Rane Aria

Just reading, drawing,crocheting and enjoying naps

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: The Charities

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

In the spirit of this game, Murder by Death and I agreed that we wanted to support charities working internationally, in countries where reading is still a challenge to many.  We looked at charities active in various parts of the world, working in a number of different ways and with different focuses, and eventually chose two that cover a fairly wide array of countries in Africa and Asia, with different approaches, but with the common goal of making books and the ability to read available to everybody, from childhood on.

 

These are the two we've decided to support on the basis of this game:

 

Book Aid International

(https://www.bookaid.org/)

 

From their website:

"Our mission, vision and values

We believe that books have the power to change lives. This belief underpins our vision, mission and the values which guide everything we do.

 

Our vision and mission

Our vision is a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.

Our mission is to provide books, resources and training to support an environment in which reading for pleasure, study and lifelong learning can flourish.

 

Our values

Our values inform and guide our work. We are committed to:

Equality of opportunity. Everyone should have the opportunity to read, whatever their circumstances. We support people from all walks of life in their efforts to access the books they need to achieve their goals.

Quality. No-one should have to make do with old, out-of-date books which do not meet their needs. The quality of the books we send is the hallmark of our work.

Investment in the future. Capacity building creates long-term-impact. We help increase the ability of local libraries to support their communities by training librarians and teacher librarians in working with children and other key skills.

Collaboration. Working in partnership ensures that our work is effective, responsive and meets communities’ real needs. We work closely with national library services, NGOs, community library networks, local government and individual institutions.

 

What we do

We provide books so that people can change their own lives through reading.

 

The need for our work

Across Africa, millions of people are unable to fulfil their potential because of a basic lack of books and reading resources.

Literacy and access to information have been shown to reduce poverty, providing opportunities for work, increasing household income, even improving the health of children. A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive past the age of five.

We understand the pleasure and opportunities that reading can bring and we believe everyone should have the opportunity to read. Through reading, people can change their own lives for the better and shape their own futures.

 

What we do

In places where books are scarce libraries are often the best places for people to discover the joy of reading. By supporting libraries we can provide access to books for millions of people each year.

We supply brand new books, donated by publishers, to public, community and school libraries across Africa. By partnering with national library services, government departments and NGOs we are able to send up to one million brand new, carefully selected books to Africa each year.

With training and skills development librarians can transform their libraries into the heart of their communities. We provide training to develop the skills of librarians for years to come.

 

Where we work

At present, we are proud to support readers in 14 countries.

CAMEROON
ERITREA
ETHIOPIA
KENYA
MALAWI
OCCUPIED PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES
SIERRA LEONE
SOMALIA
SOUTH SUDAN
TANZANIA
UGANDA
ZAMBIA
ZIMBABWE"

 

And:

 

Room to Read

(https://www.roomtoread.org/)

 

 From their website:

"We Believe that World Change Starts with Educated Children.

We envision a world in which all children can pursue a quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and contribute to their communities and the world.

Room to Read seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in low-income countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond. 

 

When a Child Reads, She Can Write Her Future

Being able to read and write is essential. Written words are gateways to knowledge and opportunity that are only accessible to those with the ability to decipher them. Despite the known benefits of literacy, 175 million young people in low- and lower middle-income countries are unable to read a single sentence. That’s one out of every four children.

Without a strong foundation of literacy skills, children are more likely to struggle throughout their education, live in poverty and see their potential hampered. In the areas where we work, numerous barriers prevent students from developing the literacy skills they need to thrive. These include a lack of educational resources, minimal exposure to age-appropriate books, insufficiently trained teachers and overstretched infrastructure. We evaluate the extent of these main barriers and work in partnership with local governments to assist schools to address the specific challenges they are facing and ensure students have what they need to develop strong literacy skills and a habit of reading.

 

When Girls Stay in School, Life Improves...for Everyone

Whether or not a girl stays in school has an astounding effect on not only her quality of life, but on her future family’s as well. For a girl in one the most underserved parts of the world, staying in school longer means she is more likely to build a smaller and healthier family, lower her probability of contracting HIV, and earn a higher wage. She is also more likely to marry later and educate her own children — ending the cycle of illiteracy in one generation.

Yet, girls lag behind boys in their completion of secondary school. In the last decade, the world has made significant gains in primary school enrollment but girls in low income countries still drop out at an alarming rate. Out of the 124 million children and young adolescents who are out of school, 52 percent are girls. Girls face serious barriers such as cultural bias and lack of safety. And these challenges can compound as girls transition into secondary school; they include increased school costs, the need to contribute to family income, and pressures to marry and begin a family. Thus, our program includes four core components — life skills, mentors, material support, and community engagement, which we implement based on local conditions, individual need and grade level.

 

Negotiating a Better Future Through Life Skills

Girls need life skills. Thinking critically, empathizing and relying on themselves help them meet day-to-day challenges and make informed decisions. When girls learn these skills and how to use them daily, they become better equipped to handle the challenges they may face, from gender bias to finding time to study. We help girls to discover their own strength, advocate for themselves, and create a new and different path from the one that might be forced upon them. Our program enables girls to learn and practice life skills through classes, workshops and extracurricular activities.

