I love my childhood memories of my family’s Christmas traditions.
From the decorations to the music to the stories, it all brings about warm feelings of anticipation and togetherness. I hope we have done the same for our kids, giving them sweet memories of childhood Christmases.
And by the way, an absolutely great way to create warm childhood memories of this magical season is with a collection of Christmas books for kids. You can start with just one and let it build year after year.
One small tradition in our family started with a gift that was given to me by a co-worker and friend. She doesn’t have children of her own, but she appreciates children and the childlike feelings of Christmas.
One day we were wrapping gifts together at her house when she handed me a wrapped gift for my two young sons. She said it is a book written by a good friend of hers, Mark Kimball Moulton, and she hoped that our family will love it as much as she does.
I gave the gift to my boys the day before Christmas, and that night we all gathered together in bed, all cozy and warm, with the book in my lap.
I explained that the author is a friend of my friend, and I began to read: The Visit, The Origin of The Night Before Christmas, by Mark Kimball Moulton, illustrated by Susan Winget.
This children’s book is absolutely fantastic.
It is the story of how The Night Before Christmas tale came to be, and it is written in the same verse and meter as the poem itself.
The illustrations are simply gorgeous. In the back of the book is a reproduction of Clement C. Moore’s handwritten poem, in his hand, with his signature. It is dated 1862, the year before his death.
Ever since that year when my friend gave us the book, it has become our tradition late on Christmas Eve to gather in bed, all cozied up with pillows and blankets and dog(s), with this gorgeous book in front of us.
We settle in, all sleepy, as I read the story and the original poem in Moore’s handwriting. Then I close the book, and we all give warm hugs and kisses before heading to sleep in anticipation of Christmas morning.
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night.”