Wednesday, December 9, 2015

HOLIDAYS IN BOOKS: Christmas Comforts

Today, let's welcome Emery from The Book Haven. She is here to tell us about some Christmas Comforts

Few things hold the magic of childhood like Christmas. Perhaps that is why it is the only occasion on which I find myself craving books I have read (and had read to me) countless times. I am not a re-reader the rest of the year, but the holidays just would not be the same without the joy of a simple Christmas story. They remind me that people can be good to each other and that love can outweigh hate, even in a world as divided as ours.

Here are some of the ones I return to each year: 

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree
Robert Barry​​
My mom was part of the weekly reader program as child, and one of the books she received was Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree. The pages are separating at the seams and coming unglued from the spine, but it only adds character. Mr. Willowby finds himself the owner of a Christmas tree that is just a bit too tall for his grand foyer. Though wealthy, Willowby is no scrooge; he gives the top of his tree to his maid. What follows is a simple story of the power of generosity, and how one person’s waste can bring joy to those who have little. 
Santa Calls
William Joyce

​​This may be my favorite Christmas book of all time. Art Atchison Aimesworth and his friend Spaulding are eager to take Santa up on his invitation to visit him, but Art’s little sister threatens to spoil their great adventure if they don’t take her along. The three set out on the Yuletide Flyer, and arrive at the North Pole only to find that Santa is in trouble. The dark elves and their queen are threatening Christmas and all that it stands for. It is up to Art, Spaulding and Esther to save the day, and their greatest weapon is candy. Though Santa Calls is an illustrated children’s book, the story is so original and fun that it captivates me still. Joyce will leave you checking for letters from Santa and dreaming up ways to build your own Yuletide Flyer.

A Christmas Memory
Truman Capote

Capote’s short story represents a deviation from the rest of this list. Not only is it a bit more somber, it is semi- autobiographical and doesn’t quite fit any particular age group, though the version I have is beautifully illustrated. Like Capote, I am a native Alabamian. I find it easy to lose myself in the woods while he and his much older cousin pick pecans and collect Christmas decorations; I can smell the whiskey in the fruitcake they make. The unlikely relationship that is forged between Capote and his cousin is as beautiful as it is unlikely. In her, he finds a kindred soul and an ally against the other family housemates, who are stuffy and seem to have forgotten the magic that Christmas brings. A Christmas Memory is a poignant reminder that we can be children long after childhood, and that just maybe, that is not such a bad thing.

1 comment :

  1. I have not heard of any of these stories! Thanks for sharing!


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