Mr. Dog's 2016 Read-Aloud Advent Calendar

Join us everyday, from December 1st through December 24th, as our delightful cast of guest readers share Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn, one short passage at a time. The videos are also posted daily to Mr. Dog's Instagram and Facebook pages. Thanks for following along!

 

DAY 1

About today's reader: Bitsy Luther is better known as Betsy Cordes, Mr. Dog's publisher. When Betsy was wee Bitsy, her dad read a very old story to her every Christmas Eve: "Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn." He reads it to her still.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 2

About today's reader: Cathy is Auntie to 14 humans and 6 dogs. She and her Mr. Man live in Chichester, England.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 3

About today's reader: Charlotte Nagy is the owner of Charlie's Corner—a magical children's bookstore in San Francisco, where daily reading events are immersive experiences of storytelling, song, play and puppet theater.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 4

About today's reader: Nicole Delger-mama to June (20 months) and Roxy (1.5 months!)-is a marketing genius, co-founder of Brand Strong and author of "Get Funded," the kick-ass guide to crowdfunding that I used to plan Mr. Dog's Kickstarter campaign (which... just sayin'... kicked ass!). Read more about this remarkable lady NicoleDelger.com.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 5

About today's reader: Chuck Cordes is in-house legal counsel here at Hollow Tree HQ ("in-tree" legal counsel?). Daphne Doodlebug is our beloved senior dachshund. She found her forever home with us after having been abandoned at a local shelter at age 10. (Shoutout to Muttville Senior Dog Rescue! 🐶 ) Daphne's been with us every step of the way during our independent publishing project. She's always happy when another copy of "Mr. Dog" finds its forever home! 

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 6

About today's reader: Miss Celine Necef is an avowed bookworm and the lovely daughter of Nilufer (Be sure to check out Nily's beautiful handmade clay dolls and tiny creatures.). Both these ladies sure know how to make “cozy” look chic! And that Ella is just the sweetest. Thank you for the wonderful reading, Celine!

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 7

About today's reader: Katie Daisy lives in the great Deep Woods of Bend Oregon with her wondrous, wild boy, Finn, and her marvelous Mr. Man, Elijah. Katie makes beautiful paintings inspired by her deep love of the natural world. She recently published her first book—a New York Times best seller, no less!—"How To Be a Wildflower". Visit her website to learn more!

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader!

 

DAY 8

April V. Walters is a San Francisco artist who endeared herself to me before we ever met with her personal tagline: "an amusing alternative to other people." The 2017 edition of her beloved "Donuts of the Bay Area" wall calendar is available now in her Etsy shop. April's trusty hound, Hazel (aka Mz. Hazelnut-butt) keeps her company in the studio and especially in the kitchen.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 9

About today's reader: About today's reader: Sarah Deragon is my trusted portrait photographer  // If you dread having your picture taken, trust me... You owe it to yourself to book a session with Sarah. She changed my whole perspective on the matter!). She's also the artist behind the The Identity Project and she's a generous advocate for other creative entrepreneurs. It was through a mastermind group led by Sarah that I first gave voice to my Mr. Dog dreams and she's been cheering me on ever since.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 10

About today's readers: Cassie and Josie are my sweet cousins—champion swimmers and clever crafters. I asked them: "Would you like Santa to leave a tender young chicken in YOUR stocking?" Cassie was firmly against it, saying, "No, because what chicken would want to be dressed and put in a stocking? I wouldn't want to be dressed and put into a stocking either." (Good points, Cassie!) Josie, however, rather liked the idea: "Yes, because I like chicken and I like Christmas." (Me, too, Josie!) 

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 11

About today's reader: Henry Cordes is my beloved son and—among his many creative endeavors—the sole creator/producer of the Mr. Dog Podcast (on iTunes and SoundCloud). This year, Henry's been my right-hand man for all things Mr. Dog, including media research and pitch writing, which brought some really sweet new reviews of our book. I could go on and on about this marvelous young man. Suffice to say, nothing makes me prouder than to be able to say I'm his mom. (And hats off to his housemate, Mishka, an attentive and elegant listener!) 

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 12

About today's reader: Our beloved Rebecca Garry is the chai witch at Portland Oregon's famous Pip's Original, where she conjures their enchanting tea and spice concoctions. She's currently studying and training to work as a doula and looks forward to supporting mothers as they bring new lives into our world. Rebecca came into our lives via our son, Henry, and we couldn't be more pleased and proud to have her company in our little family. 

