Romantic Christmas Movies

Nothing says Christmas season to me more than cuddling up under a warm blanket with a mug of hot chocolate and watching a holiday romantic movie.  Unfortunately, I don’t have cable so I can’t binge-watch the Hallmark Channel.  But luckily for me, the library owns a lot of the movies.  To find the whole list just put  “Hallmark Channel holiday collection” in the search bar. 

I wanted to highlight a few of these themed movies for you.  It is not Christmas at my house until all the family sits down and watches Almost Christmas together.  This romantic comedy  is about a crazy family and all their quirks but the romance centers around one of the daughters and the next door neighbor’s son. Continue reading “Romantic Christmas Movies”

Christmas Horror!

Ah, Christmas! A magical time filled with colored lights, falling snow, and visits from old St Nick. Yet colored lights can’t hide the fact that each day it gets darker earlier and stays dark longer. Falling snow is awfully good at making footprints look strangely shaped or just covering them up all together. And isn’t there something creepy about someone dressed in red walking around on rooftops crawling down your chimney at night, when you’re sound asleep? In this column, I’ll be talking about Christmas movies that take a very different view of the holiday, one where ghosts, monsters, and some not-very-nice Santas have their own ideas on how to celebrate the season.

Let’s start by talking about the most adapted Christmas story of all time: Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. There are dramatic adaptations (the classic 1951 version starring Alistair Sim and the 1984 version starring George C. Scott), musical versions (Scrooge starring Albert Finney), animated versions (A Christmas Carol featuring Jim Carrey), animated musical versions (Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol), and even one featuring The Muppets (The Muppet Christmas Carol starring Michael Caine). Continue reading “Christmas Horror!”

Let’s bring back ghost stories for Xmas

The night has come for ghosties and ghoulies to peer from the flickering shadows, while we gather round the firelight to tell tales of terror and grue! No, not Hallowe’en: Christmas Eve! A century and more ago, this was the night to share scary stories:

“And not only do the ghosts themselves always walk on Christmas Eve, but live people always sit and talk about them on Christmas Eve. Whenever five or six English-speaking people meet round a fire on Christmas Eve, they start telling each other ghost stories. Nothing satisfies us on Christmas Eve but to hear each other tell authentic anecdotes about spectres. It is a genial, festive season, and we love to muse upon graves, and dead bodies, and murders, and blood.”

That quote is from Told After SupperJerome K. Jerome’s 1891 Christmas-themed collection of stories, one of several such collections that are available for you to check out right now.

If ever there was a haunted year, it was 2020, and so it is high time to revive the tradition! Nobody to read to this year? Visit our very own Thrilling Tales Podcast, where we have several classic ghost stories for your listening pleasure, including: Continue reading “Let’s bring back ghost stories for Xmas”

Tales (and Recipes) for a Winter’s Night

Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yuletide, Winter Solstice – no matter the form it takes – tales and food so often play a part. Stories of memories, tales passed on from generation to generation, and recipes too following down the line from grandmother, to daughter, to granddaughter, to great-grandson. The ties that bind us during the holiday season whether near or far or a picture of remembrance that sits upon the mantel. 

Here are a few books in our collection to get you started on making those traditions: 

The Christmas Chronicles: Notes, Stories & 100 Essential Recipes for Winter by Nigel Slater

A stunning read by author and food writer Nigel Slater, who has more than a few foodie books in our collection. From November to February, Nigel will take you through his winter rituals with folktales, recipes, and personal stories and gorgeous photographs. Truly an ode to winter! Continue reading “Tales (and Recipes) for a Winter’s Night”

Thrilling Tales for the Holidays

Now that Hallowe’en is past, we approach the holidays with visions of murder dancing in our heads. We’re talking about the next few months of Thrilling Tales – Seattle Public Library’s popular Story time for Grownups, of course!

It all starts this Sunday: November 17, 7 p.m. with a Storytime for Grownups at Third Place Books, Seward Park of the story Plan 19, by Jack Ritchie
Fred and Hector have cooked up eighteen separate plans for their big prison break, but it takes Big Duke to add that one missing ingredient. This time, they can’t fail!

Monday November 18, noon: Dances With Ghosts, by Joseph Bruchac. Harley Bigbear is haunted enough, without the angry ghosts of white men banging on his trailer door. Gritty Indian Country noir by this prize-winning Indigenous author. Continue reading “Thrilling Tales for the Holidays”