By Guest Blogger Ellen Lloyd

Don’t forget – you can win a book of your choice from today’s blog!

For as long as I can remember, I have been enchanted by this time of year. I can recall my first memory of driving around town to see all the holiday lights just like it was yesterday. The experience of seeing the brightly colored displays in neighborhoods around town, taking a trip to see “the World’s Largest Living Christmas Tree,” making Christmas cookies, stringing popcorn and cranberries to hang on the tree, watching the classic holiday movies and reading ’Twas The Night Before Christmas were all special traditions I looked forward to each year.

I hope you all take time to reflect on this lovely and special time of year as you honor special traditions and spend time with family and friends. I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday and all the joy and peace of this magical season.

Preschool — On the Night You Were Born by (board book) by Nancy Tillman

Within the covers of this magical book is a beautiful story of celebrating the special people in our lives. Its winter theme makes it perfect for cozy bedtime reading by a fire. I love the lines from the book: “On the night you were born, you brought wonder and magic to the world. The moon stayed up till morning. Polar bears danced.” Mesmerizing.

Early Elementary — The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Another favorite on the bookshelves in my home! I love the exquisite illustrations that document the experience of children that receive golden tickets, entitling them to take a nostalgic journey on the Polar Express. Follow along as they travel through dark forests, over tall mountains and across an icy desert to reach Santa’s home in the North Pole. Children of all ages can’t help but embrace the possibility of believing in the true magic of Christmas after enjoying this classic tale.

Elementary to Middle School — 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brownes’ Precepts by R.J. Palacio

This title is a companion to the fantastic book, Wonder. My daughter and I read Wonder, the book that sparked the Kind Movement all across the world, while in a book club for girls, and loved it (and it is now a major motion picture!). Formatted with a precept for each day, this book gives readers insight into the world of the main characters’ lives after Wonder ends and includes selections to highlight the good in everyone, as well as wisdom from noteworthy people and dedicated Wonder readers. I really believe that Wonder and all things related to Wonder are must reads for children and adults alike.

High School (to adult) — Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal

“Your time is limited. . . . have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”–Steve Jobs This quote from a graduation speech Steve Jobs gave at Stanford sums up the message that Jobs would most likely want readers to take away from his life story. His biography documents the challenges and triumphs of a man that truly changed the world by thinking and approaching all things from a different angle. Jobs was adopted, dropped out of college and fought cancer for 10 years, yet this genius pushed boundaries and forged ahead when many would have given up. It is safe to say that our world wouldn’t be as it is today without Steve Jobs.

Moms — Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Admittedly, it is difficult to not be stressed out by the many things we face in life on a daily basis, but Richard Carlson believed that we shouldn’t “sweat” the small stuff and everything actually is small stuff. Carlson’s writings are inspirational and gives readers pause to consider what truly matters and how a change in perspective may make all the difference. Be aware that the wisdom shared in this book may help reduce stress and be helpful in reaching goals!

Win a book of your choice from today’s blog! Share your thoughts and comments, and you could be selected to win a copy of one of the books, compliments of Barnes & Noble, Friendly Shopping Center, Greensboro. The staff of Triad Moms on Main will choose a random winner one week after the blog runs. (Please be sure to enter your email address when you fill out your comment so they have a way to contact you.)


Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.