Tidings of Comfort & Joy: December Wrap-Up

I’ve been procrastinating so dang hard on this wrap-up. And that makes no sense. It’s safe to say that I haven’t yet come to terms with the end of the year and, the end of the decade.

The 2010’s have been such pivotal years for me. Turbulent and brimming with upheaval, this decade was easily defined by change. And I hate change. Change is daunting, it’s stressful and uncertain. I can’t wait to close the book and yet a small part of me feels… sad? Am I the only one feeling a little deflated and melancholy?

Here’s hoping that the 20’s will be a more laid-back, steadier decade. One of hope and prosperity.

Now, existential crisis aside, let’s talk about the holiday season!

December came at me fast; work was exhausting, Christmas was demanding and I spent the first week of the holiday season in a funk. Thank god it didn’t last.

In other news, I owned my Christmas bucket list, crossing off everything save ice skating. I wasn’t too disappointed – you can’t do everything.

I kicked off the month with a screening of Frozen 2. All I can say is consider me obsessed. #frozenfever. I loved everything about the mature sequel; the crisp, autumn-hued color pallet, the haunting music and the darker plot.

Working in retail during the Christmas period was a lot. That being said, we might work hard but we play harder. For our annual work party one of the girls organised a disco karaoke party complete with strobe lights, a professional setup and alcohol.

Funny story: I left said karaoke party with my dignity in shreds.

So my work bestie and I, having seen Frozen 2 together, got it in our heads that a duet of Let It Go was the way to go. *Exhale* so not the case. And if our screeched rendition of Let It Go wasn’t bad enough, after way too many drinks we were allowed up to the mic for an even worse delivery of Bohemian Rhapsody. And there’s footage.

Basically, it was all down hill from Galileo! – I was crying, mascara running down my face from laughing and my friend forgot the words [even though we had a screen???] and proceeded to substitute said words for da da da! *Face palm*. What a train wreck but what a hysterical night.

I’m still recovering.

After a riot of cooking, decorating and shopping Christmas was quiet; just my immediate family which is just the way I like it. After working Christmas Eve, we jetted to Christmas Mass before our traditional screening of Miracle on 34th St. We spent Christmas day exchanging gifts, eating our weight at lunch before competing to see who could build their Harry Potter Lego the fastest. Spoiler alert: I won.

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas | ★★★★★ | A read-read of a Christmas favorite. A Court of Frost and Starlight acts as a bridge between the original trilogy and the new installments. It’s a festive check-in with the Court of Dreams, the plot focusing on healing and hope in a world reeling after war.

Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett | ★★★☆☆ | I love Terry Pratchett’s Witches but I didn’t love Wyrd Sisters – probably because I think Shakespeare is over rated. While I bumbled through this one, Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg are always a laugh.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens |★★★★☆ | Another festive re-read and the book chosen for the Reading by Starlight Christmas Read-Along. The story of Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim inspires us to rediscovery the true meaning of Christmas; hope, love and charity.

Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes  |★★★½☆| The final chapter in my Falling Kingdoms read through. All I can say is that, at this point, I’m glad I’m done. This series fell short in so many ways. It was good but it wasn’t great. That being said, I was 100% invested in Cleo and Magnus.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand |★★★★☆| Yet another festive book [and the final book of my Read-Along], The Afterlife of Holly Chase is a book I’ve read and re-read every Christmas. A modern retelling of A Christmas Carol, it’s cozy and heart warming, focusing on second chances and redemption.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte |★★★★★| My final classic for the decade, I can honestly say that I am obsessed with this book. Mainly because of it’s fiercely feminist protagonist but also because of the swoon-worthy Mr Edward Rochester. Also; ghosts, isolated moors, a gothic atmosphere – enough said.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows |★★★ ½☆| Unpopular opinion alert: I didn’t like this as much as I loved the movie. Don’t get me wrong – this is such a poignant, moving novel. It’s just that I felt the format of storytelling through letters wasn’t as gripping. Overall, a lovely story about the power of books.

And The Award Goes To: Reading By Starlight 2019 Book Awards

Reading By Starlight Christmas Read-Along

Volunteering At The Old Time Wood Days: November Wrap-Up

Reading By Starlight has grown so much this year and I couldn’t be prouder. Not to toot my own horn though! I’ve expanded my brand, gave my site a glow-up and learned a lot. That being said, I’ve come to realize what works and what doesn’t so you can look forward to some positive changes next year.

For starters, I’ve learned that Reading Challenges and TBRs are not my friends. I could chalk pretty much every slump up to the constant pressure to stay on top of my reading goals. I bit off a little more than I could chew. So, the GoodReads Reading Challenge will be the first to go next year. I want to take the pressure off so I can have more fun and be motivated to create. Reading is an escape – it doesn’t need to be stressful!

Which means I won’t be setting a TBR exactly but rather a list of books I’d like to get around to. See, absolutely no pressure here. Stress who? I’ll probably re-read some old favorites [I have to urge to dive back into the Twilight Saga???], devour some new releases and catch up on some older books.

I guess all that’s left to say now for this bittersweet final post of 2019 and the 10’s is I wish you all a safe and happy new year filled with love and happiness. This is our decade baby and it’s going to be amazing!

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