Monday, October 21, 2013

Christmas Novella's

   Remember I mentioned in an earlier post that I would make the Aldi's Pumpkin Ravioli again only the next time would be for breakfast and with something other than cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on them? Last Saturday morning I did just that. Breakfast was Jimmy Dean Sage Sausage, scrambled eggs, coffee and Pumpkin Ravioli with what I will call, Buttery Maple Sage Sauce. It was delicious! I had Apple Cider and just forgot it was in the fridge. It wasn't missed, but served cold would have added a nice dimension to the layers of flavor and textures that did show up for the party. I did however take the mums I had in water on the window sill that broke off while repotting them last week and place them on the table. :-)
   I do think it is a stretch to apply the "Recipe" label to this post but to tell you I put 1/2 stick of real butter, 1/4 cup of real maple syrup and 1/2 ~ 3/4 teaspoon of rubbed sage into a saucepan, melted the butter and simmered all ingredients together on medium low until foamy and began to thicken, would be the recipe for the sauce I put together to gently toss the Pumpkin Ravioli in before plating. So there it is for it's smashing debut ~ my new offering for Thanksgiving breakfast's in future. The real reason for this post however is that little corner of a book you see behind the cream and sugar; the book you will see below.
   Friday evening, as usual, I read when I went to bed. The Christmas Shoppe by Melanie Carlson was the book I was reading at the time. By the time I read to the point I had only twelve pages left to finish the book I was so sleepy my eyes were closing longer than they were staying open, and I just could not focus. I wanted to finish the book awake and alert so I left the ending for Saturday morning. When I woke up it was start the coffee, get dressed, wash face and the rest of that morning routine, pour the coffee in my mug and settle in for the enjoyment of finishing a good story.
This is one of two books I have won from contests Melody Carlson has run in conjunction with her Christmas novella's.
Seems silly I know, but I loved using the coordinating bookmark she sent with the book. 

   In The Christmas Shoppe we meet a number of people right in the beginning that all live in a small town called, Parrish Springs. Having lived in a small town for many years I could easily relate to those characters. There is one woman, Mathilda Honeycutt, an old and eccentric almost hippy type of woman. She is mysterious and calm, despite the fact most of the town is in an uproar over a building she purchases right downtown. She turns this building into..... you got it, The Christmas Shoppe. Through it all Melody does a great job of portraying how being courageous enough, or in some cases broken enough, to take a good and real look at things hurtful in the past we can begin to do things like forgive. In doing that we can be the patient, peaceful and victorious Christians we were meant to be. I really liked this book and do recommend it. Although everything in the the book pointed toward it, it did not have the intensity of that "Christmas" feeling the others have had because bar a few pages at the end, it takes place around Thanksgiving. I would like to have had some of the mystery surrounding Mathilda Honeycutt be removed by reading some more about who she was and what motivated her to do what she did. Be that as it may, it was a good book and I really enjoyed it. I think the elusiveness of Mathilda had its place as did the building up to Christmas. The message of love is most certainly portrayed in these pages.

An Irish Christmas is the first of Melody Carlson's Christmas novella's I read.
   This book is about decisions made, secrets kept, and seeing both sides of a situation. Melody makes no attempt to make this a mystery, she drops gentle clues all along about how a time spent 20 years ago is going to show up in the here and now. Albeit a novella, the characters are well developed, the plot is well woven and you get to travel from the eccentric time of World War II to  President Kennedy's assassination and its impact, from a town in California to a beautiful place in, Ireland. Through that time and bi~continental travel you find the true meaning of, Christmas ~ restoration. This book spoke to me on levels I may never share publicly, but suffice it to say I highly recommend this book.

Christmas at Harrington's was the first of the two I won from one of Melody Carlson's contests.
I enjoyed the using the bookmark that corresponded with this one as well.

   Christmas at Harrington's is a book about new beginnings and the patience, trust in God and humility it takes to get to the point that you can and want to put your past behind you, forgive and move forward to living life to its fullest. This is the other Christmas novella I won from a contest Melody Carlson ran in 2010. This book taught me to look past circumstances and that love needs to always be my first response, to be spirit led, not head lead. Great read, and you don't have to wait for Christmas to read it, its message is absolutely timeless.

   I become so discouraged when I see how long Halloween things are blasted all over the retail environment, particularity in comparison to how soon before and how quickly Thanksgiving gets set out and then vanishes. I would just love to go into a Black Friday discussion here and give my views on how it has stolen the celebration of Thanksgiving weekend............ oh and yes the Grey Thursday that officially began last year that has taken a chunk out of the actual one day of the year set aside to be thankful and enjoy family, but I imagine that will be addressed in few weeks right here on Honeycomb ~ stay tuned. Okay, rambling. What I was trying to get to was that I do start reading the wonderful Christmas stories every year about this time. They do not take away from Thanksgiving, they enhance the whole of that holiday.  Once we get to Thanksgiving and I have read a few good Christmas stories, I am so ready to start the wonder of Christmas. If you don't read Christmas novella's or maybe don't read much at all, I recommend these quick little reads that are so inspiring.  Try one, you have nothing to lose and they truly are quick reads. While there are books she has co~authored and one by another author entirely, here is the best list of Melody Carlson's Christmas books and novella's I could find.

   There are so many other authors out there putting out wonderful Christmas books. Two of my all time favorites are Finding Father Christmas and its sequel, Engaging Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn. Do you read Christmas fiction this time of year? I would love to hear which author's you like and about the stories you have enjoyed.

No comments: