Pages & Paws

Writing, Reading, and Rural Life With a Border Collie


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The Heart of CHRISTMAS!

‘It’s not easy being beautiful and brilliant. But someone’s gotta do it!’

Thank you for joining us for a year of gaining new friends, discovering new authors, and savoring good books!

For those who’ve taken the time to read Pages and Paws, share links, like a post, comment, submit guest articles or recommend Pawsome titles new and old, THANK YOU!

It’s been a great ride. We’re looking forward to more in 2023!

Please join us as we celebrate today with one of our favorites. By Matthew West:

“Wherever you are, no matter how far,

Come back to the heart, the heart of Christmas.

Live while you can, and cherish the moment.

The ones that you love, make sure they know it…”

And today:

Our best wishes to you and yours for the merriest of Christmases and a Happy New Year!

Mom and Kimber


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The Best Gifts of Christmas

“all snug in their beds…”

Kimber: Mom just called me in from the yard. ‘Bout time. That big yellow ball in the sky is starting to spread across the horizon like a giant egg yolk. Temperatures are dropping. The Powder Puff just sauntered past. Why that canine lets her owner deck her out in that green and red jacket + reindeer antlers, I’ll never know.

Anyway, when Mom opened the porch door, I caught a whiff of Something Warm and Wonderful inside. She says, “Kimber, dinner! Come!”

I don’t need to be called twice. No siree, Lassie! I bounded up the stairs and into the house like Rin Tin Tin after a bad guy. Sure enough. Something Warm and Wonderful was waiting for me.

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‘Christmas Across Africa’ Charms & Captivates

Peace, Joy and Love:
Christmas Across Africa

By Terry Lister

Genre: Non-Fiction/Travel, 2022

Via: Author Request

Pages: 120

Note: We received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

“Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.”

Steve Maraboli, winner of the United Nations Award for Philanthropy (as quoted in Peace, Joy and Love: Christmas Across Africa.)

One of our favorite travel writers in back. This time Terry Lister offers a collection of experiences and observations just in time for the Christmas season.

Titled Peace, Joy and Love: Christmas Across Africa, Lister’s newest collection covers Christmas traditions and celebrations in over a dozen African countries. These include both predominantly Muslim countries like Morocco and Tunisia to predominantly Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya. And all points in between, including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ghana, the Gambia, Senegal, Zimbabwe and Cameroon.

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Richard Paul Evans: ‘King of Christmas Fiction’

 

Kimber here. I’m gonna do that stretchy-yawny thing this morning just for you. Cuz Christmas is coming and Mom loves Christmas! No idea what that means. But if Mom loves Christmas, then I do too!

So today I’m waking up just in time to introduce – or remind – you to/about one of Mom’s favorite authors: Richard Paul Evans. Aka: The “King of Christmas Fiction.” Cuz sure as Santa’s makin’ his list and checkin’ it twice, Richard Paul Evans releases a new Christmas-ish novel every year about now.

Brimming with inspiration and hope while neatly sidestepping sappy, Richard’s gentle, uplifting stories are a great choice for curl-up-near-the-fireplace seasonal reading! And I oughtta know! But I’ll let Mom fill ya in. Take it away, Mom!

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A Five Minute Festive

Merry Christmas Dear Readers!

 

Mom and I have cooked up something short and sweet for you today. Well, actually we cooked this up last year. But who’s counting? Besides. Ya see, one of us is being a lazy slug today (Hi, Mom).  Come to think of it, I, Kimber, am a bit tuckered, too.

Mom says solitude can be hard to come by in our rush-rush, hurry up, instant everything society. Grabbing a few quiet moments to refresh and recharge can be a challenge any time. But it’s particularly tough during the holidays, huh?

This One’s For You

So if holiday merry-making has you ready to tear your hair out or your festive feathers are a bit ruffled, this is for you.

Slow down.  Grab a hot cuppa. Plop in a peppermint stick. Sit down. Put your feet up. Give Manheim Steamroller’s Stille Nacht (Silent Night) a listen.  Five quiet minutes. You’ll be glad you did.

Know someone who could use a yuletide boost? Don’t forget to share!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snowy field image credit: Public domain

 


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Is ‘Die Hard’ a ‘Christmas Movie’?

It’s that time of year again. Time for celebrating and merry-making. Giving and gratitude. Caroling and cantatas. Sleigh bells. Snow. And the never-ending debate over whether or not Bruce Willis’s “Die Hard” is a “Christmas movie.” (We are speaking of the original.)

Image: Mirror Screen Grab

What’s a “Christmas Movie”?

We’re gonna settle that controversy once and for all today. Of course, it all boils down to: What makes a movie a “Christmas movie”?

Many would say a Christmas movie should focus on the Babe born in Bethlehem, angelic choirs and wise men from the East. Santa. Sleigh bells. Snow. The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. Festive trees and twinkling lights. Themes of peace, joy, love, and “a thrill of hope.” It goes beyond just tossing out the phrase “Merry Christmas” like confetti on New Year’s. 

The Acid Test

Far as we’re concerned, the “acid test” of whether or not a movie is indeed a “Christmas movie” is pretty simple:

Is Christmas incidental or intrinsic per the movie in question?

Another way to look at it:

Can you take the movie’s essential elements, drop them into any setting other than the Christmas season and have the elements (and thus the movie) still work?

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10 Reasons to Write Christmas Cards

We’re up to our tinsel in book reviews. Our eyes need a rest. So today we’re taking a little detour into the Wonderful World of Christmas Cards. Cuz ’tis the season, ya know?

So grab a spring of mistletoe or another cup of eggnog and let’s dive in, okay? Like this:

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Sweet Children’s Story Celebrates the Season

Who let these guys on the front lawn?

Kimber: “Mom! Mom! Open the door, pronto!”

Mom: “Hey, Kimmi. What’s up?”

Kimber: “I gotta meet up for a play date with my new buddy! Hurry! Hurry!”

Mom (Mutters to self: I may regret asking this, but here goes): “What new buddy?”

Kimber: “Red Dog, of course! My new best pal from that children’s story thingy, Lily’s Egypt Adventure.”

Mom: “Um… You do know that Red Dog is a character in a book, right? That he’s not real. As in, fiction?”

Kimber: “Does that matter?”

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6 Must-Watch Movies for Christmas

Sleigh bells ring, are you listenin’?

In the lane, dog’s are friskin’…

Wait. Was that Rudolph?

Okay, wait a min. That’s not quite how the lyric goes. But who’s counting? Cuz around here we are So Excited! Because … Christmas!!

Mom and I? This time of year we like to snuggle into our favorite recliner with a hot cuppa and a blankie and read Christmas-themed books. But one of us – I won’t say who – also likes watching Christmas movies! We even made a list. Checked it twice. See our prior post on 14 Best Christmas Movies You Never Heard of (and a few you have).

A Little Diff

Well. This year we’re doing something a little diff. We’re gonna add to that list some movies we watched recently that we loved.

Now, we’re not exactly talkin “new releases” here, understand? In fact, most have been around awhile. (One of us is slow. Hi, Mom!) They’re just new to us. They’re a little different from your average holiday fare. But all feature solid storylines, sturdy characters, and themes of hope, joy, and love. Second chances. Forgiveness. Redemption. Grace. You know. Like CHRISTMAS!

Ready? Great! Here’s our new totally subjective list of 6 must-watch movies for Christmas (in no particular order)! How many have you seen? 

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