The Guardian's Virtual Literary Advent Calendar - this link is thanks to Susan of You Can Never Have Too Many Books. This is a very neat site, although I must admit that my literary skills are not what they should be to fully appreciate all the bookish trivia.
2009 Virtual Advent sponsored by Kelly of The Written World and Marg of Reading Adventures I like this link because it lists all the participants -with links - on the day they plan to post. I have had such fun reading all the Holiday themed posts each day - and was even inspired to sign up myself. Watch for my Virtual Advent post this Tuesday, December 15.
Shadowing Dickens serial which I found at Dickensblog. I posted about this earlier this week, but thought it was worth repeating. This is a lovely companion piece to A Christmas Carol - written in serial form. Each day a new chapter is posted at this site, with the conclusion planned for Christmas Eve. It is a great short story that incorporates some non-fiction details about Dickens life in a touching story about an orphan whom the great author befriends.
Tacky Light Tour --- the concept for this site is great: plug in your zip code and a list of all the "tack light displays" -- I prefer to call them large festive displays -- will appear. Unfortunately there weren't any listed for my area (I am pretty sure we have some tacky displays here in Kansas City, they just aren't yet recognized as such by this site). But who knows, perhaps there are several listed for your neck of the woods - and I thoroughly enjoy all the lovely outdoor decorations this time of year.
I was able, however, to locate a site on Kansas Travel.org that listed all the neighborhoods with large light displays in my county of residence. The list was extensive and I hope to visit a few of these displays before Christmas. My husband and I were lucky enough to pass by this business office who has timed their lights to music. We quickly located a parking spot across the street and enjoyed the simulcast audio/video display. Of course....I remember when a large display included a Motionette Santa in the window and plastic reindeer on the roof. We've come a l-o-n-g way since then!
The Virtual Gingerbread Man link, courtesy of Jenners at Life with a Little One and More, is a whimsical site that can become an addiction if you are not careful. While I enjoy making my own gingerbread men, I must admit that this site keeps my kitchen a lot neater.
I always enjoy finding a new Christmas Cookie recipe each year and I think I found my 2009 experiment: Cleo Coyle's Eggnog Latte Cookies as featured on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen blog. Cleo Coyle is the author of the Coffee House Mystery series, which I have only had the opportunity to read the first book, but thoroughly enjoyed. I love a good eggnog, and this cookie seems to include enough of that flavor to jazz-up the sugar cookie tray. (this link was edited after the original posting of this entry).
Lastly, I'd like to remind you of my book give away which ends Tuesday, December 14: A Dog Named Christmas - which I thoroughly enjoyed and reviewed here.
I haven't done too much reading this week, as it is the last week before finals and grading is a bit out of control, but I have been thinking a lot about reading! I am an avid follower (stalker?) of A Novel Challenge and have thoroughly enjoyed reading all the new creative challenges that have been these past couple of weeks. There is indeed a challenge to fit any and every reading taste, and I am trying to use great restraint from signing up for every single one!
I hope you all are gearing up for this holiday season, but not stressing too much. Perhaps some of these links will help bring a smile to your face.