Christmas Reading

Monday, November 24, 2014

Every December something called Christmas comes over me! Picking out an Advent study, pulling out the decorations, heading to the library on a hunt for some quick Christmasy novels, and baking until right before December 25th never get old.

The only thing different this year is that Christmas came over me in November! I've held off as long as I can, today I'm going to spread some cheer to you. This is also my very first post feature pictures taken with the fixed 50mm lens that I just got a few weeks ago!!! I LOVE it.

"The Christmas Cat" by Melody Carlson was the first Christmas book that I read this year. It's a very short read, but true to Carlson's style, packed with several great plots! I've received a lot of teasing for reading this book...I am not an animal person, but that didn't keep me from enjoying it!

I've been reading Carlson since I was ten or eleven years old. If her name is on the cover I'm going to give it a try for sure. We all have our favorite authors and she has been one of mine for years.

Let's talk about her latest release and then I'll tell you about my Gingerbread Hot Cocoa recipe...

"The Christmas Cat" is mostly set in present day Vancouver, WA and begins just before Thanksgiving. A man named Garrison is the main character and he begins the book with a few things to sort out. After being a missionary in Africa, he returns to the states and finds himself single, living with a buddy, and without a job. To complicate matters even more, he ends up losing his Grandmother and becoming the executor of her estate which includes six cats who are going to need homes.

Garrison's dilemma unfolds in Vancouver with a fair amount of humor, a smidgen of romance, and some good lessons that we can all relate to along the way.

You'll become pretty fond of Ruby (the sweet older neighbor lady) and I hate to admit it, but even the cats themselves!

Sometimes you just need to read a good story and "The Christmas Cat" is exactly that. It's not one that will make you cry. The humor won't have you rolling your eyes. It really is the perfect book to enjoy with a hot drink on a cold winter day!

Grab a copy of "The Christmas Cat" today and be sure to tell me what you think!

* * * * *

A few years ago on my Grandma's birthday, I was baking up a batch of Ginger Cookies and I came up with the brilliant idea to use some of the spices from that recipe in hot cocoa.  This cocoa is pretty much Christmas in a cup if you ask me!

This recipe is not exact. I use less than an 1/8 of a teaspoon of each spice. You can adjust the amounts to your taste!

While the kettle is on the stove, pour your cocoa mix, a little ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon into your cup.

Add your water and stir VERY well to make sure that all of spices are thoroughly mixed into the drink. Cinnamon can be a little stubborn, but it will come together. Pour in a splash of half & half and stir one last time.

Top with a dollop of whipped cream or some marshmallows and ENJOY!

12-12-12 Gingerbread Hot Cocoa
makes 1 serving

1 pkg hot cocoa mix
touch of ginger
little more ground cloves
little more cinnamon
splash of half & half (or milk)
optional: whipped cream or marshmallows

Set your kettle on to boil. Combine hot cocoa mix, ginger, ground cloves, and cinnamon in a mug.

Add water and stir VERY well until all of spices are dissolved completely. Stir in a splash of half & half.

Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.


* I was provided with a review copy of this book by Revell. All thoughts are my own honest opinion.


  1. Looks like a good book. And keep taking pictures. Beautiful. :)

  2. I am SO using that recipe, it sounds delicious. Christmas is my favorite too - what advent study do you plan on using this year?

  3. Your photos look fantastic!! :)
    I'm now drooling, and I'm off to make me and Lamar a batch of this hot cocoa! Mmmm!

  4. Mmmm, it looks soooo yummy. Gingerbread lattes at Starbucks are my favourite, so thanks for this at-home recipe to try!

  5. I love Christmas themed everything! Including Christmas books! :)


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