Editor’s Note – 12/6/2011 ~ Originally published last week, this post was the first installment of what I hoped to be a Christmas story each day for 25 days through Christmas. Unfortunately, I’ve worked all weekend to try scanning the pages of stories while avoiding tearing the book up. The book is too old and I’m damaging it for this series. So, in order to keep the book, I have to give up the series. I’m sorry about that. If I find a way to utilize the book without cracking the spine completely up, I’ll try again. Thanks, RDK
(Originally published the last week of November, 2011) Editor’s note -True story: I’ve had this post waiting as a “draft” since December, 2010. I can’t tell you how many times I had to try scanning this book to get it right! ~ RDK
If books could talk, this one would say, “I am not as young as I used to be, but certainly not as old as some.”
This is a 1954 Whitman Publishing Company “Giant Book” and was “planned for the whole family’s Christmas pleasure. The stories and poems have been selected by the Children’s Book Committee of the Child Study Association to the meet the many interests within a family group.”
How about that?
As young children, my brother and I were read Christmas stories from this book. Then, we read the stories on our own. Yellowed and cracking, the pages are in really rough shape, and the spine has been reinforced by thick fabric-based tape.
Since today is December 1st, I thought I would write a short daily series on 25 of the stories within this book. Some may be funny, some may be literary analysis, and some may be reflective. But all of them will be written immediately after I re-read a selection from my childhood, some 40 years ago.
Day 1: “Who Is Santa Claus?” by Verna Hills
Well, I’m already smitten.
Reading this story was like listening to the dialogue and vernacular of a Shirley Temple movie, or perhaps a family television show from the 50s and 60s.
There are rainbows in the sky, conversations are optimistic, and there’s always a moral.
The moral of this particular story? Santa Claus can be anyone who brings joy to someone during Christmas…and even, perhaps, a parent.
I’ve scanned and imported the pages if you’d like the read the story for yourself. My favorite section has to be when Martin’s friend Judy comes over to help make Christmas cards and they “took out [the] paste”! PASTE! I love that word!
I remember a young boy in my first grade class who used to eat his paste and eventually he could only access the contraband under strict rationing orders from our teacher. I hope you enjoy the story as much as I did – and, remember…Santa Claus might be ANYONE you run into during this time of the year.
P.S. Just click on the photos to make them larger….
Other works about childhood literature at links below…