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Inside you'll find:
· Gospel stories, including those of St. Luke and St. Matthew.
· Poetry of William Shakespeare, John Milton, Robert Frost, Clement Clarke Moore, Ogden Nash, W. H. Auden, and Lewis Carroll.
· Stories from Louisa May Alcott, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, O. Henry, Langston Hughes, Norman Vincent Peale, Lincoln Steffens, and Selma Lagerlof.
· Christmas lore from Dorothy Thompson, Norman Vincent Peale, and Francis P. Church.
· Carols galore including "O Little Town of Bethlehem," "Silent Night," "The First Noel," "Joy to the World," and "The Twelve Days of Christmas."
· The best holiday recipes, including New England Eggnog, Classic Sugar Cookies, Hot Chocolate with Peppermint Sticks, A Brownie Christmas Tree, Swedish Gingerbread Cookies, Refrigerator Cookies, and Scandinavian Glogg.
My Christmas' have done a lot of evolving over the years. When I was very little growing up in Sweden, they were a formal affair. Only the immediate family attended, food was served on silver, the tree was filled with real burning candles, and my grandmother made hard caramel candies in little paper cups. When I was three years old we moved to Los Angeles, and my mother tried to recreate Sweden in our home. But I knew we were in America when the actor, Audie Murphy, dressed up as Santa and walked up our driveway through a cluster of orange and grapefruit groves. We welcomed him with warm saffron bread.
These days Christmas is still filled with candles and dinner is still served on my grandmother's china. My mother arranged the Nativity for my children as she had done for me and my brothers, and now my eldest daughter, Natasha, continues the tradition. Traditional Swedish favorites like gingerbread cookies, and meatballs with lingonberries still dominate the menu. And children are still central. It takes us all (kids and grownups!) almost two days to bake the cookies--days during which Christmas carols and the smell of simmering glogg fill the house.
But now, friends join family for an ever-larger Christmas Eve celebration. Tiny, colored lights illumination the tree, and we have added a gift grab-bag. Each of our guests brings an inexpensive (but creatively chosen) present, and these are the gifts we unwrap and fight over (amidst laughter) before dessert. On Christmas morning, we do stockings.
Through my younger daughter Katrina's marriage to Matty, we have also discovered the ritual of caroling. Every year at her in-laws we join theirfamily and friends to sing. This is a simple, loving evening, as much about music as it is about Christmas. And what beautiful music it is.
Holidays grow and change as we do. My daughters' Christmases are not the same as mine were, and my grandchildren's will doubtless be different still. But as we add and subtract transitions, I doubt we will ever lose the heart of Christmas. This collection of stories, carols, poems, and recipes speaks from and to that heart. From the quiet and awe we feel listenitig to St. Matthew, to the tears we shed reading The Birds'Christmas Carol, or the laughter we, share decorating our brilliant (or not so brilliant) cookies, this book is about being together, about peace and love, and ahout joy. These are the rituals my family carries and protectively passes down from generation to generation.
-From my family to yours, Lena TaboriThe Little Big Book Of Christmas. Copyright © by Lena Tabori. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Posted October 12, 2007
One of my girlfriends gave this book to me and I loved it. A lot of stories, songs ,poems and many more surprises. A book to share with the whole family. I have also given it to my friends and family as well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.