|That's me on the right, mesmerized by flames|
1969, Kittanning, Pennsylvania
–Charles Dickens, The Pickwick Papers
Maybe I’m deluded, but Christmastime really does take me back to my early days as a kid who could practically sniff the magic in the air. It swirled like snowflakes, smelled like sugar, and clicked like reindeer hooves. I’m older now and beaten down by stress and anxiety and busy-ness–all needless, senseless temporary things–but I still get a little wispy with nostalgia when I look at these photos which my mother just emailed me.
|1963, Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania|
–Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
|My mother, my brother Jonathan, and me with my stuffed-animal menagerie|
1967, Kittanning, Pennsylvania
Big Christmas Read blog post during Yuletide, describing the seasonal books I put at the front of my reading queue; but this year, I got scrunched for time (see stress, anxiety, busy-ness above) and I back-burnered it into oblivion. Here then, is a brief list of what I read this Christmas season: The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum (the mythology of Saint Nick wrapped in Wizard of Oz-ian sentimentality), Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris (a wicked-funny, scathing indictment of the season’s silly traditions, but which also manages to have a heart as big as post-conversion Grinch and Scrooge combined), The Further Adventures of Ebenezer Scrooge by Charlie Lovett (the reformed Scrooge not only keeps Christmas in his heart all year long, he won’t shut up about it–even in the middle of summer), The Homecoming by Earl Hamner Jr. (the Walton clan worries about patriarch John who is late in returning to his Blue Ridge Mountains home), and Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini (the modern story of a children's choir is interwoven with the Civil War drama of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as he endures hardship, grief, and tries to write the carol “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”). They were all wonderful books which filled me with sugar and snowflakes.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a Christmas dinner to cook and consume.
Wishing you the warmest and brightest of days,
David, your abiding book evangelist