Judith’s (Reader in the Wilderness) Christmas Open House

Judith at Reader in the Wilderness is running a December/Christmas/New Year themed Open House, have a look if you’re interested.

Every year to get myself in the mood for Christmas I read some Christmas themed books, but this year that isn’t going to be so easy as I’ve packed away most of the books which I’ve read already, in anticipation of moving house. In fact we had hoped we would have moved by now but houses just aren’t selling at the moment, unless you can afford to practically give them away – so I don’t have my Christmas books to hand this year. I’ve also ‘lost’ a box of crucial Christmas decorations, somewhere in the attic I think.

Anyway, tonight I just want to quickly mention two books which aren’t really Christmasy but I was given them by my Gran at Christmas when I was about 9 or 10, so to me they always mean Christmas. They are also the only books which have survived from my childhood as my mother gave all the others away when my back was turned at the age of 12!! She kept these two because they had been inscribed by Gran to me.

The first one is I suppose a classic. It’s The Silver Skates, sometimes called Hans Brinker, a story of life in Holland by Mary Mapes Dodge, an American author and was first published in 1865. You can read it here from Project Gutenberg. It’s a quick and enjoyable read.

The other book is Sahara Hostage by Kelman D Frost, another American author and published in 1962. I absolutely loved this adventure story about a horse which is kidnapped, but I’ve never seen any more books by this author, or even met anyone else who has read his books. But I see that there are a few more titles on Abebooks, I might just have to buy them. I think this one was really meant for boys, but that obviously didn’t bother Gran – or me.

As these were both Christmas presents from Gran, they spell Christmas for me. I remember I was thrilled when I unwrapped them, it was the days when children were satisfied with small gifts, a book and a wee flat tin of toffees with a photo of puppies or kittens on the lid, happy days!

Tomorrow I’ll write about some more Christmas related books.

4 thoughts on “Judith’s (Reader in the Wilderness) Christmas Open House

  1. Katrina,
    Oh, I loved this post!

    I’m so glad you still have those two wonderful books! And I do wonder about the author who seems to have written just that one title. Makes me want to investigate! Though at the moment I’m pulling my hair out with students who are going crazy about their grades and the end of the semester after doing nothing since September!!

    I want to link to your post after my dinner tonight.


  2. Thank goodness your Gran wrote in the books! I also remember the thrill of opening Christmas presents and there was always a book or two – Christmas and birthdays were the only times of the year I was given a book, so I really looked forward to those times. It’s a shame Christmas is so commercial these days.

    • Margaret,
      I hate all the Christmas commercialism nowadays, with people getting into terrible debt for things that’ll be broken or forgotten about by New Year. A book lasts a lot longer, a tangerine – not so long!

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