My 12 Christmas List

Hullo, world! 

Can you believe we’re less than a week until Christmas? (I can’t and I can.) 2020 has been this weird, convoluted and longish short year that will stay in my memory as a pivotal time. And even though I probably won’t see many people other than my immediate family this Christmas, it will always be a time of great joy and celebration. 

One of the things I’ve been thinking about Christmas is the iconic 12 Days of Christmas song. I love to sing that song (and play it on the piano), so I thought, “Why don’t  I create a blog twist to it?” 

And this is the list I came up with! (It literally has nothing to do with the numbers, but bear with me. Lists of any kind makes me happy.)

So without further ado, I present to you My 12 Christmas List filled with the winter wonderland vibes…

1. Dutch Blitz

If you are confused, I apologise ahead of time. But ever since we got Dutch Blitz in Japan with a German-English instruction, we loved this game! I’m still confused if it’s Dutch or German in origin (okay, it’s German, I just looked it up on Wikipedia) but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a Vonderful Goot game! 

Also, our siblings are super competitive, so we have to make sure we have a 911 call close by…

2. It’s A Wonderful Life

I know, I sound cliché. I am. 

Yet I don’t see how anyone in their right mind wouldn’t watch It’s A Wonderful Life on Christmas. 

And that’s all I’ll say on this movie. 

3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Since I pulled the It’s a Wonderful Life card, it can be reasonably deduced I will next jump the gun to Narnia. (And if any one of you want to check out the depth of my obsession with the series, check out The Narnia Tag I created!)

No Christmas is complete without the first adventures of the Pevensie siblings. I’m planning to re-read the book (for the hundredth time), listen to the epic soundtrack, and watch the movie!

4. Little Women

I’m basically going down the Christmas classics with this list, and this is something I default revert to during the Christmas season. My sister has been on my heels to re-watch the 2019 version Little Women, and now that it’s officially Christmas season, I’m all for it!

5. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Album

Courtesy of Pinterest

I am a huge fan of Tchaikovsky, and what better way to spend Christmas than by listening to his Nutcracker ballet? It’s absolutely magical, and although I don’t do ballet, I love banging out his variant dances and waltzes–especially his Waltz of the Flowers. 

6. Wicked Saints

This is where I veer off from the classical Christmas list. But having read this book in mid-summer in the mountains, I felt like I had to do it justice and put it back in the proper season it belonged to–winter. 

Wicked Saints is everything winter can be–white, endless, bitter and cruel. At the same time, it’s also breathless and wonderful, inversing our perspectives. 

7. A Darker Shade of Magic

Courtesy of Pinterest

I love the four Londons that come out in this book, especially White London. *collective gasps* I know, I’m that one weird person who had to go ahead and say that. 

Anyhow, I’m looking  forward to curling up beside the fireplace re-reading this book over the winter break. 

8. A Winter’s Promise

Courtesy of Pinterest

Some of you might have already heard me screaming about  this book since I found out about its existence in May. If not, check out my review on the first book and the second book on my blog. 

A Winter’s Promise is the reverse of Wicked Saints in that it has the same Russian-Polish vibes of the harsh winter, but also combines the sparkling effects of other European winter expertly. It’s another thick tome I wouldn’t mind nibbling on during winter! (Plus, one can never have enough of Ophelia, her scarf, and Thorn.) 

If you like Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Sky with a decided arranged marriage twist, you will like A Winter’s Promise. 

9. Brooklyn Tabernacle Christmas Album

Okay, I did sort of go off on a completely different tandem again, but hear me out. 

I grew up in a nondenominational international church in Tokyo run by Southern Baptist pastors. We had a two-week Christmas concert with six showings, with a completely different show each week. Since my parents were in choir, we were singing Christmas gospel songs from July. 

I know, such is a life of a Christian homeschooler. 

So any Christmas is not complete without a spectacular gospel-infused Christmas music. 

