Forty-nine years ago today my parents said “I do” because they did and that was the beginning of a fantastic journey full of brilliant, simple moments and more love than one house could hold. Forty-nine years ago right now, I believe they were warming up some Pepsi or some such because they’d heard that it was delicious. I tried to wrap my brain around the idea of them, newlyweds, in the kitchen in their little rented home in Valdosta, Georgia standing over the stove with grins they couldn’t wipe off their faces (at least I would imagine so), and I never thought to ask if it was any good.
I would think probably not, since they never made it in the years that I can recall.
That love. Those two people who loved each other, loved others–
I miss them.
They especially loved little ones. And books. I’ve shared before how in the later years they’d choose a special book or two to share around the holidays. As a comfort and way to connect with them after Mama passed on in 2013, I attempted to continue the tradition. Some years it’s been easy to find a book right off. Others it took longer. This year was the latter. Most definitely the latter. I tested some, read lots, but none felt completely right. And again, I found myself drawn to books about trees. Which makes sense really, since going out to Granny’s farm, traipsing through the woods, and finding our very own Christmas tree all those years are some of my favorite holiday memories.
So this year I tried not to pick out a Christmas tree story. That was proving difficult, and I had set this past Wednesday as my personal deadline. Wednesday morning Aub and I sat with a stack of Christmas books and looked through them. Then…..I found it.
I vaguely remembered Mama’s excitement at finding this book a few years back. I thought and dug through my memory banks that I expect are getting to be like what my Granddaddy described as Fibber McGee’s closet, and I kept coming up with my sweet cousin for some reason. So while Aub looked up my Mama’s Amazon account record, I texted my cousin. Sure enough, she’d given it to my cousin a few years ago. Appropriate. Perfect for her actually. However, I was sad. I really love this book!
So I continued searching. Aub left for work, and I started to read on my own. I found two I liked, but I still couldn’t choose. Then it hit me–maybe I should bring my littles in on this year’s choice. They know about the tradition, and as it turns out, they were tickled to help choose.
I think they chose well.
So our Princess, Cooter, and I are thrilled to announce this year’s choice for Maemae’s Christmas book.
It really is perfect. I have such happy memories of Little Golden Books growing up. Those gold edges and perfectly same-sized books–hard covers and beautiful, colorful illustrations–we had quite a few sitting on our book shelf…..waiting to be taken down and read again and again. Some of those same ones grace my shelves now. But not this one. I was thrilled to find it, as I’d not read it before. I love the sweet stories and poems, especially the one about the animals and people’s reactions to “no snow.” But what tickled me the most was Cooter’s reaction to the story about the little squirrel. Read it. See if you can figure out at what moment he said, “UH OH” out loud–concerned that things were about to go awry. I don’t want to spoil it, but that was Cooter’s favorite part of the book.
I highly recommend both of these books. I also recommend the other book (which our Princess especially loved). It is a sweet story of a strong woman who makes a difference in our world with her caring, strength, and ingenuity. A great story not just for the holidays but everyday, right?
I hope your holidays are filled with hours and hours of enjoyment and good books to read, but most importantly, I hope these days are filled with the living out of your own great story.
Love to all.