Cozy Christmas Reads


I love snuggling up with a book at Christmas time. Gathering by a warm fire and/or twinkling lights, sipping something hot and getting lost in a cozy wintery story.

Here are some books I really enjoy reading at Christmas time:
 (Click the pictures and/or titles for more info.)

Miracle on 34th Street
You have probably all seen the movie, but it does not compare to the book (as usual.) I like the movie and actually the book is a nice extension of it. I was fortunate enough to have read it after the movie, which I think helps. It is a delightful book. The character of Kris Kringle is so enjoyable and jolly, you can’t help but love it. The story is wholesome and teaches us so many important lessons. If you have not read it, I urge you to do so, I think you will be happy you did.
Book Bean: Eggnog Mocha
Your basic mocha but made with 1/3 parts eggnog 2/3 part milk (or to taste if like it extra sweet.) I also only use about half the amount of normal chocolate.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The wonderful classic story by Dr. Seuss. He is so brilliant in his creation of such a horrendously likable creature. We love and loathe the Grinch. Which is why the story is so compelling, and why the ending is so fulfilling. The Grinch has become iconic, he is like Scrooge a symbol to be used for those less keen on Christmas spirit.
Book Bean:
A cappuccino sprinkled and swirled with nutmeg.

A Christmas Carol
Speaking of scrooge. This book has to be the most timeless Christmas story of ever told. Everyone one knows the tale, and it has been made in to countless shows and movies. The book is fantastic and I wish more people actually took the time to read it. A Christmas Carol is a hauntingly beautiful book.
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Book Bean: Cinnamint Tea
Mint tea with a dash of cream sprinkled with cinnamon and/or a cinnamon stick.

rudolph_book_coverRudolph The Red -Nose Reindeer
Oh the wonderful story of Rudolph. I love this story. I love the idea of a character being different and then overcoming the struggles and pain that can come from it. I got my anniversary copy of this book at a black-Friday door buster, back when it was still a sane thing to do. This is a great story and the book is lovely.
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Book Bean:
North Pole Cocoa
Rich hot chocolate with marshmallows and candy canes for stir sticks.

The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe
I hope you are not sick of me mentioning this book yet. How could I not at Christmas time! This is one of my favorite books to read in general, but I especially love to read it at Christmas. It is a wonderful winterland story, that all ages will enjoy. I think it is a great book to read aloud in a group.
Book Bean:
Spiced Orange Chai
Your favorite Chai with a dollop of marmalade and a sprinkle of spice if you dare (mix while very hot.) You can substitute marmalade for orange liqueur.
Twas The night Before Christmas
A wonderful classic poem that has been made into a beautiful book. The poem alone is great, but adding such detailed and amazing illustrations makes it so special. The art work is stunning.
Book Bean:
Gingerbread Steamer
Add hot milk and crushed gingerbread crumbs to blender, blend until frothy.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and/or cinnamon.

What books do you like to cozy up with for Christmas?
Fun Fact: According to the Guinness world records, the tallest Christmas tree ever cut was a 221-foot Douglas fir that was displayed in 1950 at the Northgate Shopping Center in Seattle, Washington.

12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children


DAY 9 of 12
“Real isn’t how you are made… It’s a thing that happens to you.”

The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams

This 1922 classic is getting a makeover for the holiday season with a beautiful new festive cover for Christmastime. This edition illustrated by picture book great Don Daily still tells the precious story of the little rabbit stuffed in a stocking as a present and his love for a boy.

Rated 4.5 on

the_velveteen_rabbit_shared_piece_1I adore this book! The quality of storytelling and charming characters captivate and move my spirit. The best part of the books is the parallel meaning in-between the lines. If you’ve read it, really read it, you know and appreciate what it is. This is a book everyone should have a chance to enjoy, both as a child and as an adult.

“You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept…”

Book Bean: Velvety Orange Cocoa
Orange_Hot_Chocolate - Edited.jpgIn a saucepan heat 1-1.5 cup milk, .5-1 cup half n’half, a couple strips of orange-rind and 1 full slice of orange over medium heat. When hot add in 1/2 cup of chocolate chips ( like 45% cocoa semi-sweets.) Add 1 tsp cocoa and 2 tsp powdered sugar. Whisk well until melted and smooth. Top with whip, orange rind for garnish,
a sprinkle of orange-sugar, and spice of choice (clove n cinnamon.) 
Orange Infused Sugar: Mix 1/4 tsp of orange extract with 1 cup granulated sugar in a bag. Mush around and mix until evenly distributed. Spread sugar on large rimmed baking sheet. Let stand until sugar is dried (30 min.)

“…Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off,
and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby.