 

Sustaining and Scaling Girls' Education Programs

With your support we can scale faster and transform communities across the globe. Together, we have the potential to reach 15 million children by 2020. We invest in girls’ education for long-term, systemic change. That means sustaining our programs for years, if not decades, and scaling them to a country’s need. To these ends, we focus on girls’ transitions into and through secondary school — that’s where the biggest and most permanent gaps in gender equality in education take place. We also collaborate with government officials at the local, regional and national levels to promote girl-friendly learning environments. These partnerships ensure that our program is complementary of national efforts, sustainable and nationally scalable.

 

Impact & Reach

BANGLADESH
CAMBODIA
INDIA
LAOS
NEPAL
SOUTH AFRICA
SRI LANKA
TANZANIA
VIETNAM
ZAMBIA"

 



Merken

Merken

Día de los Muertos

Introducing the 16 Tasks of the Festive Season!

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

Themis-Athena’s Garden of Books and I have put together a little something to celebrate the festive season we hope you’ll like.  Our goal was to represent as many of the festive holidays and traditions that happen at this time of year around the world as we reasonably could, and boy have we packed it in!  But don’t worry, we’ve also tried our hardest to make this as easy, or as challenging, as each player wishes it to be.

 

So enough introduction… here’s the card:

 

 

(full rules to follow in a seperate post) - we’ve created book themes and holiday tasks for each holiday - but you can do as few or as many as you want, so don’t stress if this seems like a lot.  In the spirit of the “Silly Season” we’ve tried to spoil you for choice!

 

Brief Card Key:

 

Square 1: November 1st:

All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf

 

Square 2: November 5th:

Guy Fawkes Night (Bonfire Night/Fireworks Night) / Bon Om Touk (Cambodian Water Festival)

 

Square 3: November 5th & 11th:

St. Martin’s Day (5th) / Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day (11th)

 

Square 4: November 22nd and 23rd:

Penance Day (22nd) / Thanksgiving (23rd)

 

Square 5: December 3rd and following 3 Sundays:

Advent

 

Square 6: December 5th-6th and 8th:

Sinterklaas / Krampusnacht (5th) / St. Nicholas Day (6th) / Bodhi Day (8th)

 

Square 7: December 10th & 13th:

International Human Rights Day (10th) / St. Lucia’s Day (13th)

 

Square 8: December 12th - 24th:

Hanukkah (begins 12th, ends 20th) Las Posadas (begins 16th, ends 24th)

 

Square 9: December 21st:

Winter Solstice / Mōdraniht / Yuletide / Yaldā Night

 

Square 10: December 21st:

World Peace Day / Pancha Ganapati begins (ends 25th)

 

Square 11: December 21st-22nd:

Soyal (21st) / Dōngzhì Festival (22nd) (China)

 

Square 12: December 23rd

Festivus / Saturnalia ends (begins 17th)

 

Square 13: December 25th

Christmas / Hogswatch

 

Square 14: December 25th

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti / Quaid-e-Azam’s Day

 

Square 15: December 25th-26th:

Newtonmas (25th) / St. Stephen's Day/Boxing Day (26th)

 

Square 16: December 26th-31st:

Kwanzaa (begins 26th, ends 31st) / New Year’s Eve / Hogmanay / St. Sylvester’s Day / Watch Night

 

 

 

Holiday book themes and tasks

 

Square 1: November 1st:

All Saints Day is a Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. Día de Muertos focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey, while Calan Gaeaf is the name of the first day of winter in Wales.

 

Book themes for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day:  A book that has a primarily black and white cover, or one that has all the colours (ROYGBIV) together on the cover.

 

Book themes for Calan Gaeaf: 

Read any of your planned Halloween Bingo books that you didn’t end up reading after all, 

involving witches, hags, or various types of witchcraft –OR– read a book with ivy or roses on the cover, or a character’s name/title of book is/has Rose or Ivy in it.

 

Tasks for Día de Muertos and All Saint’s Day: create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.

 

Tasks for Calan Gaeaf: If you’re superstition-proof, inscribe your name on a rock, toss it in a fire and take a picture to post –OR– Make a cozy wintertime dish involving leeks (the national plant of Wales) and post the recipe and pictures with your thoughts about how it turned out.

 

 

Square 2: November 5th:

Guy Fawkes Night (also known as Bonfire Night or Fireworks Night) is an annual holiday, primarily in Great Britain, commemorating the events of November 5th, 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Bon Om Touk (the Cambodian Water Festival), marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River.

 

Book themes for Guy Fawkes Night: Any book about the English monarchy (any genre), political treason, political thrillers, or where fire is a major theme, or fire is on the cover.

 

Book themes for Bon Om Touk:  Read a book that takes place on the sea, near the sea, or on a lake or a river, or read a book that has water on the cover.

