27 November 2009

City sidewalks, busy sidewalks dressed in holiday style

It's the official Curmudgeons Admit The Start Of The Christmas Season day. I can't lie, I love the trappings, looking in windows of stores where I never shop and inhaling peppermint bark and watching the Claymation Christmas Special for the 475th time (and doing the latter two things sacked out on the couch with my siblings, reminiscing about the year the twins were young enough to fit into their stockings, or the year my sister got sick and begged for a Chia Pet, or the year my dad kept pulling relatives aside during dinner to watch "A Special Christmas Box").

One of the holiday chores we would typically be doing the day after Thanksgiving is getting out the box of Christmas movies and books. I try to re-read David Sedaris' HOLIDAYS ON ICE and the first two chapters of LITTLE WOMEN every year. For picture books you can't go wrong with HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS (best read aloud in Boris Karloff voice), THE POLAR EXPRESS or the edition of THE NUTCRACKER with the almost-too-scary Sendak illustrations in it. What's your favorite holiday book?

(Sorry this list is so Christmas-centric; despite working in a hillel I don't know of any Hanukkah books. Please pitch in and correct my ignorance.)

Since today is also Buy Nothing Day, here are the free full texts of "The Gift of the Magi" and A CHRISTMAS CAROL; you can also listen to Sedaris' "Santaland Diaries" radio pieces (my first ever exposure to him) here.

Still from "Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas": GeekUSA


Elizabeth said...

My favorite Christmas book is THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER, but A CHRISTMAS CAROL of course is also a classic.

THE GREAT LATKE-HAMANTASH DEBATE collection is sort of like a Hanukkah book, in that it involves latkes.

Or perhaps not: THE LATKE WHO COULDN'T STOP SCREAMING also (presumably: I haven't actually read it) involves latkes, but is a Christmas story.

Nonickname said...

Any children's Christmas books written and illustrated by Jan Brett. Her Swedish books about Tomtens are particularly good.

Marjorie said...

THE LATKE WHO COULDN'T STOP SCREAMING is actually pretty great. Part of the reason the latke keeps screaming is because the Christmas tree, candy cane, etc. keep asking him what kind of Christmas food he is, and of course he is a Hanukkah food, and WHY DON'T THEY UNDERSTAND. I would definitely call it a Hanukkah story (or at any rate a Hanukkah story for those surrounded by celebrators of Christmas) rather than a straight-up Christmas story.

I worked on this book, so not a disinterested opinion, but I think HANUKKAH HAIKU is pretty awesome.

Ellen said...

Elizabeth: I didn't know there was a book, but traditionally every year my former place of work would host a Latke-Hamantaschen debate.

Moonaroo, I think we have some of those Jan Brett books at home! I should look next time.

Elizabeth said...
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Elizabeth said...


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