Monday, December 14, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

"Do you have seasonal re-reads or re-watches?" 

by Meredith Cole

The holidays are about rituals for me. I bake the same cookies, we hang up the same decorations (with a few added each year), sing the same carols, take a photo of our cat in his favorite spot under the tree and watch "The Grinch That Stole Christmas." It wouldn't really feel like the holidays without any of it.

My parents are not particularly religious, so going to church was never part of the holiday for me. But every Christmas Eve we gather together in the living room and take turns reading our favorite holiday stories and singing carols. Occasionally it's just a Christmas chapter from a beloved classic. And the ones I remember best are the stories that would have us laughing so hard that we'd cry and have to pass the book around so someone else could finish the chapter for us.

--Belles on Their Toes ("Ashtray Christmas") by Frank B. Gilbreth and ‎Ernestine Gilbreth Carey
If you've never read Cheaper by the Dozen or Belles on Their Toes, I highly recommend them both. They're witty and well-written and not as sentimental as the films. Belles on Their Toes is definitely more serious. But the chapter where one of the youngest brothers decides he's old enough to buy presents for everyone is absolutely hilarious.

--Santaland Diaries ("Santa's Helper) by David Sedaris
Not really a classic--at least not yet. But will make you look at Santa's crew at the mall in a whole new light. After a stint running a Christmas tree stand, my brother found this essay particularly hysterical.

--Little House on the Prairie ("Mr. Edwards Meets Santa Claus") by Laura Ingalls Wilder
A neighbor fights his way through a flood to make sure that two little girls get Christmas presents from Santa Claus. A sweet story, and one that's a good reminder to enjoy what's truly meaningful about the holidays (rather than get sucked into all the commercialism).

--And Now We are Six, King John's Christmas by A.A. Milne
A king, who should have everything, longs for a simple gift from Father Christmas. Both sweet and funny. What could be better during the holidays?

Happy Reading (and Happy Holidays) everyone!


Paul D. Marks said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Meredith. And Happy Holidays to you and your family too!


Art Taylor said...

Great post—and great question for the holiday season! I'm gearing up already.

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks for stopping by Art and Paul! I'm looking forward to getting more holiday ideas from the Criminal Minds crew...

RJ Harlick said...

A delightful list of Christmas tales, Meredith. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. See you in 2016.

Susan C Shea said...

Wonderful reminders of some old-fashioned, beautifully written gems. I'm going to track a few of them down right now. Thanks - and Merry Christmas!

Meredith Cole said...

Thanks RJ and Susan! Have a wonderful holiday, too!