 

Tasks for Guy Fawkes Night: Post pictures of past or present bonfires, fireworks (IF THEY’RE LEGAL) or sparklers.  Or: Host a traditional English tea party, or make yourself a nice cup of tea and settle down with a good book to read.  Which kind of tea is your favorite? Tell us why.

 

Tasks for Bon Om Touk:  Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle), or if you're living on the sea or on a lake or a river, post a picture of your favorite spot on the shore / banks / beach / at the nearest harbour.

 

 

Square 3: November 5th & 11th:

St. Martin’s Day (November 5th), also known as the Feast of Saint Martin, Martinstag or Martinmas, as well as Old Halloween and Old Hallowmas Eve, is the feast day of Saint Martin of Tours (Martin le Miséricordieux).  Veterans’ Day, or Armistice Day (November 11th), marks the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning—the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" of 1918.  In the United States, Veteran’s Day is expanded to include all military veterans from any military action.

 

Book themes for St. Martin’s Day: Read a book set on a vineyard, or in a rural setting, –OR– a story where the MC searches for/gets a new job.  –OR– A book with a lantern on the cover, or books set before the age of electricity. –OR– A story dealing with an act of selfless generosity (like St. Martin sharing his cloak with a beggar).

 

Book themes for Veteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Read a book involving veterans of any war, books about WWI or WWII (fiction or non-fiction).  –OR– Read a book with poppies on the cover.

 

Tasks for St. Martin’s Day: Write a Mother Goose-style rhyme or a limerick; the funnier the better.  –OR– Take a picture of the book you’re currently reading, next to a glass of wine, or the drink of your choice, with or without a fire in the background.  –OR– Bake Weckmann; if you’re not a dab hand with yeast baking, make a batch of gingerbread men, or something else that’s typical of this time of the year where you live.  Post pics of the results and the recipe if you’d like to share it.

 

Tasks for Verteran’s Day/Armistice Day: Make, or draw a red poppy and show us a pic of your red poppy or other symbol of remembrance –OR– post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. 

 

 

Square 4: November 22nd and 23rd:

Penance Day, or Buß- und Bettag (November 22nd), is a Protestant holiday and a public holiday in the state of Saxony and is an occasion for Protestant Christians to pray or reflect on quiet thoughts, and while Thanksgiving (November 23rd) started out as a purely US holiday (and Canadian! on October 9th), it’s now well-known around the world for its feasts, family togetherness, and a holiday that strikes fear in the hearts of turkeys everywhere.

 

Book themes for Penance Day: Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher or priest as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).

 

Book themes for Thanksgiving Day: Books with a theme of coming together to help a community or family in need.  –OR– Books with a turkey or pumpkin on the cover.

 

Tasks for Penance Day: Tell us – what has recently made you stop in your tracks and think?  –OR– What was a big turning point in your life?  –OR–  Penance Day is a holiday of the Protestant church, which dates its origins, in large parts, to Martin Luther, who published his “95 Theses” exactly 500 years ago this year.  Compile a catalogue of theses (it needn’t be 95) about book blogging!  What suggestions or ideas would you propose to improve the experience of book blogging?

 

Tasks for Thanksgiving Day: List of 5 things you’re grateful for –OR– a picture of your thanksgiving feast; post your favourite turkey-day recipe.  –OR– Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.

 

Bonus task:  share your most hilarious turkey-day memory.

 

 

Square 5: December 3rd and following 3 Sundays:

Advent is a season observed in many Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.

 

Book themes for Advent: Read a book with a wreath or with pines or fir trees on the cover –OR– Read the 4th book from a favorite series, or a book featuring 4 siblings.

 

Tasks for Advent: Post a pic of your advent calendar. (Festive cat, dog, hamster or other suitable pet background expressly encouraged.) –OR– “Advent” means “he is coming.”  Tell us: What in the immediate or near future are you most looking forward to?  (This can be a book release, or a tech gadget, or an event … whatever you next expect to make you really happy.)

 

Bonus task:  make your own advent calendar and post it.

 

 

Square 6: December 5th-6th and 8th:

Sinterklaas, also known as St. Nicholas Day, celebrates the name day of Saint Nicholas on 6th of December. The feast is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on St. Nicholas' Eve (5th of December) or on the morning of 6th of December, Saint Nicholas Day.  Krampusnacht (December 5th) is the day when Krampus, a companion of St. Nicholas, arrives to punish the children who have been naughty during the year, and in Asia, the 8th of December is Bodhi Day, the Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama (Shakyamuni), experienced enlightenment.

 

Book themes for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht: A Story involving children or a young adult book, or a book with oranges on the cover, or whose cover is primarily orange (for the Dutch House of Orange) –OR– with tangerines, walnuts, chocolates, or cookies on the cover.

 

Book themes for Bodhi Day:  Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue.  (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)

 

 

Tasks for Sinterklaas / St. Martin’s Day / Krampusnacht: Write a witty or humorous poem to St. Nicholas –OR– If you have kids, leave coins or treats, like tangerines, walnuts, chocolate(s) and cookies [more common in Germany] in their shoes to find the next morning and then post about their reactions/bewilderment.  ;)  If you don’t have kids, do the same for another family member / loved one or a friend.

 

Tasks for Bodhi Day:  Perform a random act of kindness.  Feed the birds, adopt a pet, hold the door open for someone with a smile, or stop to pet a dog (that you know to be friendly); cull your books and donate them to a charity, etc. (And, in a complete break with the Buddha’s teachings, tell us about it.)  –OR– Post a picture of your pet, your garden, or your favourite, most peaceful place in the world.

 

 

Square 7: December 10th & 13th:

International Human Rights Day (December 10th) commemorates the day in 1948 the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  St. Lucia’s Day (December 13th) is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day, and in Italy, with each emphasising a different aspect of Saint Lucia's story.

 

Book themes for International Human Rights Day: Read a book originally written in another language (i.e., not in English and not in your mother tongue), –OR– a book written by anyone not anglo-saxon, –OR– any story revolving around the rights of others either being defended or abused.

–OR– Read a book set in New York City, or The Netherlands (home of the UN and UN World Court respectively).

 

Book themes for Saint Lucia's Day: Read a book set in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Sweden - and Finland for the purposes of this game) or a book where ice and snow are an important feature.

 

Tasks for International Human Rights Day: Post a picture of yourself next to a war memorial or other memorial to an event pertaining to Human Rights.  (Pictures of just the memorial are ok too.) –OR– Cook a dish from a foreign culture or something involving apples (NYC = Big Apple) or oranges (The Netherlands); post recipe and pics.

 

Tasks for Saint Lucia's Day: Get your Hygge on -light a few candles if you’ve got them, pour yourself a glass of wine or hot chocolate/toddy, roast a marshmallow or toast a crumpet, and take a picture of your cosiest reading place.

 

Bonus task:  Make the Danish paper hearts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jur29ViLEhk

 

 

Square 8: December 12th - 24th:

Hanukkah (begins 12th, ends 20th) is the Jewish Festival of Lights.  It commemorates the rededication of the Holy temple in Jerusalem and the miracle that a one-day supply of oil lasted for eight days. Las Posadas (begins 16th, ends 24th) is a novenario (nine days of religious observance) celebrated chiefly in Mexico and by Mexican-Americans in the United States. The novena represents the nine-month pregnancy of Mary, the mother of Jesus celebrated by Christian traditions.

 

Book themes for Hanukkah: Any book whose main character is Jewish, any story about the Jewish people –OR– where the miracle of light plays a significant part in the stories plot.  

 

Book themes for Las Posadas:  Read a book dealing with visits by family or friends, or set in Mexico, –OR– with a poinsettia on the cover. –OR– a story where the main character is stranded without a place to stay, or find themselves in a 'no room at the Inn’ situation.

 

Tasks for Hanukkah: Light nine candles around the room (SAFELY) and post a picture. –OR– Play the Dreidel game to pick the next book you read.

Assign a book from your TBR to each of the four sides of the dreidel:

 

  • נ (Nun)
  • ג (Gimel)
  • ה (He)
  • ש (Shin)

 

Spin a virtual dreidel: http://www.torahtots.com/holidays/chanuka/dreidel.htm

– then tell us which book the dreidel picked.

 

–OR–

Make your own dreidel: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/make-a-dreidel, –OR–

Play the game at home, or play online: http://www.jewfaq.org/dreidel/play.htm and tell us about the experience.–OR– Give some Gelt: Continue a Hanukkah tradition and purchase some chocolate coins, or gelt. Post a picture of your chocolate coins, and then pass them out amongst friends and family!

 

Tasks for Las Posadas: Which was your favorite / worst / most memorable hotel / inn / vacation home stay ever?  Tell us all about it! –OR– If you went caroling as a kid: Which are your best / worst / most unfortettable caroling memories?

 

Bonus task: Make a piñata (https://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Pi%C3%B1ata), hang it from a tree, post, basketball hoop, clothesline or similarly suitable holder and let your neighborhood kids have a go at breaking it.

 

Square 9: December 21st:

Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere, also known as Yaldā Night in Iran. The same day is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere, giving them the longest day of the year. / Mōdraniht is "Night of the Mothers" or "Mothers' Night” in old English and was an event held at what is now Christmas Eve by the Anglo-Saxon Pagans.  Yuletide is a festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples. Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. 

 

Book themes for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book of poetry, or a book where the events all take place during the course of one night, or where the cover is a night-time scene.

 

Book themes for Mōdraniht: Read any book where the MC is actively raising young children or teens.

 

Book themes for Yuletide: Read a book set in the midst of a snowy or icy winter, –OR– set in the Arctic or Antartica.

 

Tasks for Winter Solstice and Yaldā Night: Read a book in one night - in the S. Hemisphere, read a book in a day. –OR– Grab one of your thickest books off the shelf.  Ask a question and then turn to page 40 and read the 9th line of text on that page.  Post your results.  –OR– Eat a watermelon or pomegranate for good luck and health in the coming year, but post a pic first!.

 

Bonus task:  Read a book in one night.

 

Tasks for Mōdraniht: Tell us your favourite memory about your mom, grandma, or the woman who had the greatest impact on your childhood.  –OR– Post a picture of you and your mom, or if comfortable, you and your kids.

 

Bonus task:  Post 3 things you love about your mother-in-law (if you have one), otherwise your grandma.

 

Tasks for Yuletide: Make a Yule log cake - post a pic and the recipe for us to drool over.

 

 

Square 10: December 21st:

World Peace Day is the day the United Nations General Assembly has declared as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples. Pancha Ganapati, is a modern five-day Hindu festival in honor of Ganesha that comes to an end on the 25th. The festival was created in 1985 as a Hindu alternative to December holidays like Christmas by Sivaya Subramuniyaswami (born Robert Hansen), a Westerner who embraced Hinduism.

 

Book themes for World Peace Day: Read a book by or about a Nobel Peace Prize winner, or about a protagonist (fictional or nonfictional) who has a reputation as a peacemaker.

 

Book themes for Pancha Ganapati: Read anything involving a need for forgiveness in the story line; a story about redemption –OR– Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow –OR– Read a book involving elephants.

 

Tasks for World Peace Day: Cook something involving olives or olive oil. Share the results and/or recipe with us. –OR– Tell us: If you had wings (like a dove), where would you want to fly?

 

Tasks for Pancha Ganapati: Post about your 5 favourite books this year and why you appreciated them so much. –OR– Take a shelfie / stack picture of the above-mentioned 5 favorite books.  (Feel free to combine these tasks into 1!

 

 

Square 11: December 21st-22nd:

Soyal (December 21st) is the winter solstice ceremony of the Zuni and the Hopi (Hopitu Shinumu), The Peaceful Ones, also known as the Hopi Indians. It is held on the shortest day of the year to ceremonially bring the sun back from its long winter slumber. The Dōngzhì Festival (December 22nd) also celebrates the winter solstice and is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians.

 

Book themes for Soyal: Read a book set in the American Southwest / the Four Corners States (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah), –OR– a book that has a Native American protagonist.

 

Book themes for Dōngzhì Festival: Read a book set in China or written by a Chinese author / an author of Chinese origin; or read a book that has a pink or white cover.

 

Tasks for Soyal:  Like many Native American festivities, Soyal involves rituals such as dances.  What local / religious / folk traditions or customs exist where you live? Tell us about one of them. (If you can, post pictures for illustration.) –OR– Share a picture you’ve taken of a harvest setting or autumnal leaf color.

 

Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite desert. (Recipes, as always, welcome.)

 


Square 12: December 23rd

Festivus is “The Festivus for the rest of us!”; originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O’Keefe, who worked on the US sitcom Seinfeld, Festivus entered popular culture after it was made the theme of a Seinfeld episode. Saturnalia, the ancient Roman festival in honour of the god Saturn, comes to an end.

 

Book themes for Festivus: Read anything comedic; a parody, satire, etc.  Books with hilariously dysfunctional families (must be funny dysfunctional, not tragic dysfunctional).  Anything that makes you laugh (or hope it does).

 

Book themes for Saturnalia:  The god Saturn has a planet named after him; read any work of science fiction that takes place in space.  –OR– Read a book celebrating free speech. –OR–  A book revolving around a very large party, or ball, or festival, –OR– a book with a mask or masks on the cover.  –OR– a story where roles are reversed.

 

Tasks for Festivus: Post your personal list of 3 Festivus Miracles –OR– post a picture of your Festivus pole (NOTHING pornographic, please!), –OR– Perform the Airing of Grievances:  name 5 books you’ve read this year that have disappointed you - tell us in tongue-lashing detail why and how they failed to live up to expectations.

 

Tasks for Saturnalia: Wear a mask, take a picture and post it.  Leave a small gift for someone you know anonymously - a small bit of chocolate or apple, a funny poem or joke.  Tell us about it in a post.  –OR– Tell us: If you could time-travel back to ancient Rome, where would you want to go and whom (both fictional and / or nonfictional persons) would you like to meet?

 

 

Square 13: December 25th

Christmas - I don’t think anyone needs an explanation of this one, but Hogswatch Night is the festival celebrating the winter solstice and the New Year across much of the Main continent and some other areas of Discworld. It falls on the 36th of December, the new year beginning on the 1st of Ick.  If this all sounds like nonsense, you’re not yet read Terry Pratchett.  What better time to give his books a try?

 

Book themes for Christmas:  Read a book whose protagonist is called Mary, Joseph (or Jesus, if that’s a commonly used name in your culture) or any variations of those names (e.g., Maria or Pepe).

