children's Book! I loved it and look forward to your review. Have a wonderful week, Molly.

  8. So nice to hear such contentment, such positive resolution to what could have been a trying year. Your holiday sounds wonderful, your new book equally so. Happy reading!

  9. It always amazes me when I come another fantastic book blogger and then find that all my other book blogging friends already knew about you and didn't let on. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I hope to put a post up of all the books I got for Christmas in the next couple of days. One of the books I got was The Children's Book, so I hope to be reading that soon. Your Christmas sounds wonderful, I know what you mean about dominoes being a hit, in our house it was a 50P squashy ball with Santa in and my girls are 10!
    I shall definitely be back and will check out your scrapbooking too.

  10. I am glad you had such a nice Christmas, Molly. It definitely is a time to acknowledge that which we are lucky to have.

    Your Saturday sounds much like mine--except for the Christmas tree part (since we didn't put one up this year). I spent a good part of the day reading and it was such a joy.

    Have a great week, Molly!

  11. I'm with you - when did time start passing so quickly? I'm glad to see you had such a pleasant holiday - ours was quiet and relaxing too.

  12. It's been zooming past me for the last decade. This time, I'm ready for ;)

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  14. I'm glad to hear that you have had such a nice holiday this year! You know it hadn't occurred to me that we are starting a new decade.

    I still need to put together my best of 2009 list too. It's so much fun to see everyone's "best of" lists. :)

  15. I didn't realize that this would be the final TSS for 2009! Time has passed quickly in many ways. It sounds like you have reflected upon the blessings in your life with a positive spirit! I like the idea of creating a scrapbook for each child. My goal for 2010 is to start scrapbooking and keep it simple but creative if I can. Enjoy the rest of your holiday break.

  16. I love the quote from The Children's Book and how you related it to scrapbooking. It made me wonder what my books might look like.

    And isn't it always the simplest (and cheapest) things that are the hits of Christmas? : )

    I'm working on my "best of" post for the year too ... and finalizing my last challenge post. It is fun to think of another year of reading stretching before us ... especially since I've been holding off on some books until 2010 ... I can hardly wait to get started!

  17. And I meant to tell you I'm happy that you are so thankful for the blessings in your life ... it is always good to remember that good things in life.

  18. I can picture, with envy :), you reading before the lit Christmas tree. We did not put a big one up this year, due to two newly acquired kitties who love to play, but I have vicarious enjoyment from those who did. I think relaxing after all the preparation is one of the best parts of Christmas.

    I had a copy of The Children's Book, but I gave it away to a friend of mine who had surgery on her knee December 7. She first introduced me to Byatt, with Possession, and now I'm hoping she'll lend it to me when she's done. Happy Reading!

  19. Molly,
    I am glad that we connected via our blogs and look forward to reading more about your reading in the new year. I am glad to hear that you had a wonderful holiday with your family and even adopted our Boxing Day tradition!!
    I would love to know more about The Children's Book. Who is the author?
    Thinking of Thinking


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