Book Christmas Tree and More Unusual Evergreens

My sister Susan posted this great photo of this book Christmas tree, first built by employees at the Richard A. Gleeson library in California in 2009.  Obviously, it made such a great impression that it’s been Tweeted, Facebooked, Pinned, and more for the past three years.

This got me started thinking about unusual trees.  This summer, I saw a great one made out of wine bottles, and there’s another one made with bottles of Mountain Dew (appropriate because they’re green).

Still, what trees would make you stop in your tracks?

One of my co-workers has promised a visit to her friend who has several Christmas trees each year, including an upside down tree.  I went on line, and these are out of my price range $250+), but look amazing.

I’m not ready to say, though, that the upside down tree is the “ultimate” in unusual.

The bicycle Christmas tree is a great outdoor display.  I’ve included a link to a website that celebrates several trees from around the world.  I encourage you to check out a few more links–like the Pinterest of Christmas Trees.

Unusual Christmas Trees

Top Ten Christmas Trees

Usually, I don’t care about having a bigger house, but if I did, it would have a tree in every room!

Books! The perfect gift for almost anyone.

I love books!  I have hundreds and love to give them as gifts, especially at Christmas.  My nieces and nephew are all under 4 years old but they know that Uncle J brings books!  Christmas is such a nice book giving time.  You can give Christmas books or other books.  Activity books, story books, sticker books, primers, or just a classic picture book.  Sports books, biographies, novels, how-to, and travel might fit the bill for older readers.  The challenge with books is finding them.  Of course you can find just about any book on-line, but you have to know what you’re looking for.  Roaming through a book store provides that chance of discovering the hidden and unexpected find.  The book you didn’t know was written that is perfect for someone.   With fewer and fewer traditional book stores, the shopper must find new ways to discover books.  Try finding that local book sale.  I stumbled upon one last weekend at the Washington County Library in Smithsburg, MD.  Most libraries, in addition to providing so many other amazing programs, regularly host used book sales.  Churches and schools do the same.  These are great opportunities to discover a new book.  Roaming the tables with books spread all over is just a great was to spend an early afternoon.  Books smell good too!

Giving books is a great tradition but the cost could be prohibitive.  New books are so expensive and I like to give more than one book as a gift.  A pair of books seems so much better!  To make your gifting dollar go further look for those used books.  In addition to the book sales you can get many great finds at your local garage or yard sales.  The most you might pay for a book there is maybe a dollar.   Remember at most yard sales the goal of the seller is to just get rid of stuff.  Find 5 or 6 books you want and make an offer- I bet they’ll take it.  The other great benefit of giving used books is you can read them all before giving them, so shop early and read up.  Tomorrow Natalie and I are off on a yard sale quest to find Christmas treasures and bargains. I have books on my list and hope to find a few classic holiday titles for my nieces and nephew.  We’ll be sharing our results on Monday’s podcast so be sure to check it out!


Savings and Jars

This week we have mentioned how savings and jars both can be a big part of the Christmas season.  I wanted to share a book I read over the holidays that brought savings and the jar together.  The title of the book is Christmas Jars, a short novel from author Jason Wright.  The novel tells the tell of a young reporter and he quest to score the big feature story to break her career wide open.  She is searching for the origins of a mysterious jar full of money she received just when she needed it.  She discovers the history of the jar and so much more by the end of the story.  The book has lots of good lessons and makes you as the reader consider how you fit into a larger world at the holidays and throughout the year.  After reading the book I started my own Christmas Jar and am really looking forward to finding a recipient for it in December 2012.  Check out the Christmas Jars website for more information.

So tracking our uses for jars, so far we have blessings, wishes, and giving.  I think we might find a whole lot more as the months pass by!




Wanted to congratulate one of our readers, Marisa, for being the one to finally identify what a caganer is.  Might have to share more on this unique custom later in the year.  So far my oddest discovery of a Christmas tradition.