 

Book themes for Hogswatch Night: Of course - read Hogfather!  Or any Discworld book (or anything by Terry Pratchett)

 

Tasks for Christmas:  So. many. options.  Post a picture of your stockings hung from the chimney with care, –OR– a picture of Santa’s ‘treat’ waiting for him.  –OR–  Share with us your family Christmas traditions involving gift-giving, or Santa’s visit. Did you write letters to Santa as a kid (and if so, did he write back, as J.R.R. Tolkien did “as Santa Claus” to his kids)?  If so, what did you wish for?  A teddy bear or a doll? Other toys – or practical things? And did Santa always bring what you asked for?

 

Tasks for Hogswatch Night:  Make your favourite sausage dish (if you’re vegan or vegetarian, use your favorite sausage or meat substitute), post and share recipe.

 

 

Square 14: December 25th

Dies Natalis Solis Invicti  (‘birthday of the unconquered sun’) - Sol Invictus was the official sun god of the later Roman Empire and a patron of soldiers.   Quaid-e-Azam (‘Great Leader’) Day is the Pakistan holiday celebrating their founder’s -Muhammad Ali Jinnah - birthday.

 

Book themes for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Celebrate the sun and read a book that has a beach or seaside setting.  –OR– a book set during summertime. –OR– set in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

Book themes for Quaid-e-Azam:  Pakistan became an independent nation when the British Raj ended on August 14, 1947. Read a book set in Pakistan or in any other country that attained sovereign statehood between August 14, 1947 and today (regardless in what part of the world).

 

Tasks for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book. –OR– Take a picture of your garden, or a local garden/green space in the sun (even if the ground is under snow).  If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, take a picture of your local scenic spot, park, or beach, on a sunny day.  –OR–  The Romans believed that the sun god rode across the sky in a chariot drawn by fiery steeds.  Have you ever been horseback riding, or did you otherwise have significant encounters with horses?  As a child, which were your favorite books involving horses? 

 

Tasks for Quaid-e-Azam: Pakistan’s first leader – Muhammad Ali Jinnah – was a man, but both Pakistan and neighboring India were governed by women (Benazir Bhutto and Indira Gandhi respectively) before many of the major Western countries.  Tell us: Who are the present-day or historic women that you most respect, and why?  (These can be any women of great achievement, not just political leaders.)

 

 

Square 15: December 25th-26th:

Newtonmas, on the 25th of December is the celebration of Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday. St. Stephen's Day, or the Feast of Saint Stephen, is a Christian saint's day commemorating Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr.  Anyone who reads any British historical fiction will be familiar with Boxing Day, but there are competing theories for the origins of the term, none definitive.  When in doubt, I say fall back on the OED, which defines it as “[…] a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.

 

Book themes for Newtonmas:  Any science book.  Any book about alchemy.  Any book where science, astronomy, or chemistry play a significant part in the plot. (For members of the Flat Book Society: The “Forensics” November group read counts.)

 

Book themes for Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.

 

Tasks for Newtonmas: Take a moment to appreciate gravity and the laws of motion. If there’s snow outside, have a snowball fight with a friend or a member of your family.  –OR– Take some time out to enjoy the alchemical goodness of a hot toddy or chocolate or any drink that relies on basic chemistry/alchemy (coffee with cream or sugar / tea with milk or sugar or lemon, etc.).  Post a picture of your libations and the recipe if it’s unique and you’re ok with sharing it.

 

Tasks for St. Stephen’s Day/Boxing Day: Show us your boxes of books!  –OR–  If you have a cat, post a picture of your cat in a box.  (your dog in a box works too, if your dog likes boxes - I’m looking at you WhiskeyintheJar) - or any pet good-natured enough to pose in a box long enough for you to snap a picture.

 

BONUS task:  box up all the Christmas detritus, decorations, or box up that stuff you’ve been meaning to get rid of, or donate, etc. and take a picture and post it. 

 

 

Square 16: December 26th-31st:

Kwanzaa honors African heritage in African-American culture, and is observed from December 26 to January 1.  Is there any place in the world that doesn’t celebrate New Year’s Eve?  But Hogmanay is the unique Scottish take on New Years Eve and Day and might be new to many of us, as might be St. Sylvester’s Day, the feast day of Pope Sylvester I, and Watchnight, a late-night Christian church service that starts late on New Year's Eve, and ends after midnight.

 

Book themes for Kwanzaa: Read a book written by an author of African descent or a book set in Africa, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black.

 

Book themes for Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day: a book about starting over, rebuilding, new beginnings, etc. –OR– Read anything set in medieval times. –OR–  A book about the papacy –OR– where miracles of any sort are performed (the unexplainable - but good - kind).

 

Tasks for Kwanzaa: Create a stack of books in the Kwanzaa color scheme using red, black and green and post your creation and post a photo (or post a photo of a shelfie where black, red and green predominate).

 

BONUS task: Create something with your stack of books:  a christmas tree or other easily identifiable object.

