Happy New Year’s Eve! We hope you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve and an even more wonderful 2021! To finish off this year, we ended with an amazing book called In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren. It was a fun holiday romance about a young adult that gets stuck in a timewarp of her family’s Christmas trip. We enjoyed the playful holiday spirit behind the book and the amazing detail and plot Lauren wrote. Her ability to give such amazing details was so intriguing. Just a Reminder, next month’s book will be The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow. Back to In a Holidaze, today was our first day doing the book club meeting on Instagram Live. We would like to continue doing it this way, so make sure to follow our Instagram to see the details on that.
- What do you think of May’s faith and the repetition of her life being compared to her faith? Do you think faith has something to do with the repetition? Could they be rebirths?
Jess: I really like this question. I can see why she contributes it to faith or a higher power because it is almost magical or supernatural. Still, I don’t necessarily agree that that is why it is happening. She is just getting that second chance to see what her decisions can be. I am glad they told things how they could see this as all just a dream. By giving the ending six months later, we know that she actually lived this.
Caitlin: Throughout this book, I constantly thought about the movie called The Groundhog Day. They continually repeat this day until things go right. So, I never really thought about it being a dream.
Jess: I was looking forward to if they were actually going to explain why it was happening. What do you think about it?
Caitlin: Many kinds of literature have rebirths in them, so that made me think of this question. I think the fact that when she is in church, she goes to church for the music and the physical enjoyments of the church. The rebirth and the church scene was a symbol of her getting more invested in her actual self and spiritual side rather than continually focusing on the physical world. She was so invested in these physical things all the time that she needed to be reborn to see beyond them.
Jess: That makes a lot of sense. Instead of just living and drifting through life, she is actually getting to a point in her life where she is actively present in her life. Before, she was living just to survive rather than enjoying her life.
- Did the book motivate you to be more authentically you? How did it do that?
Caitlin: She kept repeating herself, and at the beginning, she wasn’t herself. Once she finally became herself, she wasn’t going back in time. This was showing that as long as you are truly yourself, then you can face life and achieve great things. You can go after your goals and achieve the things you desire rather than putting on a face for other people.
Jess: I think about really taking the time for what I do rather than just evaluating the motions. It reminds me to step back and think about whether I am fully present in this moment.
Caitlin: I also really got thinking about if I am living in the present moment. In my one class this semester, we were talking about death. It made me think about if I am living every day to my fullest, or am I spending too much time watching Netflix? How much time of the day do you spend doing things that don’t actually improve your life or make me any happier?
Jess: I agree. I think there is a time and place for resting and recharging, but at the same time, I agree. We are never really in a neutral position. We are either going forwards or going backwards. The book really gave me the idea to be thinking about things.
- If you could go back to change or repeat one thing in your life, what would it be?
Jess: I actually would go back and change one thing, but only if it doesn’t change the present moment. I think my circumstances would change if I did. One thing I would change is, in high school, I would be more confident. Back then, I was down on myself and didn’t have much confidence. If I could change one thing, then it would be that. If I could repeat one thing, I would go back to our wedding day because it was so much fun.
Caitlin: I would say something very similar answer. I would change the way I felt about myself in high school, but that has impacted my life so much that I don’t think I would be who I am without it. Maybe repeat, but even then, you are risking changing things. I would go back to repeat those little moments in life that bring you so much joy. I would just go back and enjoy it, like the little things like seeing you guys the other day. Yes, I was standing at the door with a face mask on, but just being able to talk and see you guys for the little time we could.
- Do you have a holiday tradition like May’s family does when they visit the cabin every year?
Caitlin: Yes, it isn’t like a cabin sort of thing. But on Christmas Eve, my brother and I usually drive to my parent’s house. The second we get there, we are bombarded with food to eat faster than a normal person would eat (an amazing meal) because we have Christmas Eve mass to get ready for. We go to church and come back home. My father always makes us take a Christmas photo in from the tree before we can change into our pyjamas and open presents. Then, usually, if there weren’t Covid, we would be spending Christmas with Jess’s family and have another grand meal.
Jess: Since Tanyr and I have been married, our tradition has been to spend Christmas Eve with his family and go to mass, then Christmas Day, we wake up and open gifts and go to my mom and dads, and usually see you guys. The tradition is eating.
- If someone told you they were reliving the same day over and over again, would you believe them?
Jess: If I was Uncle Benny, would I believe her. I honestly don’t know if I would believe her. I don’t think I would. Would you?
Caitlin: I honestly don’t know. I feel like it would depend on who the person is. If it is someone who is very skeptical about that kind of stuff, I would probably believe them. If it is someone who is trying to convince me of that kind of thing, I probably wouldn’t. I also feel like I would end up being the person that is trying to convince everyone and is questioning why everyone doesn’t believe me.
Jess: I’ll be honest, if it was someone I know like if you told me that you were reliving days, I honestly don’t know if I would believe you. I would probably laugh at you and ask how many chocolates did you eat. But, if it was someone I didn’t know, I think I would believe them more because it takes lots of guts to come up to some and admit that.
Caitlin: But she shows proof. If I was offered a bit of evidence, I feel like I would instantly believe someone. It is such a tricky situation.
- Do you think that the plot unfolding over the Christmas holidays enhanced the story or didn’t make much difference?
Caitlin: I think the significance of Christmas is the Christmas miracle. Oh, anything can happen over Christmas. It is a magical time of the year. Though, I think the plot could have happened without Christmas. The only parts impacted by Christmas was the fact that they were meeting on Christmas and gifts. However, you can make the significance any other day.
Jess: I agree, but I also think I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if things didn’t take place around the holidays because, as you said, it is such a magical time of the year. It is such a warm and happy time of the year. I am thrilled about the book. I thought it was awesome. I will definitely be doing a holiday book next year.
Caitlin: Okay, it is time. I want to make a critique. The transition between the last repeat could have been more clear because I was waiting for another repeat. I kept waiting for the day to start over again, and it didn’t.
Jess: I agree. I feel like there were a lot of repeats right after it initially happens, but then it just didn’t happen.
Caitlin: Yeah! It even talks about the pattern in it, where she made it through one day, then two days, then three days, but then there wasn’t another repeat. It just stopped. I was not expecting that, but also I was disappointed.
- What did you think about the ending? Did you like that she fast forward six months later and that it ended the way it did? Did you think that Andrew and May were going to end up together? What did you think about that?
Caitlin: Okay, you might hate me, but I kind of wanted her to end up with Theo.
Jess: I agree, but I am a hopeless romantic. I love that she and Andrew weren’t together, and they had their love.
We both really enjoyed doing the Instagram Live, so we thought we would try it out again in January. You can join us on Instagram at Graceful, Grateful, and Gutsy. We will probably announce a couple of days before doing the live, but it will be before the last Thursday of January. We hope you all enjoyed this post and the live. Have a wonderful week and a great new year. Thank you for all of your support this year. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all of you.
-Jess and Caitlin.
Photo by Claud Richmond on Unsplash