Holiday Themed Books, Music, Movies and More!

Get into the festive spirit with this collection of holiday-themed music, movies, and more!

 AUDIOBOOKS

AWAY IN A MANGER

Rhys Bowen

Part of the Molly Murphy series. It's Christmastime in 1905 New York City, and for once, Molly Murphy Sullivan is looking forward to the approaching holidays. When a young boy is accused of stealing a purse, Molly intervenes on his behalf.

 

DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW

Debbie Macomber

Ashley Davison wants to spend the holidays with her family in Seattle; Dashiell Sutherland has a job interview in Seattle and must arrive by December 23. Both are out of luck: Every flight is full, and there's only one rental car available. Ashley and Dash reluctantly decide to share the car, but neither anticipates the ride ahead. Not only do they find they have a lot in common, but there's even a spark of romance in the air.

 

THE MISTLETOE INN

Richard Paul Evans

At thirty-two Kimberly Rossetti has had her heart broken more times than she wants to remember. Dreading another holiday alone, she signs up for The Mistletoe Retreat, a nine-day writing retreat in Savannah, Georgia. At one of her breakout sessions Kimberly meets another aspiring writer, Zeke, an intelligent man with a wry wit who seems as interested in Kimberly as he is in the retreat.

 

A CHRISTMAS BRIDE IN PINECRAFT

Shelley Shepard Gray

Part of the Amish Brides of Pinecraft series. When Beverly Overholt's beloved Orange Blossom Inn is broken into, she's shaken to her core. In the face of repairing what's been lost, Beverly calls Eric Wagler, the inn's handsome owner. As Beverly and Eric put the inn back together, prepare for Christmas, and even witness a new love blossoming for another couple, the trust, and love, between them grow.

 

WISHES FOR CHRISTMAS

Fern Michaels

Throughout the years, the ladies of the Sisterhood have delivered their own style of vigilante justice to those who most deserve it. But this Christmas, instead of finding and punishing bad guys, all Maggie Spitzer wants is to bring a little more joy to the world and especially to a beloved teacher from her past. And as the Sisters unite to find her, they learn that no holiday treat is as fulfilling as giving to others.

MUSIC CDS

 

MY CHRISTMAS

Placido Domingo

World-renowned opera star Placido Domingo releases a personal Christmas album featuring songs that are dear to his heart and that celebrate the warmth and magic of the season. Guests include Jackie Evancho and Idina Menzel.

 

NOW THAT'S WHAT I CALL COUNTRY CHRISTMAS (2015) 

Part of the Now That's What I Call Music series. Music's most popular series unveils a new double collection featuring favorite Christmas songs from the country music superstars of yesterday and today including Luke Bryan, Little Big Town, Reba McEntire, and more.

 

ADORE: CHRISTMAS SONGS OF WORSHIP

Chris Tomlin

Grammy and Dove Award winner Chris Tomlin rings in the holiday season with a mix of festive Christmas classics and original songs. There are also special guest performances from All Sons & Daughters, Lauren Daigle, Kristyn Getty, and more.

 

THE 25TH OF DECEMBER

Dave Koz

With four highly successful holiday albums and seventeen consecutive years of the Dave Koz and Friends Christmas tour, Dave Koz returns to celebrate the holiday season with a new release featuring several guest stars.

 

KYLIE CHRISTMAS 

Kylie Minogue

Global pop superstar Kylie Minogue rings in the season with her first ever Christmas album, which sees her put her own spin on a mix of holiday classics and originals. There are also duets with Iggy Pop and James Corden.

 

DVDS

MARRY ME FOR CHRISTMAS

Starring: Malinda Williams, Brad James, Jason Weaver, Carl Payne, Gregory Alan Williams, Victoria Rowell

With her family constantly hounding her, a single woman pretends to be engaged for the duration of family Christmas.

 

LET IT SNOW

Starring: Candace Cameron Bure, Jesse Hutch, Alan Thicke

Part of the Hallmark Entertainment series. A self-defined Grinch, Stephanie begins her stay at Snow Valley Lodge immune to Christmas sentiment. But as the lodge's festive traditions provide the Christmas Stephanie never had growing up with her distant father, Stephanie finds herself enjoying every minute. To complicate matters even further, the combative feelings she felt toward Brady turn into romantic ones.

 

A CHRISTMAS STAR

Starring: Erin Galway-Kendrick, Robert James-Collier, Bronagh Waugh, Liam Neeson, Pierce Brosnan, Kylie Minogue

Born under the Christmas Star, Noelle believes she has the gift to perform miracles. When her peaceful life is threatened by the developer McKerrod, she and her friends use this gift to thwart his plans and save their village.

 

SEASONS OF LOVE

Starring: Taraji P. Henson, AJ Ackleson, Cleo Anthony, Gary Craig

Part of the Lifetime Original Movies series. A romantic, soulful holiday drama about two people who struggle to find love against the odds, while reconciling with the past and learning the true value of family.