10. The Snow Queen

Courtesy of Pinterest

And we’re back to the classic list! I love Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen, it was probably my favourite fairy tale growing up. On that note, it still is! 

So I beg you to give it a read if you have not, since none of the movies out there give  it enough justice to this gem. 

11. Caramel Brûle Latte

Courtesy of Pinterest

I’m not sure if this is a Canadian (or North American) thing, but it doesn’t feel like Christmas until Starbucks start promoting their Caramel Brûle Latte. I drink at least two or three cups before it’s Christmas!

12. The Book of Isaiah 

And lastly, no Christmas is Christmas without a good re-reading of the Book of Isaiah from the Bible. Ever since I was little, Isaiah (along with Jeremiah and Eccelsiastes) were one of my favourite books of the Bible. I think the biggest reason is all the Messianic prophesies streamlined in it. It offers me great hope and also prepares my heart for the coming of Christ–which is what Christmas is. 

So that’s My 12 Christmas List! Thanks for reading this far. 

What did you think? Do you have 12 things that makes you think of Christmas? Are you familiar with any of the things I mentioned? What do you think should be on a Christmas list? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

How I Make Character Playlists (Collab w/Brooke)

Hello, everyone!

Hello, everyone! My name is Brooke from :: words in her soul ::

I blog about writing, indie publishing, books, and mental health! Huge thank you to SJ for having me on her blog today!

Today I’m talking about character playlists. Now, we all have our writing playlists that we love to make on Spotify. Recently, I’ve been really loving making character playlists. I was inspired by my bestie who has the BEST character playlists in existence. 

A character playlist is pretty simple to make and fun when you want to get into a character’s head beyond the simple character outline. I don’t know about you, but I truly connect to music in a very deep way. Lyrics always say the things I can’t find the words for. The same goes for my characters. 

My character outlines are simple, but deep. Music, though… music speaks to a very different level. 

Questions To Ask When Making A Character Playlist

What songs make me think of my characters?

What are some songs I think my character would listen to?

What songs make me think of their entire vibe?


For example, I’m going to use the main character from my summer debut dystopian/contemporary novel, How We Rise

Raegan MacArthur is a very thoughtful, somewhat quiet girl with a big spirit and deep sense. She loves her simple life and often wishes to go back to simpler times. 

A lot of the songs I put on her playlist aren’t songs you hear on the radio. They have deep lyrics and darker sounds to them, making up her entire vibe. 

One of the songs on her playlist is Bravado by Lorde. 

I’m not a big fan of Lorde’s music, if I’m entirely honest. But the lyrics to this particular song really encompass Raegan’s vibe. 

Another song on the playlist is Not Dead Yet by Ledger. It’s more of a rock song and very angsty. Raegan has that kind of indie/rock vibe that makes these songs perfect for her. (if you’d like to see the full playlist, you can find the playlist link here.)

Character playlists are really quite fun. I’ve had a blast making them and I can’t wait to involve music in my writing process even more. 

Thanks everyone for taking the time to read my ramblings. Another huge thank you to SJ for being so kind to let me guest post. BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!!

SJ has a guest post over on my blog, which you can find here! It’s all about her WIP playlists and how it affects her style of writing. Definitely check it out!

Have a wonderful day!!

Stay amazing

~ Brooke

Find Brooke on:


Okay, wasn’t that amazing? *nods fiercely to self* I don’t usually create character playlists, but I think I should do just that, actually…Esp. with that not-WriMo thing I’ll be doing next month. (Which, I’ll explain next week. hang in tight!)

What did you think? Do you create character playlists? Or are you more inclined to create an entire playlist for a WIP like I do? Let me know in the comments below; I’d love to chat with you!

May Afternoon Tea with SJ + Bujo!

Good afternoon!

As you can see, I’ve slightly recovered from my battle with the influenza. (At least well enough to sit up on my bed.) Today, we’ll be doing something a little unconventional.

