If you’re a frequent reader of this blog, then you know there are some books that have a very special place in my heart. Of course there’s PING, which I mention in my “THIS IS ME” tab and TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, which was the first book that stayed with me for days, even weeks, after I read it.
When I was young there was one book that took center stage during the holidays. It was so cherished that it was packed away carefully with the tree skirt, nestled among the tinsel and antique ornaments that had been in my family for generations. This book was the classic tale by Clement Clarke Moore, THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS.
As a tradition it was always read by the eldest child in the family. I vividly remember being five years old and my brother reading it while the rest of us were wrapped up in our matching Christmas pajamas (much to my older siblings irritation).
Today this tradition is still a part of my holiday celebration. As all the children in my family grow older, I worry they may be beyond wanting to listen to this story, especially when video games, laptops and Instagram rules the day. But I am always pleasantly surprised when all the kids ask if the oldest cousin can sit and read it. Once the first line is read, everything in the house quiets (which is extraordinary considering my family is pretty loud).
With wonder each of the children listens quietly, and I have to admit I get goose bumps when I hear the first few lines. In that moment, everyone has a single focus: listening to those rhythmic sentences which perfectly describe what every child is thinking and feeling on that night of wonder. For me it’s not so much about the story, but the thoughts and dreams it conjures in each of the kid’s heads as each line is spoken. In that instant, Christmas isn’t about eating, drinking or exchanging gifts, but about being together. In the coming years Christmas may become quieter, but I hope that no matter their age, the kids will want to continue this tradition. It reminds us all about the joy of the season and what it means to be a family.
And just in case you want more fun holiday books to share, here are others my family enjoys:
My blog is going dark until after the New Year with one exception. I will be posting the mentor info for the 2014 Sun versus Snow contest on December 28. And… at that time I will announce my opportunity to get a FREE PASS into the competition.
For now, my holiday wish for each of you is that you have a special moment with your family. One that is not about gifts, but about the joy of being together! And if it’s a book that creates that memory, then so much the better!
And in the words of the brilliant Mr. Moore, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”