Hippopotami, Spice Girls, Drums, and Candles? My Current Holiday Playlist!

Hi friends! 

If you read my last post, you may remember that I have been crossing my fingers all week for a snow day. And it appears the forecast has looked favorably upon me! It’s 10:00 AM and I am currently at home in my pajamas and *not* in math class. Yay!!

To celebrate this auspicious day, I’m sharing with you my current holiday playlist! I tend go hardcore when it comes to Christmas music (come November 1st, my Spotify is a magical-winter-wonderland-tinsel-snow-fest-of-fun!) and I am so eager to share some of my fave songs with you all. 

Happy listening! 

i want a hippopotamus for christmas – kacey musgraves version

My *favorite* Christmas jam, and one that is in constant rotation on my phone. I can’t even explain it’s appeal. Do I want a hippopotamus for Christmas? No. But do I blast this song morning and night, October to January? Yes. 

sleigh ride – the spice girls version

Another half-serious favorite Christmas song! The Spice Girls spend 60% of the recording talking about football and arguing whether or not Christmas is worth singing about. (It is, apparently.) A true masterpiece.

let it snow – valerie june version

I was lucky enough to see Valerie June in concert a few years ago, and I’ve loved her music ever since! (If you haven’t heard her work before, I so recommend listening to her Tiny Desk Concert; it’s fantastic.) Her version of “Let It Snow” is folksy and whimsical and the perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot cocoa.

little drummer boy – leslie odom jr version

I swear, Leslie Odom Jr has the most soothing, comforting voice in the world. All his holiday songs are worth a listen, but his version of “Little Drummer Boy” is extra catchy thanks to the uber-talented kids of the Mzansi Youth Choir, who feature on the track! Their parapapampams are amazing.

christmas is all around – BAILEN version

I only saw Love, Actually for the first time this year (I know, I know!) but the storyline with Bill Nighy’s aging rock star instantly became my favorite. Here, the sibling-trio BAILEN transforms the film’s catchiest tune into an indie jam just right for the holiday season.

the longest winter – hadestown cast featuring amber gray

This next song has a very accurate title for what has been a very long year! Hadestown is one of my favorite musicals at the moment, and I love the cast’s entire spin-off holiday album. “The Longest Winter” — featuring the raspy, lovely voice of actress Amber Gray — is a soothing standout.

cross you off my list – lola kirke

What’s Christmas without a sad, seasonal break-up song? Lola Kirke’s original holiday tune is a bit spunky, a tad snarky, and oh-so catchy. She may want to to cross her ex-love off her list, but you should definitely keep this song on yours!

christmas island – ella fitzgerald version

ELLA! The true queen of the holiday season. Any holiday song of hers deserves a shout-out, but I especially love her version of “Christmas Island.” It’s perfect for those time when you just can’t take the winter weather anymore. (Fittingly, my preferred method of listening to this song is with a mini space heater at my side.)

the boar’s head carol – the young tradition version

“The Boar’s Head Carol,” according to Wikipedia, is “a macaronic 15th century English Christmas carol that describes the ancient tradition of sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Yuletide feast.” The Young Tradition’s version, recorded in the 1970s with the help of musicians Shirley and Dolly Collins, is perfect for when you want your holidays to be both medieval *and* folksy. Cheers.

ocho kandelikas – idina menzel version

We finish off today’s post with Idina Menzel’s version of “Ocho Kandelikas,” a Ladino song celebrating Hanukkah which was first written by composer Flory Jagoda in 1983. The beat of the song is *so* good, and it makes me want to get up and dance every time I hear it!

That’s how I’m currently filling my playlists with cheer! I’d love to know: what songs are on your holiday rotation at the moment?



Top Ten Holiday Books! {Top Ten Tuesday | December 8}

Good morning, friends!

It’s been quite a while since my last Top Ten Tuesday post, but today’s theme seemed like the perfect time to get back into the list-making groove. This week’s prompt, which comes from That Artsy Reader Girl, is “Holiday/Winter Freebie.”

(Freebies *and* holidays! Two of my favorite things! Together!!)

Since I’m very much in the spirit of the season, I’ve leaned heavily on the “Holiday” portion of the prompt. The books below feature oodles of winter-y cheer, quite a few ghosts, and plenty of snow. Let’s discuss!

[1] I love the Greenglass House books for so many reasons. Not only do these cozy middle grade mysteries remind me of childhood favorites like The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Red Blazer Girls, they also take place at a rustic winter inn on the top of a mountain at Christmastime. There’s frequent descriptions of cocoa and cookies. Amazing!!

[2] Main Street was one of my absolute favorite book series when I was younger, and I’ve especially always loved the third installment, ‘Tis the Season. Following the lives of four best friends living in the fictional (and adorable) town of Camden Falls, the book is a lovely ode to the strength of community and friendship.

