Welcome to my turn on the Virtual Advent Tour! Come in, come in. Today I would like to talk about books for Christmas.
My earliest book I still have with me, is this one: The Blue Bird, adapted by Jan Vladislav, from the original story by Marie d'Aulnoy. I originally posted about this book here, in a post about some of my favourite books. What I want to share with you
today as part of my virtual tour, is the inscription:
Whenever I look at the inscription from my mother, in this most special of books still left from my childhood, I feel such a deep love and gratitude - for her, for Christmas, and for books. I was 7 years old when I received this book. It is now damaged, from many years and places lived in, and minus the dust jacket, but it is still one of the most precious gifts - because it was from my mother, and because I love the fairy tale itself. This is part of what makes Christmas such a wonderful time for me, because we never know what will become a keepsake or a special memory. It's a chance to give to the ones we love, and out of that, we never know what will become treasured by them.
Even I don't inscribe inside the covers of books any more, as I never know if my children or nieces or nephews will keep the books. I did before, before computers and e-books and the huge availability of books now. Sometimes I wonder if I should, or if this time is long gone now. I think it depends on whether we view books as disposable or not.
Another thing about getting books as presents that I wanted to talk about here is about that moment when you first open the gift paper and see the book beneath. What fun and excitement! What book will it be? And then get the chance to sit among the wrapping paper and everything fading as you open the cover and glance at the first page, and suddenly everyone is calling your name because in the midst of the Christmas mayhem of opening presents, you disappeared for a moment into the book. Isn't that one of the best moments of Christmas? It is, for me.
Then later on, now as an adult (because as a child you can read throughout the day), when everything is done - the wrapping put away, presents tidied up, Christmas meal over, and if you are lucky and at home, you can sit down in your favourite chair, with a glass or cup of your favourite beverage, and open your new book again. Young or old, this has been one of my most favourite moments and deepest pleasures of every Christmas. Reading a new book. Holding it in my hands, and the deep pleasure and joy of settling in to read. The lights on the tree, the dark night outside, and everyone else playing with their new things (or safely tucked in for the night).
For me, Christmas and books is inextricably linked. Is it the same for all of who love books, I wonder? I think it is. That moment of picking up the present and knowing it is a book, is etched into my mind. I always wanted a book under the tree, and if ever there wasn't one, I was always secretly disappointed. I am hoping that my children will develop into lifelong readers (my eldest has now,), in part because every year I give them books for Christmas, just like my mother gave to me when I was growing up.
So, this is what I wanted to share this year on the Virtual Advent Tour. In past years, I have written about making ginger cookies with my daughter, the Winter Solstice, and last year, alot of our traditions with our kids. ( I missed 2010 because I'd fallen and received a concussion, and didn't post for most of the month of December). I thank Kailana at The Written World and Marg at The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader for hosting this very fun tour. I love seeing what everyone writes for Christmas, each year.
And it snowed today:
Today, it feels like Christmas:
and if you look very closely, you will see the sparrows under the bird feeder. The squirrel empties the feeder and the sparrows come and cluster on the ground. Seeing snow makes me feel like Christmas (at least in December), and it's looking a lot like Christmas today......Happy holidays to all of you, dear book bloggers. I hope you find yourselves getting lost in a good book over the holidays, too.
***Edited to add: Oh my, I forgot to add the other two bloggers who are sharing this day in the Advent Tour with me.
Suey at It's All About Books has a fun one about a local singer made good
Robin at A Fondness for Reading has a lovely one about her students and children at this time of year.