Comments 26

A Literary Christmas.

I have a confession to make.

I love Christmas.

No, I mean, I really ADORE it.

It is far and away my favourite holiday. I prefer it a thousand times to my birthday. I love the crappy Christmas carols, the cheap tinsel, the hoards of people who shove their way frantically through the stores as though there is the slightest possibility that shops will run out of chocolates, booze and cheap toys.

I often whinge with the best of them about the insanity of these holidays. I don’t want to seem like the odd one out. It’s only November! I say. Why are there decorations in the shops already? Why are they playing Christmas carols and selling plastic Christmas trees and pumping out fruit mince pies so the entire shopping complex smells like the inside of Santa’s workshop? 

Secretly, I revel in it.

This year, as you probably know, I don’t have access to the thousands of dollars that are usually spent on this mother of all holidays. In fact, I don’t have any money at all. I told friends I wasn’t putting up a tree, I told family not to worry about presents this year. We agreed to have a very simple meal on Christmas day, and avoid all the hoopla that this holiday inevitably brings.

And then this happened.

IMG_7221[1]Yes, you are seeing correctly. No, your eyes are not deceiving you.

I made a Christmas tree out of books.

If you like The Paperbook Collective on Facebook you have probably already seen this.

Likewise, if you follow me on Twitter, you would have seen it too. In fact, something insane happened when I posted this picture on Twitter. Something that has never happened to me before. This pic went viral. Which was overwhelming, seeing as I have never quite managed to get the hang of Twitter. I have tried valiantly in the past to use it to drive traffic to my blog, but I have never really seemed to get a handle on it. So when this tweet went viral yesterday afternoon I was screeching at my endlessly patient, long-suffering boyfriend every couple of minutes: ANOTHER RETWEET! OH MY GOD SOMEONE ELSE HAS COMMENTED ON IT! AND LIKED IT! THIS IS INSANE!!!

He may have called me a geek more than once.

So anyway, I am now inspired. Christmas is back on with a vengeance. But also with a twist. I am calling it my:

Literary Christmas on a Budget.

IMG_7246[1]My goal is to hand make, re-use and up-cycle everything this Christmas. With literary undertones.

I bought these plain cardboard stars from Spotlight (ok, so I bought them, but they’re about a buck a piece). I then delved into the old paint boxes and came up with some suitably Christmassy colours, a bit of old glitter and voilà. Decorations for next to nothing. And all the space that I cleared off the bookshelf to make my tree is perfect for filling with my hand made Christmassy goods.

I am working on a few more literary based Christmas decorations, so stay tuned.

I am also now working on presents for everyone. As you can probably imagine, there is going to be a few copies of The Paperbook Collective finding their way into people’s stockings this year. I think they are going to make perfect stocking fillers, and at least they won’t break or be thrown out by New Years. Fingers crossed.

IMG_6256 IMG_6363 IMG_7060

If you would like to order a few copies of The Paperbook Collective to give as presents this year, pop up to The Paperbook Collective Zine page above. It is a truly unique Christmas present to give to friends or family, especially if it has something by you in it!

Similarly, if you would like some of The Paperbook Collective literary gift-cards to use as Christmas cards this year, head up to the same page and pop through an order. All you have to do is pay for your postage and make a donation (any size, can be just a few dollars if you like). I will do my best to get orders posted out as soon as possible, because I know what the postal system is like at this time of year!

So why don’t you join me in my Literary Christmas on a Budget this year. Share ideas below for hand made gifts, decorations, whatever. Let’s try and put some joy back into this incredible holiday which is admittedly being destroyed by consumerism and cheap plastic.

IMG_7210[1] IMG_7232[2]A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
Garrison Keillor.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more?
– Dr. Seuss.

The main reason Santa is so jolly is that he knows where all the bad girls live.
– George Carlin.


  1. Hey, you stole my post. Like in really. I am working on one that starts with the exact same words. Though mine is about Christmassy music 😉

    Congrats on the picture going viral. I haven’t quite figured out Twitter either, so you’re not alone.

    It’s a great idea to make gifts yourself. The wife and I try that every year, but ideas run out at some point. I’ll see which of yours I can steal in retaliation for that post of mine that must now get a new beginning.

    • Wow that is bizarre! Great minds…I’m glad to find a fellow Christmas lover 🙂

      Let’s brainstorm gift ideas as we approach Christmas, and avoid that awful last minute rush to the shops! That time would be far better spent drinking Christmassy drinks and eating Christmassy foods. Preferably while reading a good book 🙂

  2. Okay, you got me with the George Carlin quote. That put a smile on my face. 🙂 I’m planning on putting my holiday geegaws out next weekend. And lights on the cabin.

    • That is a fabulous quote isn’t it! Always glad to make you smile Princess. I just noticed your Gravatar – Jameson’s on the rocks. That makes me smile 🙂

    • The whole lot is confusing isn’t it John. Sometimes I throw my hands up in the air and decide to delete all accounts, but a few days grace usually sees me back into it again 🙂

  3. I love Christmas too! I love the Nativity scenes–I used to play with the one at my mother’s house before school every morning. I slept on the couch all through the season to stare at the lit tree in silence when everyone else was asleep and I still wish the reindeer really flew. The tree is fantastic!

    • Thanks so much! I used to sleep on the couch too, so I could watch the lights all night. I remember we used to be allowed to stay up as late as we wanted around Christmas, eating chocolates and watching crappy Christmas movies. I still do that 🙂

  4. I had to smile at your Xmas tree Jayde and your idea of a literary Christmas. Peggy and I go to a bookstore each December and make up a wish-list of books we would like. We then exchange lists and pick out books for the other. When we got married, which was 21 years ago as of yesterday, we registered at bookstores for wedding gifts instead of the traditional stores. 🙂 –Curt

    • That is so awesome Curt. What a fantastic Christmas idea, and an inspired idea for wedding presents! Sadly, my partner doesn’t like reading quite as much as I do, and he definitely prefers non-fiction to fiction. Congrats on your wedding anniversary! 21 years! Fantastic!

      • Thanks Jayde. My tastes actually run between fiction and nonfiction. I try to maintain some type of balance but I confess the fiction wins more time. 🙂 –Curt

  5. Lovely post…Christmas is just about the best thing since chocolate…well maybe it was before, anyway I think the way you’re going about it is the only way to go…I love to make decoratons and each year I make something new…my favorite is salt dough orniments…I’ll have to write a post about that, its really so inexspensive and fun!

  6. Pingback: On Christmas Carols and Decorating Craziness | if all else fails…use a hammer

  7. Pingback: Reading My Christmas Tree and Other 2014 Resolutions. | The Paperbook Blog.

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