Since I’m still feeling woozy from the past week of high fevers, we’ll be having tea out in the front porch, where I’ve set up a recliner for me and some nice wicker chairs stuffed with cushions for you. From where we are situated, we can observe the quiet street in front of us and the neighbouring gardens all verdant and luscious. A quiet wind flutters in our faces. We’re having various mint teas from a glass teapot, and simple finger foods like vegetable sticks with miso-mayonnaise. 

Ready?

Here we go…

Easy Guide to Bujo:

May brought many unexpected changes, and it also brought me bujo. For those of you who do not know, bujo is short for bullet journal, something I have been obsessed with as of late. I sat down one day and thought, “I’m not getting things done either with my Google calendar or calendar blocking. Perchance I need a third method…” 

And voila! 

I had a bullet journal created in one afternoon, and I will not be going back to life without it. 

It’s quite simple to create (in fact, it only takes you one afternoon), so let me show you just how you can do that…

1: Cover 

You start with a right turn page in your notebook, where you create a cover. Mine looks kind of hastily done, because it was done hastily, but it doesn’t have to be super opulent or anything. You just need a page telling you which month is starting. 

2: Monthly Spread 

This is probably the page that takes the most time. You should probably use a ruler when creating this page, as that gives you a nicer, crisper look. You can add Goals of the Month and Notes like I did, or use up the entire space for the spread. 

3: Weekly Spread + Everything Else 

Next comes the Weekly Spread. This is the most practical thing about bujo, where you fill in daily goals with a little tick box next to it after you finish. You can also add pages for things like Mood Tracker, Music, and Book/Movie list. I also added a Prayer list at the end. 

This month, I listened to songs like:

  1. セカイはまだ始まってすらいない (The World Hasn’t Even Started Yet)–PinocchioP
  2. Little Astronaut, Big Dreams.–Dreamy
  3. さよなら、僕のヒーロー (Goodbye, My Hero)–傘村トータ/Tota Kasamura
  4. いのちの食べ方 (How to Eat Life)–Eve
  5. Brigg Fair, An English Rhapsody–Frederick Delius
  6. 豚になってyeah yeah (Become Pig yeah yeah)–Neru
  7. YELLOW–神山羊/Yoh Kamiyama
  8. Coppélia–Léo Delibes

(I know, I know, I’m a weird person. I listen to classical music and vocaloid and lofi.)

I watched a grand total of six movies, all of them Japanese:

  1. 帝一の國 (Teichi no Kuni)
  2. 太平洋の奇跡 (Pacific’s Miracle–The Man they Called Fox)
  3. 君の膵臓をたべたい (I Want to Eat Your Pancreas)
  4. 日日是好日 (Nichi-nichi-kore-koujitsu)
  5. 恋は雨上がりのように (After the Rain)
  6. BAKUMAN

For May, I managed to read 13 books! Finally got back on reading over ten books a month!

  1. A Winter’s Promise–Christelle Dabos
  2. My Plain Jane–Fland, Meadows, Ashton
  3. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children–Ransom Riggs
  4. What I Like About You–Marisa Kanter
  5. Wayward Son–Rainbow Rowell
  6. The Wicked King–Holly Black
  7. The Great Divorce–C. S. Lewis
  8. As Many Nows as I Can Get–Shana Youngdahl
  9. The June Boys–Court Stevens
  10. Wilder Girls–Rory Power
  11. Bridge of Clay–Markus Zusak
  12. Suggested Reading–Dave Connis
  13. Sorcery of Thorns–Margaret Rogerson

And right now, I am reading The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. 

And that’s it.  Bujo is a super fun and easy way to keep track of where all your time goes and help you be more aware of yourself. (When adequately motivated enough, I can read more, pay attention to where time goes, and listen to music I love!) I wrote around 30K+ for my WIP and short stories that I wrote for various contests. Hoping to get more writing done next month!

Thank you for joining me for a brief tea and bujo session. Quite enjoyed it!

What are some things you did this May? Do you bujo? If so, has it helped you stay more focused? What are some media you enjoyed this month? Let me know in the comments below; I love chatting with you!