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The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

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The Vine: December 4, 2013

Submitted by on December 4, 2013 – 10:36 AM10 Comments


Welcome back to the Happy Hellidays iteration of The Vine — it's all Ask The Readers and holiday etiquette from now 'til New Year's.

Need to find a Lincoln book your BIL hasn't read? Can't get the cookie icing to come out right? Over it with the winter travel? Just need a cool scarf? The Nation's here for you. bunting at tomatonation dot com for all your winter-holiday questions and exasping. "I was going to write in and ask if 'exasp' is a valid verb!" See? No need. We got this.


My sister-in-law lives in the south and has two daughters, one of whom doesn't believe it is currently winter, as they haven't had any snow yet. She was hoping for some winter-themed children's books that don't involve snow, for kids in the 2-8 year range. The only ones I've found so far are Mexican Christmas books, which are fine, but we were hoping for some more variety (not just Christmas, not just Mexican/Latino). Does the Nation have suggestions?

Thanks so much,

Warm Winters

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  • scout1222 says:

    I live in California, so my first thought was that there must be some books based here that wouldn't feature snow. I found this book:

    Now, I haven't read it, so I can't vouch for it, but in looking at the similar items it looks like this is a series that has most states, so maybe you can find states nearby as well. It would not surprise me if someone from TN can vouch for this series or not!

  • GreenHall says:

    My first thought is that Australia Christmas is always in the summer (even though I am in Florida, I do want to do an Australian, or at least Southern Hemisphere, Christmas someday).

    An Amazon search in books for Australia Christmas had some results, including the first one – Christmas Wombat :) Can't find a 'Look Inside' link in my quick browsing, so cannot confirm or deny snow.

  • Amy says:

    You might look for "Christmas around the World"-type books. My local fair trade store has scads of them. The one I looked at recently (Sorry, I don't remember the title) had snow depicted in places where there would be snow, and no snow in places where not appropriate.

  • Marie says:

    I live in Phoenix (where it never ever snows) and my kids like Jennifer Ward's books as many have an Arizona-type setting. She doesn't have any Christmas books though. One of our other favorite authors, Susan Lowell, does have a Christmas book but there is snow on the cacti. I'm interested to see the other suggestions that the Nation has as I think the only Christmas books we have that do not involve snow (& are set in a desert) are books about the first Christmas.

  • Jobiska says:

    Certainly most retellings of the actual Christmas story would set it in Bethlehem, and therefore no snow. This one, "The Donkey's Dream," has gorgeous illustrations. And second the suggestion re Australian-origin books–another we had was "Wombat Divine." I know you haven't gotten any not-just-Christmas ones, but at least this is a start.

  • JB says:

    I don't have a book recommendation, but I think creating new traditions can make this "snow-less winter" more comfortable for the kids. I grew up in Michigan but spent a few Christmases as a kid in Florida visiting family, and I came to look forward to things like leaving orange slices for Santa or going to the marina to look at the boats in the harbor decorated with lights. As a result, as an adult I romanticize the Corona commercials with the lit-up palm trees more than any of this white Christmas nonsense…

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    How about All dressed up and nowhere to go, by Daniel M. Joseph. "Spending Christmas in Florida with his grandparents, David is surprised that there is no snow and that his winter clothes are too warm for him."

    Full disclosure: I asked Denise the awesome children's librarian at my local public library and that was her first suggestion!

  • ddwwylm says:

    Lights of winter: winter celebrations around the world by Heather Conrad is pretty much what the title says, not only does it talk about winter traditions in other countries which may or may not include snow depending on the location, but covers their celebrations too, like kwanza, hanukah, dewali.

  • Wehaf says:

    Hi everyone, LW here – thanks for the great suggestions! I especially like the look of The Donkey's Dream. I'm still hoping for some non-Christmas books, if anyone has ideas, but this is a great start.

  • Nanc in Ashland says:

    Freddy Goes to Florida, by Walter R. Brooks
    The Black Stallion Challenged, by Walter Farley

    It might be worth checking out some non-fiction books about animal migration–birds and insects flying south, etc., to get out of the snow.

    You might also contact local children's librarian in your sister's area or contact a local bookstore and see if they have local authors who have written anything of the sort.

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