Christmas Eve Reads and Happy Holidays from Sensibility and Sense!

It’s Christmas Eve (eve), at our house. Cookie baking and present wrapping are in full swing, and I’m finally sure every gift is accounted for and my pantry is stocked and ready for Christmas Day. Whether you’re winding down from last-minute shopping or making one last trip to the mall, I hope you’ll take a moment between now and Thursday to focus on the true meaning of this very special holiday.

And to help you do just that, I’ve picked two of my absolute favorite Christmas picture books to share on this my last post of 2014. Both of these cuddle-up-on-the-couch stories help bring the season into focus in unique ways. So pour yourself another cup of hot cocoa, gather the children ‘round, and take a few minutes away from the hustle and bustle to create a new memory with those you love the most…


THE SWEET SMELL OF CHRISTMAS, by Patricia M. Scarry, Illustrated by J.P. Miller (Golden Books, September 2003)


In this scratch and sniff story, Little Bear can smell Christmas coming– and so can you! From bringing home the tree to hot cocoa and candy canes, Little Bear knows Christmas is just around the corner. Your little ones will enjoy scratching and sniffing the piney Christmas tree, apple pie, big, juicy orange and other sweet smells in this one-of-a-kind Christmas book.


ROOM FOR A LITTLE ONE: A CHRISTMAS TALE, by Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Jason Crockcroft (Margaret K. McElderry Books, October 3, 2006)

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When kind Ox invites his friends to seek shelter for the night—Old Dog, Stray Cat and Small Mouse—they are surprised when Kind Donkey brings two new visitors to the stable: Mary and Joseph. As the unlikely friends wait for morning together, they are happy to welcome the last and most important visitor of all, the baby Jesus! A perfect Christmas Eve story for little ones learning about the birth of Christ.


I’d like to thank everyone who has followed, shared, liked or left a comment for me here at Sensibility and Sense this year. There are so many ways to spend your time in this busy world, and if you’ve been at all blessed and encouraged by spending some of it here, then our time together has been a success.

I look forward to seeing all of you in 2015! Happy Holidays!

Sensibility- Savor the holiday season by celebrating traditions and creating new memories.

Sense- Take time off from writing for the next few days! It will do your brain and your muse good to have a rest!


“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2: 10-14



It’s the Season of Giving!

It’s official, the Christmas season is in full swing at our house!

Our Christmas tree!

I’m almost finished decorating, and I’ve actually purchased and mailed one Christmas present (for me that’s way ahead of the game). I was feeling pretty good about things until I actually looked at the calendar this morning. Yikes! I’ve only got 23 days to finish everything on my list. No matter what holiday you celebrate, I’m sure you’ve had that moment of panic yourself a time or two. What is it about this time of year that pushes us to make everything perfect? Down to the right stocking stuffers and yummy smells coming from the oven, we need to give our families an amazing holiday experience to feel fulfilled every December.

But isn’t that true about writing as well? We feel the need to adjust every comma, place every period in that just-right spot, take out words, add words, rearrange words…and that’s before we ever show a story to a critique group, much less submit it to an agent or publisher. The writing life is like preparing for Christmas every day of the year. Being that perfect all the time is exhausting—and I hate to tell you this—impossible.

So how can we writers take our imperfect selves and make this holiday season one of great inspiration and productivity? By giving back. Yes, you heard right—give back. With each word you write you give something of yourself to this world. Hopefully, what you write fills others with joy, hope and the promise of a better tomorrow. What’s the use of it otherwise? But as a writer, you can also give to others in ways unique to what you do.

So for the next few weeks, turn off your computer for an hour or so, set that manuscript aside, and try these “give back” writing ideas:

  • Offer to critique a writer friend’s work that you’ve never reached out to before. Not a critique exchange, just an offer of help to someone you know is struggling with a new manuscript.
  • Volunteer to read books to homeless children during a Christmas party or after serving meals.
  • Donate books to your public library or get your critique group together and purchase a few new books for a needy classroom or school library.
  • Advertise your friend’s books to others for gift ideas. Authors need all the help they can get when it comes to selling what they’ve created.
  • Help an adult or child learn to read.

Taking time away from your work to give back may feel like you’re not doing your job. But I promise you’ll get back more from the giving than you ever thought possible.

Sensibility- Writing is a gift that is unique to you. Find ways to share that gift with others this holiday season.

Sense- Work hard on your writing, but don’t forget to enjoy these days of celebration. They only come once each year, so learn to savor every moment.


What are other ways you can give back this holiday season? Share your ideas here!