December 02, 2008

Favorite Things: Christmas Stories

I LOVE this time of year. LOVE it--I love everything about the Christmas season, even (to a lesser extent) the commercialism. I love decorating (the tree gets decorated tonight!), listening to the music, and most of all, reading the stories. Throughout this season, I'm going to share a few of my favorite things, and I'd like you to share right back. A person always needs new traditions!
This has been my favorite Christmas story since I was a little girl--I loved the illustrations, the story--it is a romantic and heartwarming story, and I know this year I am going to just sob. (I'm already a bit on edge whenever I see a new mother story.) I believe it is still out of print--I found my copy for $3 at an antique store that did not know what they had.

The classic, and still champion, Dickens' immortal A Christmas Carol. Mr. Cool becomes Scroogey McGrinch this time of year, but even he consented to letting me read this aloud one year. It sparkles, it moralizes, and (best of all), it is short! If you prefer one of the gazillion movie versions, I love the George C. Scott version, and Scroogey McGrinch likes the Mickey Mouse version. To each his own.

One of my favorite, beloved authors is Connie Willis. If you've never read Connie Willis, start! She is a fabulous science fiction author from Greeley, CO, and she has written one of the best Christmas short stories ever. It's probably in a compilation, but I read it and print it out every year online (ah, the wonderful interwebs). Called "Just Like the Ones We Used to Know," it involves blizzards and overplayed Christmas songs, to which we can all relate.
So what traditional readings do you have this season?

1 comment:

The Coach said...

I hate Christmas music - not carols, mind you, I like those. I hate Mariah Carey, Kenny G, Amy Grant - all of that sappy Christmas crap that makes it all jolly and bright.

On the other hand, I love advent. I love a season of waiting, anticipating for the day - not the constant "Halloween is over, let's party" mood that is so prevalent.

I love seeing how my 2- and 3-year old boys know that the advent calendar bears a surprise each evening, and how all day they're ready to open the next box. I see in them true anticipation of the arrival - that thing that all creation waits for.

Our culture can celebrate Christmas because it doesn't have to be the culmination of advent. But we don't celebrate advent because it points only at one thing.