Carols are already playing in the malls and train stations. Decorations are coming up. Stores are starting to sell Christmas merchandise. Soon Starbucks will offer their special Christmas drinks. The Christmas season has begun - my favorite time of the year! Since Christmas is my favorite holiday I celebrate it as fully as possible and for as long as possible. The beginning of November isn't too early to start, right? ;)
I officially began the holiday season by reading Lynn Brittney's Christine Kringle. I always wondered how Santa Claus delivered all those presents in one night. (Please, no killjoys leaving comments for this post saying Santa Claus is a myth. Who else gave me all those Barbies when I was a little girl? :D) I have been enlightened. Each country has its own Gift Bringer/s! There's Pere Noel and Tante Arie for France, Grandfather Frost and Babushka for Russia, Santa Claus for the Philippines, Babbo Natale and La Befana for Italy, and so on and so forth. In Christine Kringle, all the Gift Bringers of the world are part of one family - The Yule Dynasty. And each Gift Bringer is responsible for delivering holiday gifts to the children in his or her country. Kriss Kringle has a problem though. He has no male heir. But he has a very likeable fourteen-year-old daughter: Christine. Will the Yule clan allow Christine Kringle to be the United States' Gift Bringer when Pa Kringle retires 100 years from now?
The Yule Dynasty has an even bigger problem this year though. The Town Council of Plinkbury in England has formally BANNED Christmas. Nick, the son of the United Kingdom's Father Christmas, has come up with a secret plan that will save Christmas in Plinkbury and convince the dynasty to allow Christine to become the United States' Gift Bringer. Christine and Nick head to Plinkbury with their friend Little K, the son of Japan's Santa Kurohsu, who is on a mission to promote his Living Lights invention - fantastic Christmas lights that need no electricity because they run on reindeer DNA. To help the three teenagers are Nick's mother Zazu - a beautiful, glamorous, and kind "tall elf," and Nick's uncle Egan - a handsome and clever "tall elf" businessman.
I enjoyed reading Christine Kringle because it stirred up Christmas memories (making presents, decorating the tree as a family, visiting relatives, opening gifts on Christmas morning!) and it stirred up excitement for Christmas this year. (I can't wait!!! I'm so excited about seeing all the lights up in Metro Manila, drinking Starbucks' toffee nut latte, listening to Christmas music, shopping for presents in Greenhills, getting dressed up and attending parties, and eating Christmassy goodies like gingerbread, mince pies, and chocolate. :D) Christine Kringle is a story full of good cheer, interesting tidbits about how Christmas is celebrated around the world, and Christmas spirit. If you are looking for a way to kick off the season, I suggest reading Christine Kringle with your family. :) It's a fun Christmas adventure - complete with interesting shopkeepers, mulled wine, a Christmas bazaar, Christmas nuts like myself, and a female Scrooge! It's the first book in a proposed series and I'm curious about the future adventures of Christine and her friends. I can see Christine Kringle being turned into a feel-good family movie. :) Also check out www.christinekringle.com. Don't forget to play the addicting Ferrari Game on the site. Through the site you can also ask Christine Kringle questions and email Santa. Hmmm, what should I ask for this year??? I've been nice...