Speaking with Joy
Speaking with Joy
Joy Marie Clarkson ☀️
Preparing For Christmas...
1 hour 1 minutes Posted Dec 13, 2022 at 4:07 am.
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Dear Friends,

Merry Advent! I can’t believe how quickly the days are passing us by— Christmas approaching with alarming speed. I’ve been traveling this month, and there has been something beautiful about seeing cheer spread from city to city. Now that I’m back, I’m rejoicing preparing for Christmas—picking presents for each sibling, niece, nephew, beloved. I think so much of love is preparation.

It makes me think of this poem that I love:

Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up earlyand put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,then with cracked hands that achedfrom labor in the weekday weather made banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking. When the rooms were warm, he’d call, and slowly I would rise and dress, fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him, who had driven out the coldand polished my good shoes as well.What did I know, what did I know of love’s austere and lonely offices?

In this week’s podcast, I reflect on preparation for Christmas, and hope to help yours come along smoothly with a few gift ideas for the little and large bookish people in your life. I hope you’ll listen along and enjoy the links below:

A Book, Too, Can Be a Star by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Jennifer Adams

Buy A Book, Too, Can Be a Star

When Madeleine L'Engle was very small, she often found herself awake at night, marveling at the stars. They guided her throughout her life, making her feel part of a big and exciting world, even when she felt alone. They made her want to ask big questions―Why are we here? What is my place in the universe?―and let her imagination take flight. Books, too, were like stars―asking questions and proposing answers. Books kept Madeleine company, and soon, she began to write and share her own. But would other people see the wonder she found in the world? Written by Madeleine's granddaughter Charlotte Jones Voiklis and bestselling picture-book author Jennifer Adams, A Book, Too, Can Be a Star follows the life of one of the world's greatest creators―and gives children encouragement to lead a creative, inquisitive life.

Sister Seraphina Mysteries by Haley Stewart

Buy The Curious Christmas Trail

It’s Christmas Eve, and under the floorboards of G. K. Chesterton’s home, curious clues lie hidden… Sister Seraphina and the other Sisters of Our Lady Star of the Sea are busy with preparations for the Christmas play and long-awaited feast. That’s enough to be getting on with! But where is Sister Dymphna? The elderly nun is nowhere to be found in Saint Wulfhilda’s Abbey. Outside it’s growing dark, and the snow is falling. The brave search party will need all their wits to avoid danger and follow the trail—wherever it leads!

The Clubhouse by Nathan and Joy (me!) Clarkson

Buy The Clubhouse

When you were young, what did you dream of doing? Riding high atop a dragon? Hurtling through space on a rocket ship? Unearthing an island treasure? Sailing on a shimmering sea? In our book, we invite you and your kids to hang out in the clubhouse, a place of boundless creativity where the only limit is your own imagination. Follow along with a boy and girl (based on us) who turn their play structure into an airplane, a submarine, a cave, a castle, and so much more! Dedicated to the simple, oft-forgotten pleasures of imaginative play will awake wonder in your children and inspire them to dream up their own big adventures!

The music for this week is taking from my brother Joel’s album Midwinter Carols— I highly suggest putting it on as a soundtrack to your Christmas preparations!

A gift recommendation for the grown up book lovers in your life…

Poster Prose by Madeline Larson Kalembach

Shop Poster Prose!

"Poster Prose exists to commemorate literature through the medium of visual art. The artist, Madeline’s, love for literature can be seen in every print. After encountering an inspiring work, Madeline creates an image depicting the book’s central themes. Created by a reader for readers, these pieces offer unique reminders of the worlds and characters created by some of our favorite authors in the books we love."

And I must put a little plug in for my own book: consider buying a copy or three of my book Aggressively Happy for the friends in your life! I like to think that in the bleak midwinter (which is, actually, the time of the year I wrote the book) this book might bring a bit of cheer and strength to us all.

Buy Aggressively Happy

All for now, friends! I wish you a beautiful advent.

Prepare well.

With love,Joy

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