Monday, December 17, 2012

Restoring Our Faith In The Season

I have a lot of thoughts that have been going through my mind over the past week. I was going to post about them today... but there has been such an overdose of "heavy thinking" lately with Friday... I decided I'll post it later. Maybe on Wednesday or Friday or something.

However - Mondays are miserable enough. We need something happy. Something to help us restore our faith in God and humanity.

Books of course!

Books have always been special to me - even at Christmas. When I was a kid we had a big sack which had a picture of a teddy bear with a Santa hat on him, and inside were our special Christmas books that only came out of hiding after Thanksgiving.

Even now, if you looked carefully at my apartment photos, you'll see that I have included Christmas books in my own decorations for the season.

I want to share with you four of my favorite Christmas books. These books are WONDERFUL and always help me to get into the Christmas spirit.

The Autobiography of Santa Claus - as told by Jeff Guinn

I am IN LOVE with this novel. Santa was an important part of our Christmas traditions while growing up. (We still write "From Santa" on my dad's gifts by the way. He loves Santa.) I read this book a few years ago, and it's completely wonderful.

It does a great job of incorporating Saint Nicholas and going through world history and how the legend of Santa Claus grew. It blends history, faith, traditions, fairy tales, and everything else so wonderfully, by the end you close the book and think "Huh... maybe he does exist."

Also, I learned that Santa Claus is completely hilarious. Which  makes sense. If you are that old and spend your all of your time making toys for kids, you have to have one. I feel like Santa Claus and I would be friends after I read this.

There are also two follow-up books to this one. How Mrs. Claus Saved Christmas, and The Great Santa Search. However, the first one is a MUST READ.

The Greatest Christmas Stories of All Time

Don't want a novel? I have just what you need.

I picked this gem up at at bookstore when I was in college - and it's amazing. It's a collection of the most classic Christmas stories. You have everything from the Christmas story in the Bible, to A Christmas Carol, to The Gift of the Magi, to The Night Before Christmas, to little stories by classic authors such as Louisa May Alcott, Mark Twain, and others. You'll even discover new ones that you hadn't read before. I love paging through it and seeing what new stories I can find, and re-reading old favorites.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbra Robinson

Want a touching story about/for kids?

When I was in third grade, my teacher Mrs. Marovec read us this book. I fell in love.

It's about a Sunday school teacher who volunteered to head up the church Christmas pageant. Then, to her surprise, the town's "hooligans" come in and they get all of the lead roles. This little family of crazy children are basically a Sunday school teachers nightmare. They live on their own with a crazy cat, they smoke, swear, and enjoy making things explode.

Basically, hilarity and insanity ensue.

Yet all turns out well. (Thus, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.) I love it because it's all about how the most unlikely can bring something beautiful. Which, isn't that was Christmas is all about, really?

The Night Before Christmas- by Clement Clark Moore

Okay, I know this one is pretty obvious. However, my family would read this book every year before bed on Christmas Eve, and we read it out of this edition:

It's a pop-up boo, but the pictures are so beautiful and you could open doors and pull things to make stuff pop up. It was so much fun and it's my favorite edition of the story.

Those are my top three favorite books of Christmas. But here are some other contenders:

A story about how everyone can give/and do someting

Any American Girl Christmas story really, but this one is my favorite.

If you love stories about dolls and toys- you need to read this one!

Um... duh.

There are so many things in this book you an interact with - it's ridiculous and so fun!

What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?


  1. My youngest brother had The Jolly Christmas Postman when he was little. Janet & Allan Ahlberg books were staples of our childhood, very happy memories :)

    A personal favourite of mine was a book I received I was about 4 or 5, was one of those which could be made to order with your choice of characters in. This one starred me along with my brother and a friend. The 3 of us joining Father Christmas to deliver presents one Christmas Eve, and seeing the world and learning all of the different Christmas traditions. It was a great little book, and I loved that I was a character in it!

    I also had a Christmas book of a selection of stories, very similar to the one you mention, but it was older (it belonged to one of my parents when they were a child I think) and had lots of poems and carols in too.

    Thanks for bringing back some good festive memories! I'm eager to hunt those books out, and a few more I've just thought of, but I should really stop blabbering now!

    1. Yes! I love that someone else knows of Janet & Allan Ahlberg books! We also loved Follow the Star All the Way to Bethlehem. So fun!!!!

      The book about being one of the characters sounds awesome! I would have loved a book like that when I was a kid. Heck, I would love it now. Haha.

      There was another one my mom mentioned to me yesterday that was a collection of stories that we really enjoyed, but she couldn't find it or remember the name. If we find it I might have to add it to my list!

  2. Yes, Virginia, Alice used to like Christmas as as little girl. In fact, she loved Pfister's "The Christmas Star" very much, and thought the pictures were very beautiful.

    1. What? What is this sorcery? You liked CHRISTMAS???? My world just changed.


Share with me your thoughts! They make me smile.