[3] The Vanderbeekers books are all really stinkin’ cute, but the first one, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, gets 10,000 extra coolness points because it takes place at Christmas. I so, so encourage you to spend part of your holiday reading with Isa, Laney, Oliver, Jessie, and Hyacinth as they attempt to save their Harlem brownstone from a curmudgeonly landlord before New Year’s Day. It’s great fun!

[4] I received The Afterlife of Holly Chase as a gift a few year’s back, and it was such a good, fluffy, holiday read! Cynthia Hand transports the Scrooge story to the modern day, centering her tale around Holly Chase, a spoiled teenage girl who has an unfortunate run-in with death. Ghosts and romance abound!

[5] My friends, Royal Holiday has it all. Scones. Romance. Christmas. References to my fave, Meghan Markle. Need I say more?

[6] The Mother Daughter Book Club was my sister’s favorite series growing up, and I have super fond childhood memories of it as well! The fifth novel, Home for the Holidays, sees the titular book club tackle the Betsy-Tacy series. There’s plenty of friendship intrigue, literary incite, and holiday cheer. Also, the in-person cover glitters.

[7] If you, like me, enjoy a good dose of Regency-era holiday fun, I heartily recommend Cindy Anstey’s 2018 novel, Carols and Chaos. There’s both carols *and* chaos. What a book!

[8] Guys, I talk about Little Women a lot. (On this blog. In life. In college interviews. Everywhere!) Is it my favorite book? Probably! Do I read it every year at Christmas? Yes! Did I spend a significant portion of last year’s Christmas strategizing when I’d get to see the Greta Gerwig version? You bet! Anyway, it’s totally a Christmas book.

[9] My family and I watch The Polar Express movie every year on Christmas Eve, so both the original story and the film hold a special place in my heart (uncanny valley eyes and all…) The 1985 picture book has beautiful art and a story that never fails to make me cry.

[10] The Penguin Book of Christmas Stories is a new addition to my holiday reading this year, as I picked it up just last week! I’m quite enjoying the collection so far, which features stories from authors across centuries. The first one, a short tale by Hans Christian Anderson, is about an insecure, worrying fir-tree. Relatable. And Christmas-y!

Books are one of my favorite ways to get into the holiday spirit! What are some of your favorite winter-y reads?



It’s a Marshmallow-Winter-Wonderland-Desktop-Download-Extravaganza! | Literary Holiday Wallpapers

Hello, friends!

Thanksgiving has passed. There’s frost on the ground. Tonight, I will watch the last episode of this season of the Great British Bake-Off.

It is now, officially, the holiday season.

As you might have guessed, I ~love~ the holidays. (It’s the best time of the year! I practically run on hot chocolate, Ella Fitzgerald is always on the radio, and everyone wears turtlenecks! The chicest of clothing!!) 

Today, I’m kicking off this most wonderful season with some literary-inspired desktop wallpapers. These downloads feature wintery and Christmas-y quotes from three classic books, and I hope they help get you into the joyful spirit as well.

So, grab your turtlenecks, and let’s get to it!

download here: desktop | iPhone

This first wallpaper features a paraphrased quote from one of my favorite childhood book series, Anne of Green Gables. Specifically, we’re looking at Anne of Avonlea, the second installment, in which our heroine has taken up teaching in her beloved Canadian town. Having awoken to a lovely wintery dusting, Anne marvels at the transformative nature of snow:

She had a good sleep that night and awakened in the morning to find herself and the world transformed. It had snowed softly and thickly all through the hours of darkness and the beautiful whiteness, glittering in the frosty sunshine, looked like a mantle of charity cast over all the mistakes and humiliations of the past.

Anne of Avonlea

I am 100% sure Lorelai Gilmore would approve of this quote.

download here: desktop | iPhone

Little Women is a stealth Christmas book, in that it takes place across all seasons but its best scenes (I think) are set during the holidays. This paraphrased quote comes from one of those scenes:

The rooms were very still while the pages were softly turned, and the winter sunshine crept in to touch the bright heads and serious faces with a Christmas greeting.

Little Women

I once took a Which Little Women Character Are You? quiz and gasped in both awe and horror when it revealed I am a combination Jo-Amy. I hope this wallpaper, unlike that experience, helps bring some cheerful tranquility to your hours of screen time.

download here: desktop | iPhone

We round today off with a quote from Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There. Lewis Carroll’s Alice books defy all logical holiday characterization (besides unbirthdays, really) but this quote seems fittingly dreamy for upcoming December days:

“Do you hear the snow against the window-panes, Kitty? How nice and soft it sounds! Just as if some one was kissing the window all over outside. I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says, “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.”

Through the Looking Glass

Enjoy your last days of November, friends!



P.S. these are the fonts I used to make today’s wallpapers: Astida, MADE Barista, MADE Sunflower, Torches. Check them out, they’re super cool! (: