Just in time for the Winter Solstice! This is an enjoyable, easy-to-sing collection of twenty-nine original, alternative lyrics ... written with Neopagan sensibility ... set to many familiar holiday and folk tunes. Yuletide subjects range from celebrating the return of the sun at Winter Solstice, to stewardship of the Earth ... others honor the Elements, the Sabbats, the horned god and the Celtic triple-goddess. Most of the songs lend themselves equally to private singing on a nature walk, or a large ritual gathering. Kids will enjoy "The Blessed Bee," which teaches about taking responsibility for what we send out into the world, and a song about quail-shaped gingerbread cookies (a recipe is included!) Ms. Leslie, a writer of speculative fantasy based in the Celtic tradition, has herself been a devotee of Earth-based spirituality for more than two decades, and writes from the heart of her devotion, melding heartfelt lines with accurate scansion. No music to read, just uplifting lyrics, set to tunes generally well-known within the folk canon; each song entry provides the name and composer (or other source) to which it fits.
Most famous in the realm of holiday literature for his 1843 publication, A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens was in fact a prolific writer in the yuletide genre and a great contributor to many now-prevalent traditions of the holiday itself. In 1944, A Christmas Carol, Dickens released The Chimes: A Christmas Story of Some Bells That Rang an Old Year Out and a New Year In, which combined his usual sympathy for the poor with the notion that we must always strive to live in nobler ways. In 1845 came the novella The Cricket on the Hearth. The years 1846 and 1848 respectively saw published The Battle of Life and The Haunted Man and the Ghost’s Bargain. Because of this wealth of Christmas-themed works, Dickens is sometime referred to as the man who invented Christmas.”
When her parents announce the family is going on the Holiday of a Lifetime instead of renovating the kitchen, Anna is convinced it will be one Potential Disaster after another. She wants to believe the lucky seahorse charm her gran gave her will be protection enough but when her gran falls ill and her dad must fly home, Anna begins to question her belief in luck. It's in Finland when the thing Anna has feared most actually happens - A Real Life and Death Situation - and it's up to Anna to save her brother and sister.
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