Friday, November 24, 2006

Countdown to Christmas—31 days


As I promised, I’m launching my countdown to Christmas with my favorite Christmas book, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson. I was a new mom 29 years ago when the president of the Alabama Alumni Association, Ann Pritchard, gave Bill a copy of this classic. Sometime in the next few weeks we will sit down and reread the story of the horrible Herdmans and how they and all around them discovered the real meaning of Christmas. I get choked up each time I read the words aloud. If you have kids and have never read this book, rush right out to your bookstore or order it online (paperback and hardcover available at Amazon), and please read it to them. If you don’t have children, please read it anyway to remember why we celebrate this day. It’s short and wet your pants funny. And yes, it’s sweet and sentimental.

An excerpt from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever:

The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world. They lied and stole and smoked cigars (even the girls) and talked dirty and hit little kids and cussed their teachers and took the name of the Lord in vain and set fire to Fred Shoemaker’s old broken-down toolhouse.

The toolhouse burned right down to the ground, and I think that surprised the Herdmans. They set fire to things all the time, but that was the first time they managed to burn down a whole building.

I guess it was an accident. I don’t suppose they woke up that morning and said to one another, “Let’s go burn down Fred Shoemaker’s toolhouse” . . . but maybe they did. After all, it was a Saturday, and not much going on.

9 comments:

cathrina said...

I tried looking for the book but could not find one on the shelf.. hoping to lay my hand on one by the week-end.

Sheila said...

Oh Cathrina, I certainly hope you have better luck with finding the book. Please stop back by and let me know what you think after you read it. The paperback is $5.99 at Amazon. I must admit I have to find our copy and just might have to buy another.

Janey Loree said...

Since Christmas is my favorite time of year, I am always looking for a new story to read! I know the book isn't new, I just have not read it even though I have heard about it. Isn't there a Christmas movice based on the book?

Janey Loree said...

Since Christmas is my favorite time of year, I am always looking for a new story to read! I know the book isn't new, I just have not read it even though I have heard about it. Isn't there a Christmas movie based on the book?

Sheila said...

Janey, there is a made for tv movie I think with Loretta Swit and I can't remember if it is any good or not. This book is a fast read and lots of fun. Another one that my husband likes is Jean Shepard's A Christmas Story. Now I know everyone has probably seen the movie, but Bill says there are a lot of funny stories that were not in the movie version. We nearly always watch this movie at Thanksgiving but didn't this year.

Jay Croft said...

Jean Shepherd's A Christmas Story is great! Yes, there is a lot of stuff in the book that wasn't in the movie. And you get his unique writing style, too!

Sheila said...

Well, now I'm going to have to read A Christmas Story too. I still don't get tired of this story.

Don said...

I wonder if you’re familiar with any of Ruth Kirk’s books (see http://www.jcl.lib.wa.us/about/Ruth%20Kirk.html and numerous other references to her that you can Google if you’re not familiar with her). Note what she says at the very bottom of the page at that link about why to write.

My brother was lifelong friends with Ruth’s deceased husband and he told me years ago that she wrote children’s books, among other things, perhaps including a Christmas book, but I don’t know.

Janey Loree said...

I have to put a plug in for "Twiglet" the Little Christmas Tree! It is a wonderful, new, Christmas story about discoveries, miracles and friendships as experienced by a couple of twins! This is a book that my mother wrote and illustrated along with six contributing family authors. TnT gave us information about the horses, of course. We have a blog dedicated to the book. http://twigletbook.blogspot.com