 

 

Tasks for Hogmanay / New year’s eve / Watch night / St. Sylvester’s Day:  Make a batch of shortbread for yourself, family or friends.  Post pics and recipe. –OR– Light some sparklers (if legal) and take a picture - or have a friend take a picture of your “writing” in the sky with the sparkler. –OR– Get yourself a steak pie (any veggie/vegan substitutions are fine) and read yourself a story - but take a pic of both before you start, and post it.

 

MASSIVE HUGE BONUS POINTS if you post a picture of yourself walking a pig on a leash.  (Done to ensure good fortune of the coming year.)

 

We will be setting up threads in the Bingo group later today with the tasks, card and rules, as well as a thread to report your points.  Links to those will be announced in a seperate post.

The 16 Tasks of the Festive Season - THE RULES

Reblogged from Murder by Death:

You knew there had to be rules, right?  Well, here they are:

 

 

 

THE RULES

 

The card has 16 squares, each of which is associated with two holidays; i.e., 32 holidays total.

 

Each holiday is associated with one reading task and one other task.  So, there are 4 ways to complete each square – two reads and two other tasks.

 

Completing any one of these four tasks/reads will be enough to complete a square.

 

That means you’ll have completed your entire card once you have completed one task per square – 16 tasks total.  It does not matter which of the four tasks/reads you pick for each square.

 

That being said, there are a number of alternative and bonus options, designed to give you even more ways to complete your squares (and earn extra points, if you’re so inclined):

 

 

 Alternative / Substitute Options

 

The Light Joker:

Light is an important element in virtually all of the holidays celebrated in November and, even more so, in December around the world and throughout the ages.  Therefore, you may replace any of the four specific tasks associated with any of the card’s 16 squares by:

 

Reading a book that has the words “light”, “candle”, “lamp”, “sun” or “fire” in its title or features any of these five things on its cover

 

and / or

 

Doing any one of the following things:

Make your own Kaleidoscope: See, e,g,,  https://buggyandbuddy.com/science-for-kids-how-to-make-a-kaleidoscope/ for instructions.

Make shadow puppets or a silhouette and take a picture of them for us.

Make a lantern and post a photo of it.

Create a scene with fairy lights and take a picture for us (or if you already have fairy lights somewhere, post a pic for us to ogle.) 

You can only use the Light Joker two times in total across the entire card, once in each of the options, as listed above (i.e., you can use the “book” option once and the “task” option once).  

 

The Holiday Book Joker:

You can replace any task (both book tasks and any other tasks) associated with the 32 featured holidays by reading a book that is set wholly or partly on that particular holiday.

 

You can do this: 

• for only for one holiday per square 

• and only a maximum of five times total. 

 

I.e., for example, you can read 5 books, one of each set, respectively, on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Thanksgiving and Guy Fawkes Night, but not two books set on Christmas and also not one book set on Hogswatch, one on Christmas, and up to three books set on any of the other holidays.)

Books and holidays must match up.

 

i.e., you can replace any of the Christmas tasks by reading a book set on Christmas, but not by reading a book set on Thanksgiving (and vice versa).

 

And when we say “holiday”, we do mean the actual holiday – not the corresponding calendar date.  That’s less of an issue with regard to holidays that use the Gregorian (Western) calendar, but a number of holidays follow other calendar systems, e.g., the lunar calendar.  

 

Example: books for Hanukkah should be set at least partly on the actual Jewish holiday – not on December 12-20 (this year’s Hanukkah dates according to the Gregorian calendar) or on any other date that just happens to have coincided with Hanukkah at some point in history.

 

Bonus Options

 

 

Light Joker and Holiday Book Joker

If you complete a task for the Light Joker or the Holiday Book Joker in addition to the specific tasks associated with the card’s 16 squares (not instead of some of those square-specific tasks), this will earn you bonus points.

 

You can use either or both of these Jokers as bonus options for each square that already has been completed otherwise, i.e., that has been completed either by finishing one of the four specific tasks (reading and other tasks) associated with that square or by using a Joker as a  substitution.

 

E.g. for the Kwanzaa / New Year’s Eve square, once you have  

  • either read a book set in Africa or written by an African or African American author, 
  • or posted a black, red and green shelfie / book arrangement photo, 
  • or completed either the book or a task associated with New Year’s Eve, 
  • or substituted in either of the two Light Joker options (book / task), 

you can then use the other Light Joker option, or use the Holiday Book Joker option to read a book set on Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve and earn bonus points.  (Or if you’ve substituted in the Holiday Book Joker for the four specific Kwanzaa / New Year’s Eve books and tasks, you can use either or both of the Light Joker options for bonus points.)

 

However, each use of these joker options counts towards their maximum total allowed usage.  For these purposes, it doesn’t matter whether you use the Joker options as substitutes for the regular square-specific tasks or as bonus options: Used is used, period.

 

I.e., if for example you’ve already used the “reading” option of the Light Joker as a substitute for the books / other tasks for one specific square, you only have the “task” option of the Light Joker left, which you can then use either as a bonus option – on the same or any other square – or as a substitute option on yet another square.

