Stories raise Christmas spirits—December 9, 2011
The kids have had a nasty twitch for a few weeks now, haven’t they? And the store windows are full of temptations for kids and parents alike. Santa Claus is the big guy about town now and he’s everywhere! The generous ol’ elf spreads happiness wherever he goes. His predecessor was a bishop named Nicholas who lived centuries ago. Sometime after his death, he became known as St. Nicholas because of his selflessness and love of children among other benevolent traits. Both Santa and St. Nicholas spread joy and goodwill.
Most of us have the Christmas spirit buried somewhere in the chaos of our daily lives. This time of year is a good time to allow those feelings to shine on our faces and in our hearts. There are so many inspirational stories to share with your children, the ones which remind us of the true meaning of Christmas. My favorite is “The Christmas Apple” which is included in a collection of stories titled “A Newbery Christmas”. A beautifully illustrated book, “Only a Star” by Margery Facklam, tells what nature contributed to the miracle of Christ’s birth. “The Christmas Donkey” is about the transformation of a rebellious donkey as he grew to understand the goodness of the Holy Family. Marcus Pfister’s “The Christmas Star”, complete with his usual iridescent filled illustrations, tells how the Magi found Jesus.
“December”, a touching story by Eve Bunting, is about a homeless mother and her son. Feeling cold and being hungry didn’t stop them from offering refuge to someone who needed it. Their reward was one of the miracles of Christmas.
Patricia Polacco wrote “An Orange for Frankie”. The Christmas Spirit is alive and well in this story of unconditional love and acceptance. Although the family in this tale has very little, they happily share what they have with a group of cold hungry men. Their generosity and forgiveness shines through when they all share their meager Christmas treats with a disobedient younger sibling.
“Santa’s Prayer: A Story”, by Tom Roberts, shows Santa in prayerful adoration over the newborn Christ child. It is a glowing, touching scene….a perfect, silent picture of a true Christmas.
“The Candymaker’s Gift, The Inspirational Legend of the Candy Cane”, written and illustrated by David and Helen Haidle is a favorite for the symbolism of Jesus. There are also various crafts using candy canes to remind us of the story.
Here’s wishing everyone a stress free Christmas filled with blessings and joy.