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 13

About today's reader: My dear brother-in-law, Jose Arroyo, is a comedy writer for the "Conan” show on TBS, two time Emmy award winner, comic book author (“Seething With Joy” 1 & 2), father to Isabel (14), and husband to Heidi. He's also an avowed Nog enthusiast. His faithful companion, Ollie, is a 5 year old Poodle/Bichon rescue. Ollie came for a one-night sleepover with the Arroyos to see if it was a good fit and never left.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 14

About today's reader: Chantal Lamers is the Home Editor at Sunset Magazine and a faithful friend to Mr. Dog. She lives in the East Bay with her husband and two kids, including her 4-1/2 year old co-reader Archer. Archer has been reading "Mr. Dog's Christmas" since we published it three Christmases ago. He continues to wonder every year whether Santa Claus will fill his stocking with a roast chicken and necktie.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 15

About today's reader: Troy Litten is a photographer, designer and illustrator with a lust for travel. Take a virtual tour of the world—as seen through Troy's distinctive lens and infused with his wonderful wit—by following him at TroyLand.com and on Instagram @troylitten. Troy is also a devoted mid-century decor/home enthusiast, as you might have guessed from this video. It was shot in his San Francisco Eichler home, which has its own Instagram—another fab virtual tour I highly recommend: @eichlerbytroy.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 16

About today's reader: Kelly Rae Roberts is a mixed media artist, writer and teacher who celebrated 10 joyful years in business this year. In addition to her art and best-selling books, she offers super-popular painting e-courses and the "Kelly Rae Unscripted" weekly video series. Her upstaging pooch, Lulu Butterbutterbean, recently joined Instagram, where you can follow her @Lulubutterbutterbean. Lulu is soon to be joined by a new English bulldog pup, Sir Louie Chewy Butterbottoms. Visit Kelly Rae at KellyRaeRoberts.com

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 17

About today's reader: Dawn Hatch is my long-time and most awesome bookkeeper. Her animals friends are Rudolf and Bimbo (say "Beeeembo," like the Italian for "baby"). Dawn's partner, Julie, has had Bimbo forever, and according to Dawn, "he's the only pet that can withstand our lifestyle." Dawn created the ugly sweater just for this video, with special thanks to Cliff's Variety, the beloved 5-and-dime in San Francisco's Castro District.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 18

About today's reader: Steve is a dear friend from our college days. His sleepy audience has earned a long winter's nap after a very lively year. Between them, Ryan (16) and Porter (15) enjoy a LOT of activities including baseball, CrossFit, skateboarding (Porter earned his festive cast with a backflip on a scooter at a skatepark), mountain biking, backpacking (Ryan is our first friend to see Mt. Everest), and more. Hazel (1.5) loves long romps in the woods and mudbaths in her remote "spa" there—an old sunken bathtub full of black dirt, water and leaves. Follow her on Instagram @hazelbiscuit_wheaten

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 19

About today's readers: Our dear college friend, Jennifer, is an artist, teacher, prop master, and general, all-purpose creatrix. She and her astronomer husband, Shawn, live in Pasadena with their divinely delightful 6-year-olds, Max and Charlotte (aka "Charlie”), and the family’s two boisterous Airedales, Rufus & Lucy.  Jenn designed and made the beautiful stockings you see hanging on the mantle, and she recently opened an online shop where she's offering these amazing made-to-order creations for sale.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 20

About today's reader: My friend Jess Laine is an artist and designer living in San Francisco with her adorable and crazy little dog Lois Laine. Jess’s design blog at  is always a delightful spot to visit, full of color, personality and beautiful inspiration for your home. You can also follow her on Instagram @jessslaine for photos of her travel and creative adventures (and to see photos of #LoisInBed).

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 21

About today's reader: Giselle is the owner of Rare Device, a beloved art, gift, and home goods store with two San Francisco locations. The store's name was inspired by a line from the Coleridge poem "Kubla Khan": he calls the Pleasure Dome that the ancient Mongol emperor created “a miracle of rare device.” Giselle says, "We hope that the store conveys a sense of pleasure and fantasy when you walk through the doors." It always does, and we are so proud to be able to say our book is carried there. You can also shop Rare Device's wares online and follow them on Instagram @raredevice. Many thanks to Giselle and her fantastic team for their Mr. Dog enthusiasm!

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 22

About today's readers: Our dear friends Francisco and Thomas own and operate Stable Cafe (@stablecafe on Instagram), our favorite neighborhood hangout. They serve deeeelicious food and coffee, and they've created (along with their amazing team and collaborators like Lila B Design) one of the most beautiful spaces in all of San Francisco. It really is a stable—a converted carriage house built for San Francisco's mayor in the 1800s! Be sure to pay a visit when you're in town. We'll likely be there, too! 

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 23

About today's reader: My sweet 11-year-old nephew, Jory, is a voracious reader, both on and off his RipStik. His current recommendations are the entire Harry Potter series, anything in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and the Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection. He also sends the most wonderful thank you notes, each one with a detailed illustration pulled from his imagination or a current interest. I keep them all! With his big sister Joon (14), Jory tends a small flock of backyard chickens (Violet, Pufflet, and Chickadee) and a rambunctious Labradoodle named Maple.

Check in every day through Christmas Eve for the next installment of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn. Each day features a new guest reader! 

 

DAY 24

Naturally, today’s reader is none other than my dear old dad, Jim Luther. For me, Christmas isn’t Christmas without the sound of his voice reading this story aloud. I’m eternally grateful to him for carrying on the tradition started by his parents, and for his steadfast support of me throughout this project. You can read my dad’s recollections of his childhood with Mr. Dog and friends on Mr. Dog's Blog.

We popped into my dad’s local post office in Little River, California, just in time to see “Santa Claus,” which made for a perfect surprise ending to this year’s read-aloud advent calendar. It's pretty cool when you get to give Santa a surprise gift!

Thanks so much for following Mr. Dog's 2016 Read-Aloud Advent Calendar! We wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!