 

 

NORTHPOLE: OPEN FOR CHRISTMAS

Starring: Lori Loughlin, Bailee Madison, Dermot Mulroney

Part of the Hallmark Entertainment series. Mackenzie is sensible in life and has long since abandoned childhood dreams. When she inherits her aunt's beautiful but antiquated hotel, she decides the reasonable thing to do is put it up for sale before Christmas. Little does she know the hotel plays an important role for Santa on Christmas Eve, and it now has the full North Pole's attention.

 

Disclaimer: I have not personally read or listened to any of the items mentioned in this list. This list was gathered via the PAC for Holiday themed materials. 

The Best Kids Books for Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving. It is my favorite holiday, other than my birthday. Thanksgiving is the time for me to remember everything that I am thankful and grateful for.  Topping the list is always my family. My husband, my kids, my mom and aunts, my sister and her family, and my big yellow dog.

Every year, beginning the week before Thanksgiving, I read a Thanksgiving book to the #TampaTrio. I read funny books, serious books, books about Turkey's, books about Squanto, and here is my list of the top Thanksgiving books for kids.

10 Fat Turkeys is a silly silly story and one that I have been reading aloud for at least 10 years. It's so funny to try to watch my kids act out some of the antics that the fat turkeys do! The noodle dance is a favorite!!

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie. These old lady who swallow something books are favorites in our house and I have them for every holiday! In this version, the old lady swallows the pie, and then proceeds to swallow a whole squash, all of the salad, and the entire turkey! It's such a fun story!!

Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne has Jack and Annie whisked back to the first Thanksgiving in 1621. They meet Squanto, mess up the first Thanksgiving meal, but quickly learn the meaning of the word "community" and everything works out fine. This is a longer book than most of the others I read aloud (92 pages) but split up over a few days and it's an easily accomplished read-aloud.

I added a new book last year Pinkalicious: Thanksgiving Helper and the kids and I all really enjoyed it. It's a great story about being thankful and trying your best. And it has a unicorn on the cover. Enough said.

Hands down one of my favorite picture book series is The Bear Books by the fabulous Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. In this story Bear has come up with the perfect way to say thanks—a nice big dinner! When Bear decides to throw a feast, his friends show up one by one with different platters of delicious food to share. There’s just one problem: Bear’s cupboards are bare! What will Bear have to contribute?? You'll have to read the story to find out!

The Great Turkey Race is a silly story about 3 turkeys who all want to be Thanksgiving dinner...but they don't know what it means to be Thanksgiving dinner! They have a contest to see who will win the honor of being the Thanksgiving turkey....it's a fun story with a happy ending!

Dav Pilkey. You just can't go wrong with him and this is a great story. The day before Thanksgiving, eight boys and girls take a field trip to a turkey farm. They have fun playing with eight exuberant turkeys but are shocked to learn that Farmer Mack Nuggett plans to kill all the turkeys for Thanksgiving dinners. So the children decide to smuggle all the turkeys home.

Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving book??

2015 Kia Soul Review

In Late October I arrived home from work on a Tuesday night to find this waiting for me in my driveway, a 2015 Kia Soul!! It was close to 10pm, so I didn't take much time to really look over the vehicle.

 It was the week of Halloween, so the #TampaTrio decided to name the car "The Boogeyman" because 1)it was Halloween, and 2)they thought the color looked like a booger. What can I say? They are kids. Laughing

It was a very warm, very foggy morning when the kids and I left the house to head to school, and the fog just added to the Halloween theme!

I drove The Boogeyman to work and back on Wednesday, but Thursday is when I put it to the "true" test. I drove it down to St. Pete to chaperone Haley's field trip. What a ride it was!

 

I set the GPS and away I went. It was great!! I knew where I was going as I have been down there quite a lot of times, but I always get turned around when I attempt to head back home, so the GPS was so nice to have and I didn't get lost once!! Winning!! The drive was so smooth and I opened the giant sunroof and just cruised down over the bridges, enjoying the sunshine.

I wasn't able to get a photo of the sunroof but here's a stock photo from Kia and you can see how HUGE this thing is!

Now the sunroof is actually in two pieces and I could only figure out how to open the roof on the first piece. The retractable cover for the second half did work, but then I couldn't figure out how to actually open the sunroof, so I'm not sure if that second part actually opens, or if it's just supposed to remain closed and the backseat passengers can just gaze up at the sky, but not feel the wind on their face.

The Kia got pretty decent mileage for my drive down I-275, averaging just a bit over 25 miles per gallon. Not bad considering the PEP that this vehicle had! It was very very responsive.

It was also quite comfortable for the 5 of us and James did not bump his head when we went over the speed bump in the Publix shopping center! 

 

It also had a really large trunk area which came in handy when I had Friday off and needed to go grocery shopping and take Ronin's STEAM parade costume to him at school. Everything fit in the cargo area perfectly with lots of room to spare!

 

Overall I really really liked this vehicle. I liked it more than I thought I would. It was a super fun vehicle to drive, I loved all the features (seat warmers AND seat coolers!!) the radio/speakers were fantastic, and the kids and I may have blasted the music on more than one occasion Wink

This was the second Kia vehicle I have had the opportunity to review and I have to say I have been quite impressed with the Kia brand. 

Thanks for reading!