Holiday Themed Books, Music, Movies and More!

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



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.




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.



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.



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.



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 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.




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.



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.



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.



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.




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 Great Santa Debate: What do you tell your kids?

Christmas Eve is nearly upon us and my kids are filled with glee (and busy cleaning their rooms to make space for their new toys) and excitement about "Santa" coming to visit tonight.

I know I've mentioned before that my kids are still young. They are 6, 7, and 8. But they don't "believe" in Santa. Never have. My husband and I had "the talk" about Santa, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc., when I was pregnant with our oldest. He was pretty adamant that we didn't lie to the kids. We went back and forth on this for a while. I felt that Santa, etc., was part of American mythology and I wanted to pass on that tradition to our kids. But then I remembered quite vividly the instance when I knew Santa wasn't real and I can remember those feelings of "wow, he's not real" and how sad I felt. Remembering those feelings, I decided that my husband was right and I agreed that we'd not do the whole "Santa thing."  I have never ever said to my kids, "SANTA IS NOT REAL."  Rather, I've said, "some people believe in Santa, and some people don't, and you get to believe whatever you want.”  This gives them the control to make up their own minds and it also gives them a tool to handle tricky discussions with friends who are adamant that Santa is real.

Rather than Christmas being about Santa, we embraced the festivity, our elf Elvis, family, friends, great food, cookies, presents and cold weather (well, as cold as it gets in Florida) and the FEELING of a new year approaching and that anything is possible if you BELIEVE that it's possible. And of course, the most important part of Christmas for us, goodwill towards man and we embrace that by donating to Toys for Tots, food banks, coat/blanket drives; giving to those that are less fortunate than us. That's what Christmas is all about and that's what Santa would want.

What do you tell your kids about Santa?? Do you remember how you felt when you learned Santa wasn't real?




All I want for Christmas

Is a DOG!

I have wanted a dog to join our family for years. Many years. We did adopt a beautiful Vizsla from our local animal shelter in 2005. We named him Chance and he was lovely. At this time I was a stay-at-home-mom with a newborn, and an 18 month old. We adopted him around Halloween time, but by Christmas many of his bad habits had begun to emerge. Chance was a CHEWER. A major chewer. He destroyed our patio furniture, the installation around the feed and return of our AC unit, and try as I may I could not retrain him. And then I discovered I was pregnant again. Uh oh! 3 babies under 3 and a chewer dog? Nope. Not happening. I was able to re-home him and we've been dog free since then.


Chance with Ella (he loved her!! and Haley (standing) Christmas 2005.

Fast forward to December 2012. Our kids are now 6, 7, and 8. I am again a stay-at-home-mom, and I'm also a runner. I can think of no better running partner (besides my kids) than a dog. I am having visions of running in the morning with my dog. I am having visions of my kids squealing with delight as they play chase, fetch, dress-up and other games that kids like to play with dogs.

Don't get me wrong, I know dogs are work. I grew up always having a dog. Big dogs; Irish Setters, Golden Retrievers, Labs. I know that they poop and that I'll have to clean that poop up from the backyard so that kids and husband don't step in it. I know dogs need medical care to keep them healthy. I know all about what it means to be a dog owner. And I still want a dog.

I've narrowed it down to these 5 choices:

1. Labradoodle

2. Goldendoodle

3. Standard Poodle

4. Labrador Retriever

5. Giant Schnauzer

For our family, I think a Labradoodle is the best choice. Haley and I both have pet allergies and while all of these 5 species are considered hypoallergenic species, the labradoodle is very intelligent, easily trainable, they don't get too big and they love kids!!

They come in many different color variations and I'd prefer a lighter colored one, like blond or apricot. But honestly I don't care. I just want a dog. The one in the photo below is apricot in color. She looks so sweet :)

That's what I want for Christmas. A dog. I know we are ready to add a new addition to our family. Will I get my wish on Christmas morning? Probably not. I might have to wait for all those parents who went out and bought their kids a Labradoodle puppy for Christmas only to realize that they weren't ready for a dog, and then I'll swoop in and take it off their hands.

Do you have a dog? What breed? Do you run with your dog? What kinds of fun things do you do with your dog?