 

Similarly, if you’ve already used one or more holiday reads as substitutes for the regular square-specific books and other tasks, those holiday books count toward your total of five permitted extra holiday books, and the amount of holiday reads you can still use for bonus purposes shrinks by the corresponding number.

 

 

Completing Additional Square-Specific Tasks

You can also earn bonus points by completing one or more additional tasks associated with a given square.

E.g., on the Kwanzaa / New Year’s Eve square if you’ve already posted a predominantly black-red-green shelfie / book arrangement photo you’ll earn bonus points if you then proceed to read a book set in Africa or by an African or African American author, or complete either of the New Year’s Eve books / other tasks (… or vice versa, in whatever order).

 

If you want to, you can (of course) go ahead and complete all four reading tasks and other tasks associated with a square. (Who are we to stop you?)

 

You can also combine the extra square-specific tasks bonus option with the Light Joker and / or the Holiday Reads Joker, to the extent you haven’t already used those up otherwise.  

 

But to restate – bonus options are strictly voluntary: You don’t have to do them at all, and doing them on one square, in whichever way, does not require you to do them on any of the other squares as well. 

 

Surprise, Surprise …

There are a few options to earn further bonus points that we’re still holding up our sleeves – those will be revealed from time to time, as the game processes.

 

Those additional bonus options will be subject to the same basic rules as the other bonus options; they are strictly bonus tasks, however – you cannot use them as a substitute for any “regular” book or other task associated with a given square. 

 

  

 

The Points System – and: Who Wins?

 

Points are awarded based on the reading/tasks you complete.  Each square has 2 reading themes and 2 tasks, so each square is worth 4 points maximum.  1 point for each book or task completed.

 

The Holiday Book Joker card is worth 1 point per use, with a maximum value of 5 points.

 

The Light Joker card is worth 1 point per use as well, with a maximum value of 2 points.

 

This allows for a maximum point accumulation of 71 points per card completed.  

 

Then there are the bonus options.  There are two types:  the ones listed under the tasks as Bonus task, each of which are worth 1 point, unless otherwise specified; the second type of Bonus task is the one that falls under the Surprise, Surprise Joker card, and those will be posted randomly throughout the game.  Points for those will be revealed for those tasks as they are released.

 

So what does all of this get you?

 

Bragging rights!!  And, hopefully, a lot of fun while participating in the game.

 

BUT… at the end of December your two hosts will add up all the points awarded during the game to all of the participants and, using a ratio of $1 for every 10 points earned, match that, up to a maximum amount of $300. 

 

This is the amount we will donate to the following two international book charities, operating in places where books are less plentiful and easy to come by as they are for most of us:

 

Sorry - due to conflicting schedules, Themis and I haven’t chosen our charities quite yet - there are so many good ones!  But we’ll have this updated in the next 24 hours and I’ll do a separate announcement as well to make sure everyone knows which charities they’re helping by having fun and reading for the holidays!

 

This is, btw, something we would both have done anyway; you’re just helping us make the gift a great deal more fun!

 

 

Happy Halloween dearies..

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Horrortape Vol. 2 NRW Halloween Mix Retrowave

 

 

Putting you in the mood for Halloween with some retrowave horror movies music

Halloween Bingo 2017- The Pumpkin Spice Wins! - BLACKOUT!

 A huge thank you to Moonlight and Obsidian and everyone who played for another great Halloween Bingo *hugs* 

 

 

Bingo Call: 10/31

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader:

Last Call!

 

 

American horror story: horror, set in the USA.

Bingo Call: 10/29/17

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

Bingo Call:

 

 

Supernatural: mystery, suspense or horror books which include elements that defy current understanding of the natural world, including magic, witchcraft and/or crypto-zoological aspects.

Surprise, Surprise ...

Reblogged from Themis-Athena's Garden of Books:

Excited about the idea of a holidays-themed game?  So are Murder by Death and I.  Before you're getting in gear for exactly the "Twelve Tasks" you remember from last year, though ...

 

-- there just might be a little surprise in the wings after all.

 

Since MR and OB are taking a well-deserved and long overdue break from game hosting this holiday season, MbD and I offered to help out this time around.  So ... watch this space over the course of the next couple of days!

 

Your interim game hosts

 

Murder by Death and Themis-Athena

 



Bingo Call: 10/27

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

 

Classic horror: horror that was published prior to 1980

Bingo Call: 10/25/17

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

Bingo Call:

 

 

Monsters: any crytpozoological or mythological creature that isn't a vampire, werewolf, or demon. Or zombie.

Halloween Bingo 2017- "Read" Squares Completed! + 2nd & 3rd,4th Bingo!

Bingo Call: 10/23

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

 

The dead will walk: basically, zombies

 

 

Bingo Call: 10/21/17

Reblogged from Obsidian Blue:

Bingo Call:

 


Any book that has a demon or demons in it. Or if the author spells them daemon that is okay too. 

Bingo Call: 10/19

Reblogged from Moonlight Reader: