Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!
― Dr. Seuss
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Merry Christmas! I hope you have a safe and festive holiday!
If you visit you’d find no Christmas decorations, cookies, holiday songs in the background, and peppermint scent. (I feel bad for peppermint, since its only time to really shine is December.) If you turn on your radio, you won’t hear Christmas music. After listening for weeks they suddenly cut you off. Personally, I think they should gradually stop the songs. Perhaps just a few Christmas songs every hour.
We spend weeks or maybe months for some individuals preparing for the holidays. We plan meals and return to stores for ingredients we forgot the first time. We hope our best clothes or that
ugly Christmas sweater looks presentable. There’s debate about who should get what. Perhaps even family arguments and conflicts occur with those you hardly see. (We secretly wish they’d perhaps leave the gathering sooner.) Christmas decorations are hung and they soon look part of the room. And the actual event takes place for just a few days.
Most people have traditions during the holiday season whether they realize it or not. Perhaps you spend a weekend picking the perfect Christmas tree in the woods. (I’ve never done that. I’m always reminded of the scene in the movie Christmas Vacation.) Maybe you view Christmas lights all over town. Maybe you cook certain foods only during the holiday. Our hearts pour out with goodness as we donate, share, and give. Traditions and the it’s-Christmas-so-I-must-be-kind feeling makes everything special. The season may be over, but hopefully that cheer and goodness carries throughout the year.
Even though the season may be over, there’s still positive aspects. You can easily get a parking spot and won’t be waiting in long lines at the store. Those annoying Christmas songs vanish. Our schedules are back to normal. There’s no more delicious food to tease us, which we know shouldn’t be eaten.
We may say goodbye to Christmas, but keep that holiday spirit within you throughout the year. If you need a refresher, don’t be afraid to enjoy Christmas music anytime of the year. If you’re lucky maybe you’ve even saved holiday treats in the freezer. It comes just once a year, so hopefully yours was memorable.
I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year.
― Charles Dickens
José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad
written and illustrated by David Diaz
song lyrics by José Feliciano
All Ages, 28 pages
I was excited when I discovered this book at the library, since “Feliz Navidad” is one of my favorite Christmas Songs. (Go ahead and click the video to listen while you read.) In the book, José Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad the reader almost sings along as the lyrics are slowly written on the pages. José Feliciano was born in Puerto Rico and moved to New York at a young age. He wrote “Feliz Navidad” when he was homesick during the Christmas season. Feliciano was born blind, but that didn’t stop this songwriter who won six Grammy Awards with more than sixty-five albums. The book describes a parranda that is a Christmas tradition in Puerto Rico. A parranda is basically a caroling parade when neighbors and friends surprise each other from house to house with small instruments. The festive parade lasts hours and moves through the neighborhood with singing, dancing, and food. At the end, there is a huge feast and cookout often with a roasted pig that brings everyone together. The book was very colorful and festive, which is appropriate for such an upbeat Christmas song.
by Aaron Shepard, illustrated by Wendy Edelson
Ages 8 & up, 32 pages
Van Amsterdam is an honest baker in the Dutch colonial town that later becomes Albany, New York, who gives exactly what his customers pay for. Van Amsterdam was always busy, because people trusted him and his treats were so good. He was especially busy before December 6 to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. The gingerbread cookies painted red and white with a bishop cap are famous throughout town. An old woman enters the store and demands another cookie, but Van Amsterdam isn’t tricked since a dozen is twelve. However, after meeting the old woman everything goes wrong in his bakery and no customers enter his bakery. Van Amsterdam has a dream that Saint Nicholas himself gave him one of his own cookies but realizes that it was the old woman. He awakes and realizes that he can give his customers more. Van Amsterdam is determined to get his customers back as he bakes many Saint Nicholas cookies. The old woman enters and she’s pleased when the baker hands her thirteen cookies instead of a twelve.
What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
― Dr. Seuss (How the Grinch Stole Christmas!)