But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
~Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit



12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 8 of 12
A lovely tale of a girl with the audacity to seek out her dream

The Christmas Wish
by Lori Evert
A brave little girl named Anja wants to be one of Santa’s elves. So she leaves a note for her family and helps her elderly neighbor prepare for the holiday, then she straps on her skis, and heads out into the snowy landscape. From a red bird to a polar bear to a reindeer, a menagerie of winter animals help Anja make her way to Santa. This heartwarming story filled with extraordinary photographs is a special book for the
holiday season.
Rated 4.8 on

applepiechaiBook Bean: Crisp Apple Chai
In saucepan heat up half water half apple juice or cider and simmer with green apple slices.  Add in Chai powder mixture or concentrate. Add mixture to blender and blend till smooth. Serve with garnish of apple and topped with whip and/or caramel, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 7 of 12
“The nutcracker sits under the holiday tree, a guardian of childhood stories.
Feed him walnuts and he will crack open a tale…”

~Vera Nazarian

The Nutcracker
by Susan Jeffers
Join Marie, Fritz, and the intriguing Nutcracker himself on a magical adventure only possible on a night like Christmas Eve. Behold the frightful Mouse King, the elegant Sugar Plum fairies, and the entire Land of Sweets in this dazzling, gorgeously-illustrated holiday classic. With spare text based on the story in the ballet, this book offers a front-row seat to the charming tale that is a perennial favorite of children and adults alike.
Rated 4.6 on

51cc4cfarbl43ed42a36bb2a2d4aa8a5e6122b45de6Book Bean: Hot HazelNutmus
Nutty deliciousness
Heat up desired amount of milk (almond milk works nicely.) When milk is steaming hot add (per ea. cup of of milk) 1/2 tsp cocoa powder, 1 tsp sugar (powder or baker’s,) 1 tsp Nutella, and dash of nutmeg. Whisk until smooth, taste and adjust to taste. Mug and sprinkle with crushed nuts and nutmeg.

Gary-Avis-as-Drosselmeyer-in-Royal-Ballets-The-Nutcracker-c-ROH-Bill-Cooper-2012 - Edited.jpgHerr Drosselmeyer was “a toy maker, and a wonderful story teller.
Clara thought he could even perform magic!”



12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book-Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1Day 6 of 12
“Could it be that some of you are not acquainted with the story of Rudolph?
Well pull up an ice block and lend an ear.”

The Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
by Thea Feldman Illustrated by Erwin Madrid
The original television special first aired on NBC December 6, 1964. Fifty years later, it has become a beloved Christmas classic―capturing the heart and wonder of generations of fans.
This prose picture book about self-acceptance features Rudolph, along with his pals Hermey, the elf who dreams of becoming a dentist, and Yukon Cornelius, a prospector. They escape an Abominable Snow Monster, and end up on the Island of Misfit Toys. After several hair-raising adventures they return to Christmastown and this time, despite their differences, are all cherryamarettosteamer2b-editedwelcomed back to the fold.
Rated 4.7 on

Book Bean: Cherry Steamer
As red as Rudolph’s nose and as sweet as him too!
Steam milk with a tish of vanilla extract. Add grenadine to mug (to taste.) Pour in milk and stir. Add whip and place a tasty glowing cherry on top 😉


Ahh. I love this Christmasy time of year.
Especially when everything is running happy and smooth, like it is this season.”

Fun Fact: The origin to the story of Rudolph is actually really moving and a bit surprising to some. What is now a classic and in some countries even looked on as folk lore; all started in 1939 with a promotional coloring book for children, put out by Montgomery Wards and written by Robert L. May.  Read the article here!
 I wish I had the original article written by Robert May in the Gettysburg Times, but the above article tells the story quite well. I hope you enjoy it!


12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 5 of 12
“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed,
it fell silent for all of them..”

The Polar Express
by Chris Van Allsburg

1986 Caldecott Medal Winner

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . .

Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.
Rated  4.7 on

polar-expressbelievetickets - Edited.png

lowsynhotchocolatedrinkBook Bean: Hot Choc-o-Late!
Made from scratch with cocoa powder, semi-sweet chocolate, milk and cream. Yum. OH yeah and with marshmallows of course.

Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me,
as it does for all who truly believe.” 
Chris Van Allsburg, The Polar Express



12 Days of Christmas: Mini Book Beans for Children

literary-advent-6-edited-1DAY 4 of 12
“That’s pish-posh…” “Sheep are sheep. They cannot look happy.” 

The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey
by Susan Wojciechowski
Illustrated by P.J. Lynch
Jonathan Toomey is the best woodcarver in the valley, but he is always alone and never smiles. No one knows about the mementos of his lost wife and child that he keeps in an unopened drawer. But one early winter’s day, a widow and her young son approach him with a gentle request that leads to a joyful miracle.

Rated 4.8 on amazon.commiracle-of-jon-toomey-carving-edited-1This book was recommended to me by a fellow blogger
Rev. Dr. Charles Quail. I am very thankful because it is a wonderful book. It is a Beautiful story with gorgeous pictures and it very sweetly depict
the healing power of Christmas (and kindness.)

Book Bean:
 Cinnamon Coconut Chai
Make chai to your preference. Add in steamed coconut milk and/or coconut cream. Sprinkle with cinnamon and coconut flakes (if you like) Garnish with anise and cinnamon sticks for stirring fun 🙂