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Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Christmas Book Suggestions

This is one of my favorite times of year.  Since I was a kid it's always been a time of fun, magic, and possibilities.  There is a great deal of history and wonderful stories that make up what Christmas is today, but they are often over-looked.  Then there are years where life had gotten to be too much and it was tough to get 'in the spirit' of the season.  Some of these books really gave me a real eye-opening experience during those times.  So here's some of my top Christmas book picks:

The Autobiography of Santa Claus (Click here for the ebook)

The first time I saw this title, I couldn't help but open it and check it out.  Jeff Guinn blends actual history of the real St. Nicholas and the histories of many Christmas traditions today into a fun-filled adventure.    This is by far my favorite Christmas book and a great read for adults and young readers.

Stories Behind The Best Loved Christmas Songs (Click here for the ebook)

So many of the songs we sing during this time of year have amazing stories behind them.  'Silent Night' was originally written as a poem by Father Mohr in the 1800's in Austria.  Just hours before the midnight Mass at St. Nicholas Church, Father Mohr discovered that the organ was broken and would not play.  Repair efforts were futile and he refused to have such an important Mass without beautiful music.  He remembered a poem he wrote and quickly took it to Franz Gruber to put the poem to music for the choir.  'Silent Night' was born as one of the most widely recorded and sung songs of all times.  And that is just one of the many amazing stories behind the music of Christmas in this book.

The Christmas Sweater (Click here for the ebook)

Glenn Beck offers this wonderful tale that reminds us of the truly important things at Christmas.  Twelve year old Eddie wants nothing more than a bike for Christmas.  He and his Mother had lost his Father years before leaving his Mother struggling to provide.  But Christmas was important to her and her parents to spend with Eddie.  Eddie's simple gift of a sweater from his Mother was a disappointment and took him down a wildly twisting path challenging him to see the truly important things in life and Christmas.

Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus

In 1897 8-year old Virginia O'Hanlon wrote the famous question to the editor of New York's Sun newspaper because her Papa says, 'If you see it in THE SUN it's so.'".  Francis Church was charged with responding to this very difficult question to answer especially responding to an 8 year old.  The response is timeless and was published this year as a children's picture book that is beautifully illustrated.  Click here to read the original article in New York's Sun Newspaper from 1897.

'Twas The Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore in 1822 originally wrote the famous poem to entertain his children.  A tradition of writing a Christmas poem each year that he almost forgot.  Submitted by a friend of Moore's to The Troy Sentinel, a local newspaper, the poem was published on December 23, 1823.  It has become perhaps the most popular Christmas poem ever written and the definitive source of many Christmas images today.

What are your favorite Christmas books?
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