Today the Travel Bloggers’ Caravan stops right here at We’re giving away a signed copy of Novel Destinations and an “I’d Rather Read Jane Austen” tote bag filled with travel- and literary-themed goodies: a Bliss Tried + Blue Travel Kit, bookmarks from Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and the Robert Frost Farm in New Hampshire, Jane Austen blend tea, Writers’ Homes of New England note cards, and a NovelKeys key chain. To enter to win, all you have to do is post a comment today before midnight; one lucky winner will be chosen at random.

While you’re here, check out today’s round-up of literary sites offering special activities and festive decorations.


Louisa May Alcott’s home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, is hosting “A Fireside Christmas” tours every Saturday and Sunday throughout December. The house is decorated for the holidays with the tasteful, festive simplicity that the Alcotts were noted for, and this month it comes alive with costumed “Living History” characters, activities for children and families, and take-home mementos. (Advance reservations strongly suggested).

The Pearl S. Buck House in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, hosts the annual Holiday Festival of Trees, with a dozen trees (like the one in the photo at right) splendidly decorated by community organizations and businesses. House decor tours are offered hourly every day except Monday, and new for this year are special Candleligpear-s-buck-househt Tours taking place every Friday evening at 7:00 p.m.

Step back in time at the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut, where a traditional Victorian-era Christmas is recreated as it would have been celebrated  from 1874 to 1891, when the author and his family lived in the house.

In Salem, Massachusetts, the House of the Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne’s inspiration for his gothic novel), is presenting “A Classic Christmas” theatricals. Christmas scenes from literary works like Little Women, A Christmas Carol, and A Child’s Christmas in Wales are staged in the seaside mansion’s rooms this weekend and next, from 3-6 p.m. 

Across the pond, many of the traditions associated with Christmas were first made popular by the works of Charles Dickens. In the museum’s special Christmas display, you can discover the ways Dickens’ vision of snow, puddings, cheer and goodwill influenced the invention of the Victorian Christmas, and how they still affect us today. Special readings of A Christmas Carol (Served with a glass of mulled wine made from Dickens’ recipe) are taking place on several dates throughout the month, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

Also not to be missed is the Museum of London’s Christmas Walk, where you’ll learn the origins of Christmas trees and cards, hear about Christmas in the workhouse, and see places mentioned in Dickens’ Christmas stories, including St Paul’s Cathedral, Scrooge’s Counting House in Cornhill, and Victorian-style stalls at Leadenhall Market. The walk takes places on Saturday December 12 from 2-4 pm.

Do you have a favorite literary landmark you like to visit during the holidays? Post a comment today — holiday-related or about any other literary travel topic or landmark — and let us know about it and you’ll be entered to win our literary travel prize pack!

Win a literary travel prize pack
One lucky reader will be randomly chosen from all entries to win the prize pack. Contest starts at midnight on December 4 and ends the same day at 11:59 pm. Only residents of the United States are eligible to enter and win.

How to Enter 
Comment on this post between 12:00 am (midnight) and 11:59 pm on December 4, 2009. You’ll need to include your e-mail address so we can make contact if you’re the winner. Good luck!

Win More Prizes This Month!
Don’t forget to enter the daily Travel Bloggers’ Caravan giveaway. The Caravan stops at tomorrow. See the entire Travel Bloggers’ Caravan schedule here.