And what to my wondering eyes should appear

by Rachel S.

Oddly, I was thinking about the holidays this morning, and my thoughts turned towards home and the traditions my family reenacts year after year. In addition to the usual cookie baking and tree trimming, every Christmas Eve, we pull out a small stack of Christmas picture books to read aloud. When it came time to put the children’s books in the attic to make room for everything else that needed to go on mine and my brother’s bookshelves, the Christmas stories stayed behind.

There’s something about the holidays that is inherently childlike. No other time of year asks one to suspend disbelief so fervently, and most do so without question or reason. While the stories themselves are simple and already well ingrained in my memory, so much that I should hardly have any reason to actually look at the books themselves, I still pull them out every year as chocolate chip cookies bake in the oven. It wouldn’t be Christmas without The Night Before Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Jolly Christmas Postman, and the books whose titles I can’t remember – especially the story about the mice who want their own little Christmas tree like the big one in the farmhouse and finally get a scrap small enough for their mouse hole after all the animals in the forest have had their piece, too.

I’ll never tire of these books, I know it, and will hopefully always have them to read when Christmas Eve comes around each year. Whether my dad is reading them to me and my brother or I’m reading them aloud to my own children (someday), the magic and wonder of the holiday season will forever be alive in these books. What are the holiday stories that bring you back to your childhood? Which books will never be forgotten and keep the spirit of the season renewing year after year?

One Response to And what to my wondering eyes should appear

  1. Lynn says:

    What has become a tradition for me is to offer to my nieces and nephews, as they get older and begin having children of their own, is a reminder to slow down during the hectic holiday season. Nothing says it better than the two books by Tom Hegg and Warren Hanson, A Cup of Christmas Tea and A Memory of Christmas Tea.

    Have a Happy Holiday, Rachel!

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