AD-This post contains gifted products, but all thoughts are my own.
I love being part of the blogging community and part of that is because I am always finding new blogs, content and people to connect with, who have so much to share and offer others. It has really amazed me how welcoming bloggers are of each other, and I am so glad I found this little corner of the internet that is is positive and happy.
One of the many bloggers who makes this community great is Katie from Life with Ktkinnes who covers a huge content area from lifestyle including recipes and book reviews to more serious topics and she also shares a ton of Christmas content. Useful content, like budgeting for the holiday season and mental health and suffering during the holiday season. Katie loves Christmas so much she created a second blog, Christmas with Katie which shares Christmas content all year long. And it’s such a cute blog! So if you don’t know yet know Katie, do check out her blogs, they are lovely little places on the internet.
Katie is also an Author
Katie also happens to be the author of Calm by the Christmas Tree, a collection of short stories that take place around the Christmas season. She gathered all the short pieces she had written at some point, and began to assemble into one body of work which is now her first published book, as described below:
“Christmas isn’t a season;
It’s a feeling”
– Edna Ferber
Christmas is a magical time of the year. In fact, some would go as far as to describe it as the most wonderful time of the year. One of the best parts about December is the build up to Christmas. Let your inner child be indulged, as you join author Katie Burton for her debut collection of short stories and pieces of flash fiction in the lead up to one of the busiest times of the year.
Calm By The Christmas Tree invites readers to indulge in some reflective “me-time” once every few days, spacing each story out through the month of December, and allowing them the chance to reflect on the hope, love, and magic of the festive period. From lovers’ tiffs, to making amends, and from old to young, each of Burton’s protagonists are relatable in both character and the lessons they learn.
Written for reading before bed, on your travels, or during a brief moment of peace with a comforting drink, these tales whisk you away to a world where Christmas is as magical and important as it was during your childhood. Despite the often painful realities of life, there is always a lesson to learn and a reason to celebrate.
Review of Calm by the Christmas Tree
I love that the book can be read in quick sittings, as none of the stories are very long, and that you can enjoy a moment of Christmas cheer on the bus, before bed or even on your coffee break. Best thing about this book is that there is a variety of story types–a murder mystery being the one that surprised me the most. One of the final stories in the collection brought tears to my eyes.
Related Post: What I Really Want for Christmas in 2020
To be quite honest, I’m not a huge fan of short stories. As a reader, I love meaty plots, and have always had a hard time being as engaged and fulfilled when reading short stories. But Calm by the Christmas Tree delivers on what is promises: “tales that whisk you away” and that allow you” to reflect on the hope and magic” of the season. While I enjoyed some stories more than others, the collection is a lovely, lighthearted one full of the spirit of Christmas. Although you can read this at any time of year, I honestly think this would be lovely to read during the holiday season as it really does warm your heart.
A couple of my favourite stories were “The Snowman Murders” and “Nicole’s Christmas Present.” Both were from very different genres, but both really captured me as I was reading. I also very much enjoyed “The Magic of Christmas” as it really does sprinkle that excited, special feeling you experience as a child at Christmas throughout the story and the story “Dear Santa” reminded me that Christmas is not always the happiest of holidays for everyone. All in all, I took away the idea from the collection of stories that gratitude is very important, especially at Christmas time when so many of us are surrounded by family and love. And from that gratitude should come the willingness on our behalf to give back to others.
A truly festive read to get into the Christmas spirit.
You can find Katie’s book on Amazon.
Reading around the holiday season is usually a cozy activity many indulge in, and can be great self care and help you get into the Christmas spirit. I personally love reading all year round, but there are certain times of year, or days that I especially enjoy reading–around Christmas, Halloween, on snowy days–and if you are a sort of seasonal reader, this little book will fit right into your reading list. Christmas is a holiday were we celebrate family more than any other, and we trust to the magic of the season more than any other time of year, but it’s important to note that this holiday is not always a happy one for many. It is important to give back so be sure to donate to a food bank, to help out an elderly neighbour, to reach out to friends you haven’t seen in a while, to adopt a family for Christmas so that they have some presents under the tree. This is the greater spirit of Christmas and one we should embrace.
How do you give back at Christmas? Share your thoughts below.