Part 2 in a 25 Part Series: Maryann's Favorite Christmas Things


Growing up when my family would bring out our Christmas decorations we'd also bring out our collection of children's Christmas books.  In my never-ending quest for nostalgia, I've spent hours on the internet looking for the books I remember us having.  I e-mailed my parents to ask if we kept the books in the move from my childhood home (fingers crossed so I can avoid spending a small fortune on Ebay), but these are what I could remember from memory:

1. Peter Spier's Christmas! 
2. The Nutcracker: A Pop-Up Book by Jenni Fleetwood and E.T.A. Hoffmann with illustrations by Phillida Gili and Paul Wilgress
3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (may the movie never be shown in my presence again)
4. The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Diane Goode
5. Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico by Marie Hall Ets and Aurora Labastida
6. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad by Mercer Mayer
7. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by Leonard Weisgard
8. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (this movie MAY be shown in presence)
9. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May, adapted by Barbara Shook Hazen with illustrated by Richard Scarry
10. The Christmas Story by Jane Werner Watson with illustrations by Eloise Wilkin
11. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by James Marshall
12. The Christmas Day Kitten by James Herriot with illustrations by Ruth Brown
13. The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree by Amye Rosenberg
14. The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore with illustrations by Corinne Malvern
15. The Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

If you forced me to pick my top 3 favorites from this list, I would choose Peter Spier's Christmas!, Nine Days to Christmas, and the Leonard Wiesgard Night Before Christmas.  If you have children, or plan to have children, or have ever met a child, or have merely seen a photo of one, buy these books.  Do it. Or I SUPPOSE you could get them from your local library, and just make a point of checking them out EVERY YEAR for your child so that they can leave an indelible impression.  Even though I work at a library, I am a HUGE proponent of buying books.  Especially in the name of nostalgia.  Isn't that a great word?  Nostaaaalgia.  It almost sounds like it's whisking you away to memories merely by saying it.

Of course excellent books exist that I did NOT own as a child, but as an adult who enjoys children's books, I sure would like to.  Here are a few of them:

1. A Christmas Story by Brian Wildsmith
2. The Night Before Christmas: A Classic Illustrated Edition by Clement C. Moore and compiled by Cooper Edens
3. The Legend of St. Nicholas by Demi
4. The Twenty-Four Days Before Christmas by Madeleine L'Engle with illustrations by Jill Weber (we actually did own a copy of this but it had this cover and it made it look like some kind of depressing Very Brady Christmas where people get trapped under buildings and stuff.  Not that people don't have near-death experiences in L'Engle books, it's just I never pictured the Austin family looking like that so I always rejected this edition of the book, and to this day have never read the story even though I've read most other Austin Family stories.)
5. Home for Christmas by Jan Brett (we totally owned The Wild Christmas Reindeer, but I didn't include it in my first collage because I'm planning on saving it for a different 25 Things post.)
6. A Christmas Book by Svend Otto Sorensen
7. The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren
8. The Story of Holly and Ivy by Rumer Godden with illustrations by Barbara Cooney
9. How God Decorates Heaven for Christmas by Ron Mehl and Melody Carlson with decorations by Lynn Bredeson
10. The Birds of Bethlehem by Tomie dePaola
11. The Story of Christmas by Pamela Dalton 
12. The Twelve Days of Christmas by Laurel Long
13. The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree in the World (A Christmas Story for Children) by Leonard Weisgard
14. Letters From Father Christmas by J.R.R. Tolkien

If I could pick 3 I want the MOST from this collection, it would be Letters From Father Christmas, The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree in the World, and The Legend of St. Nicholas.

One of the ways to make yourself happier in The Happiness Project was to curate collections of things.  My family had many Christmas collections, from ornaments to CDs to silver bells.  Our Christmas book collection was one of my favorites.  I plan to expand it, and if needed, recreate it.

1 comment:

jonathan edmund said...

I agree on the "Never show The Polar Express film in my presence ever again" note. Ugh.