UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed, but we have 10 more still to come! Here at XOXOAD, we love doing something special to usher in the holidays, and this year, we’re celebrating with 12 Days of Giveaways! Enter each day for your chance to win a different prize pack of books perfect for any reader—and we hope you get everything you wished for. Our second day of giveaways is brought to you by national bestselling author Lynn Cullen and is tailor-made for the historical fiction reader! To enter the contest, leave us a comment answering the following question: where does our modern-day idea of Santa Claus come from? Keep reading to find out the answer!


9781476758985Before the gift-giving, before the parties, before the peppermint sticks and feasting, there were stories.  The winter holidays wouldn’t exist without them.  Without the sacred story of Judas Maccabeus ordering yearly eight-day festivities after rededicating the Temple in Jerusalem, there would be no “Festival of Lights.”  Without the Biblical tale of Mary and Joseph finding no room at the inn, forcing the Savior of the World to be born in a humble manger, there would be no Christmas.  How less rich Christmas would be without Scrooge and Tiny Tim, without Cindy Lou Who forgiving the Grinch, without Della selling her only treasure, her hair, in order to buy a watch-chain for Jim, who has just sold his prized watch to buy a hair ornament?  Even our modern-day idea of Santa Claus comes from a story, first told in 1823 by an American professor of Oriental literature.  Without Clement C. Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” there’d be no sleigh-riding “right jolly old elf” making midnight deliveries down chimneys.  There’d be no fake reindeer nodding in our yards—the flying sleigh pulled by reindeer was Moore’s creation, too.

Stories don’t just educate and entertain us—they bind us together.  When you give a book this holiday season, even when you read one by yourself, you are joining hands with your story-loving family—the Family of Man.  Go on, pass a book, and then pass the gravy, please.  We’re all at the table of this never-ending banquet called Life.

Read all about Clement C. Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” and other American Christmas traditions in Lynn Cullen’s novel, Mrs. Poe.  Her recently released novel, Twain’s End, has been featured in People and The New York Times.

Today’s giveaways are:

Twain’s End by Lynn Cullen

The Flying Circus by Susan Crandall

The Midwife of Venice by Roberta Rich

Summerset Abbey by T.J. Brown

Contest rules can be found here.