Four Favorite Christmas Books
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
- The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
- Red Ranger Came Calling by Berkeley Breathed
- Jolly Old Santa Claus by Alice Leedy Mason and George Hinke
- The Forgotten Carols by Michael McLean
- Home for Christmas by Amy Grant
- The Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky
- A Christmas Story ("you'll shoot you're eye out kid!")
- Elf (with Will Farrell)
Christmas was always a crazy time around the house growing up. All five of us kids were running crazy making messes and mom was trying to keep up with us and try to get her Christmas shopping, menus, decorations, visiting, etc. done. As I know now this is not an easy task. One Christmas everything was going haywire, dad was having a particularly busy work schedule (as a Realtor you take it when you can get it!) and was Bishop at church and no one had been able to get around to getting the Christmas tree yet.
School had just gotten out for the break and my brother, Heath, who was 13 months younger than me, decided it was time to take matters into our own hands. "We're going to go cut down a tree" he told me as he dragged me out of the house up to the wooded lot at the end of the street. We spent about an hour kicking around the property looking for the perfect tree. We decided the best looking tree was the top half of one of the Douglas firs that densely covered the lot. It had a thin trunk and sparse branches but it was the best. Heath cut it down and cut it in half and we dragged it home.
The next few hours were spent setting up the tree: fitting it into the stand, trimming it with lights, trying to get the ornaments to stay on the limp branches. When we stood back to take a look at our lovely tree mom pointed out that it looked just like the tree on the Charlie Brown movie--it was perfect!
Perfect, but not the end of the story. Remember in the Charlie Brown Christmas story how the tree becomes a big full Christmas tree on Christmas morning? Well, so did ours! On Christmas Eve my dad took me out to Best Department store to pick up a surprise for the family. Fake Christmas trees had gone on a last minute clearance there and it was his goal to get the biggest, fattest, most beautiful fake tree for the best price possible (where did you think I got my fragality from?!) and we did. It was a lovely tree with deep green paper needles, full fluffy branches. It stood 8 feet tall and 5 feet wide.
After the kids were in bed that night and mom was sequestered in her bedroom wrapping presents dad and I lugged the gigantic box into the house and began building the new tree carefully moving our Charlie Brown Christmas tree to the back room first.
It was so fun to see the little kids eyes the next morning as they circled the new beautiful tree decked out tip to trunk with our favorite ornaments and stuffed below with gifts galore. That was the best Christmas ever!