Spending the day at home with books, Christmasy and otherwise

I did not travel today, as I had hoped to do, because the Baltimore airport was shut down. So instead I sat in front of the fire and read. I now have three fewer books to take with me, which will make life easier. And I read Olive the Other Reindeer out loud twice, and other assorted Christmas books.

Here's what they (the children) like--books about the twelve days of Christmas. Me, not so much. I feel like I got the point years ago. On the other hand, there's a rather lovely new edition of The Twelve Days of Christmas, by Gennady Spirin, that has lovely, lovely illustrations. I am gracefully working this particular book into this post because I got a review copy of it from the publisher, Marshall Cavendish, and even though it is not On Topic for my blog, it's a book worthy of mention because it is so pretty. Their favorite 12 Days book is Hilary Knight's take on it, which is fun, but after the 20th time I felt I had picked up on all the amusing details in the illustrations.

My favorite version is The Thirteen Days of Christmas, by Jenny Overton (1987), a retelling of the song as a funny and ultimately rather moving romance, set in an olde English town (Regency, I think). It makes a lovely Christmas read-aloud for older children. It almost qualifies as a fantasy, of the absurd sub-genre type, in as much as the gifts are of such unbelievably epic proportions, difficult to cope with in real life. I do not want that many swans, swimming or otherwise. And two boys jumping on the beds is plenty of leaping.

Anyway. I sat rather close to the fire (as noted above) because our boiler was not working and there was no other heat (I thought a lot about Life As We Knew It, as I always do when we don't have the heat on--in case you haven't read it, the folks in that book have no heat either, because of desperate catastrophe). Fortunately a. children don't feel the cold as much as grownups, so weren't competing with me for prime real estate and b. the plumber was able to solve the problem. When our new hot water heater was installed, that plumber must have thought that the water pipe leading to the boiler was a decorative accessory, and took it away with him. Sigh. But at least, since it was the same company, we didn't have to pay anything.

I still have tomorrow morning to read and blog peacefully, but I do hope the airport here isn't shut down. I don't think I'll run out of books to read, but it would be nice to be at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Even though a tree just fell on it. Through the roof (but mercifully not the ceiling) of the guest room.


  1. Safe travels, Charlotte! It's dawning to be a beautiful sunny day here, so it should be the same in the DC/NVA area.

  2. I'm rather fond of Twelve Days of Christmas books - I hadn't heard of the Thirteen one, I'll have to check that out. My favorite is Twelve Days of Christmas [correspondence] by John Julius Norwich. Note - it's not for kids, but hilarious all the same!


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