Tuesday, November 27, 2007

2nd Annual Christmas Countdown--28 Days

I’m a little late getting started with the Christmas Countdown. My spirits are a bit down and maybe thinking about this wonderful season will help. Bear with me long-time readers if I repeat myself, but I’m sure there will be plenty new to write about. However, for the first post, I am reprinting last year's kickoff. Here it is:


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 30 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 those 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.

11 comments:

Marsha said...

I am sorry to hear you are feeling a bit down. Sending good thoughts and thanks for the quote, I am going to have to go and read that book. I wonder if Lily would sit still and listen to a chapter book. Oh, I crack myself up, Lily has trouble sometimes sitting still for books that have more than one word on a page. Unless she knows the book by heart and is telling me the story.

Lorelei said...

I'm sorry too to hear you're feeling down. I will have to go check out this book. Thanks for the tip!

Sheila said...

Thank you for the visit. We truly have more in common than our names! I am also a transplant from Alabama, lol (Northern area, Bridgeport), although I have lived in TN for 20 something years. I loved visit here, I will definetly be back. Thanks for the nice comments, have a blessed day!!!
Smile,
Sheila

Marion said...

Lol! "After all, it was a Saturday, and not much going on."

I love the writing in this book, it is truly bust a gut funny!

It's kind of that time of year to feel down, for me, because of death anniversaries. It's so hard to be joyful, at times, when the difficult memories hit. The days of December are like a roller coaster ride.

You've just had Thanksgiving...and now it's back to the same old. Pamper yourself for a few days, Sheila...you'll soon find your oomph again!

Sarge Charlie said...

Just kidding over at my place, I put up a new one, just to be fair and balanced.

Sheila said...

Marsha,
I hope Miss Lily will give it a shot. I don't know. Maybe this book is too old for some kids these days. I just remember doing the Christmas pageants like the one here, but nothing like this story ever happened. On the positive side, it is a short book.

Lorelei,
Thanks for your thoughts. I don't know if you'll have time with all that's going on, but the book always lifts my spirits.

New Sheila,
I am so happy you could stop by. Funny we share the Alabama connection. See, I just think we are all connected if we look hard enough. I'll be visiting again when I can.

Oh Marion,
You are one of those bloggers I wish was an in person friend instead of the cyber kind since you always know just the right thing to say. Yes, what you say about the anniversaries is true and I just don't know how to get around the sadness. Maybe for you welcoming Graydon to his first Christmas will bring joy.

Sarge,
I will have to check it out. Glad someone is fair and balanced. I love visiting you even if you are a Republican.

floridagirl said...

All of us women at work were talking about how the holidays bring mixed emotions- two of us stood here last week and shared our saddest Christmas memories. We both started crying! Then yesterday another lady told me how sad her Thanksgiving was--it is a difficult time of year! Hang in there! I love reading your blog and will also continue in spite of the Republican thing... ha ha

Joe said...

Sadly, I must admit that I had never heard of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever," but just from reading the excerpt you posted, I know I will be reading it this year...

Sorry to hear you have been down. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, despite the whole republican thing... :-)

Sheila said...

floridagirl,
I know the holidays are hard for a lot of people. I have a cousin who always spends the holidays with family but it's so hard for her since she lost her son and this last year, her husband--painful and bittersweet memories of past times I'm sure.

Joe,
If you read the book, will you please tell me what you think? I do truly love it and want to share it with as many people as I can, but you know we each find books that touch us more than others.

And about the Republican thing: Old
Sarge was gently being teased since he is a rather opinionated fellow and I suspect a rather strong Republican just as I am rather opinionated and a Democrat. We are odd bedfellows in that we both can't stand Hillary Clinton. Go figure.

Anyway, I love you Republican readers and welcome all as long as they are not nasty like some can be.

KJ said...

Hey, countdowns can be very distracting! I need a countdown right now, myself. When I pray about my situation today, I will throw in a good one for you, too!

Also, I posted a reply to your Long Beach comment if you have a moment to check it out on my blog.

Oh happy day!
KJ

KJ said...

This excerpt is classic!!! I have never read this book before. I am anxious to see where this goes. Maybe, just maybe, I will need to check this book out!

KJ