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I’m pretty sure that the last time I blinked it was only January but here we are, another year almost at an end, and fast approaching is the happiest time of the year for me. If you took a guess and said it’s because of Christmas, well, you’d be half right. Yes, I was Santa in a past life and I do get so much joy out of finding that perfect present for my friends and loved ones, but it’s not all about seeing the family, or giving them gifts, or even gorging on gingerbread and mulled wine.

No, it’s mostly about the reading.

Before I worked at the library, I’d always worked in industries (retail, banking, and community nursing) where Christmas was the busiest time of the year. If you wanted more time off than just Christmas day you had to put in a leave request five years in advance and then fight a battle to the death in a gladiator ring before being told that your leave was declined anyway. I longed for the day that I worked somewhere that closed down between Christmas and New Years and taking leave was mandatory. Just over five years ago, my dream came true and poor Chittering was stuck with me.

The lead up to Christmas is always frantic and our family celebrations extend from Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day so come the 27th, I’m exhausted and don’t want to move. Luckily for me, moving is not a requirement of reading and I can sit on the couch in my jarmies with a plate of leftovers next to me for the entire day and do nothing but read.

And then repeat, ignoring the rest of the world entirely. Housework? Inconsequential. Catching up with friends? I’m all peopled out by that stage. New Year’s Eve celebrations? I think you mean staying up past my usual 9 pm bedtime to start on the next book in the series. Unless the world is ending or my animals need feeding, I’m not moving for anyone until the library reopens for the New Year.

Having to leave my books behind and return to work is not a hardship though. I’ll get to see all of my library members again — AKA my Chittering Family — and we’ll get to chat about all of the books that we read over the Christmas break. We’ll share our joy at discovering a new author and our sadness over the death of a beloved character. We’ll console each other that the next book in the series isn’t out until July, and we’ll celebrate that the latest release we’ve been waiting for arrived in my exchange from the State Library. Most of all, we’ll share a sense of kinship because we’re not the only ones who spent all of their spare time reading over the Christmas break.

So from this book nerd to you all, I wish you a wonderful Christmas and I hope that Santa brings you that shiny new book you’ve been dreaming of. Be safe and see you all in 2022!