Today’s post is part of Kailana and Marg’s 2013 Virtual Advent Tour, in which bloggers take turns sharing a holiday-related post each day in December, leading up to Christmas. I participated in 2011, but somehow I missed the tour last year.
This year I want to write about some beloved holiday books from my childhood. It might be a little difficult, because all my books are packed away in storage at the moment. (I moved! But I’m staying with a friend for now. All this is related to why I haven’t blogged since October — eek!) Nevertheless, I’m doing this based on memories, not as full-scale reviews.
Beloved holiday book #1: Jingle Bugs by David A. Carter
This is the book that started my love and collection of pop-up books. I was in second grade the year it came out, and Mrs. Thompson read it to our entire class. With the cute little bugs hiding in Christmas trees and other presents — plus the light-up tree at the end that plays a “Jingle Bugs” tune — this book instantly shot to the top of my Christmas list. My brother gave it to me and its magic captivated me for years. I accumulated other pop-up bug books by Carter, but this one remained the best.
Beloved holiday book #2: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
I discovered this lesser-known by The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author in my middle school library. In it, Santa is an abandoned child raised by a wood nymph. Eventually he must find his own way in the world and grows from carving toys for youngsters to the once-a-year joy bringer we all knew and loved as kids. The fanciful creatures and chance to see Santa as a person with a dynamic history pull you right into this enchanting “history.”
In addition to my first encounter with this book (and subsequent annual readings), I have another special memory about it. Just before Christmas in 2006, when Andrew and were on the verge of dating, he mailed his copy of this book to me. One of our bonds was over continued delight in our imaginations, and it was such a dear gift (plus a much cooler copy than mine) that I donated my copy and never told him I’d read it before! The letter he wrote with it is still in the book, and right now I’m really wishing I had kept it out of from the books that went into storage last month.
What holiday books did you love as a child? Do you have any non-Christmas holiday favorites? Later this week I’ll share two holiday picture books I’ve been digging as an adult. Ones about Ramadan!