Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas stories

Oh my word. It's been one heck of a week. Actually one heck of a month. I cannot believe it is December. Gradually through all the Thanksgiving festivities and house-guests and visitors our house has transformed into Christmas and we've begun one of our favorite traditions of reading a Christmas story under the Christmas tree each night, bathed in the warm light of the twinkling Christmas lights.

I realized something this year on the second night of reading: my kids like to see me cry.

I'll explain. The first night we read "The Gift of The Maji." Of course, I couldn't get through it without tears streaming down my cheeks (that one always gets me...and I'm really not that emotional...it's just one heck of a good story). So the second night Grace begged for "On Christmas Day in the Morning" (another favorite). I told her to pick a different story because that one made me cry too much. She looked up at me with her bright little grin as she snuggled in close and told me she wanted me to cry.

I think part of that emotion that comes through when I read things that touch me gets through to them. And I'm glad.

So, I'm setting myself up for lots of crying this month...and snuggling. Amidst the craziness.

That's why I love that tradition so much. It makes us "be still" in the whirlwind.

**edit: Lest you think that just because we had a few "perfect" nights with this tradition that it means it goes down smooth all the time, read Grace's comment (really mine) in the comments. I'd paste it here but my computer's not working right tonight.


  1. What a sweet little glimpse into your Christmas tradition :) I had not heard of the 2nd book you mentioned. Is that by Pearl S. Buck (which is what I found looking on Amazon)?

  2. We have a set of stories like that that make me cry every time. My kids are getting old enough to be able to discuss the lessons of the stories. I love this tradition!

  3. What a great tradition. I may have to copy that one. :)
    Not a Christmas story - but have you read "Mommy, Do I Have To Go On A Mission" ??? Tears - everytime. It's great.

  4. Yes it's by Pearl S. Buck. Such a great story.

  5. Shawni: those books always make me cry too - and my kids love it in an uncomfortable sort of way.

    The other book that always makes me cry (though not a Christmas book) is Fanny's Dream. Every time one of my kids picks it, the others say, "Oh great, now Mom is going to cry again." Oh well.

  6. What a great tradition! My family loves to see me cry too! Especially my husband! I guess we bawl babies are just more spiritualy intuned! Cute pictures of your family as always!

  7. Okay. I will cry more.

    We have tried that tradition many times but we are never home together at night with some at bball, some YW, Scouts, piano, play rehearsal....and on and on...

    No more excuses. They would love it.

  8. Yes Heather, I should have mentioned that we can't read EVERY night. There's stuff going on that we can't change to all be together. Sometimes it's just me and the little girls. Sometimes it doesn't happen. But we try, and to me, that's good enough. AND I must add that it's not always this magical sweet moment...not when Gracie is upside down sticking her feet in Elle's face and Claire's un-decorating the Christmas tree and Lucy's howling about something or other in the background...you get the picture. But, we try. And it's all worth it.

  9. oops, that darn Grace. She's always signed in on my computer these days. It's really me, Shawni.


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