Saturday, December 12, 2009

CORA Diversity Roll Call: Celebrating the Holidays

December is a busy month. I try not to stress despite how hectic it can get. I love Christmas. I love the holidays and everything I associate with them. If there is a time when I cling to the nostalgic, it's this time of year. For CORA Diversity Roll Call, I asked participants to address one or more of the following:

1) Favorite children holiday books from your childhood
2) Favorite children holiday books your own children love
3) New holiday books you've discovered
4) Recommend holiday books that celebrate Hanukkah, Eid, Kwaanza,Winter Soltice, Tet, Festival of Lights, any holiday celebrated between late November through January.
5) Stuck, tell us what kind of book you’re looking for to give someone
6) Tell us what’s on your own wish list.

There's an ad, I can't remember what it was for, but it was about the strange, seemingly minor things kids remember from their childhoods like having a quirky dinner once or when a parent did something pretty whacky; the ad reminded me of what events are most vivid for me from my childhood. We didn't have a lot of traditions in my family, and we had few regular activities we did as a family. Of the few though, I remember how my parents made a big deal of Christmas. It was magic for us when we were kids. I mean pure magic.

As a parent, I had every intention of creating traditions, doing more family activities, but I am my parents' child. Sometimes I feel guilty that I don't do more but there's one new tradition I did create for my children and that was giving them books for Christmas. Every year among toys and clothes there were books.

There is one book I've shared with both my girls who are a decade apart, Elijah's Angel by Michael Rosen that's pretty special. I'm sure if you asked my daughters what books did their mother read to them, this would be one. It's a story about friendship and culture. It's about holidays and sharing. For me and my girls, it was also an introduction to folk art.

I suspect I might love this book more than my girls (I'm going to ask them) because like the kid in the ad, it ties me to a specific time and place with my daughters. It reminds me of something special I shared with them. It reminds me of a time when I felt at ease being mommy and getting something right. We still have the book even though one daughter is grown and another is busy being a teen.

What books are special for you and your family this time of year? If you write a post about it, please drop us a link at Color Online.

Elijah's Angels by Michael Rosen. Illustrator, Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson. Harcourt Children's Books. 1992

Michael and Elijah are friends, but when Elijah gives Michael one of his special carved angels, Michael doesn’t know what to do. How can he possibly take home a Christmas angel, a forbidden graven image--especially on Chanukah? “A strikingly illustrated story that tenderly bridges the boundaries of age, race, and religion.


zettaelliott said...

I'm going to look for this mother's sending me the tattered Xmas book she bought for us in the 1970s...will post my roll call soon!

Jessie Carty said...

i tried to just empty my mind and think of holiday memories especially as related to books and for some reason the first thing that popped into mind was my father pretending to read "The Night Before Christmas" but with his own slightly naughty version (yeah we were somewhat dysfunctional-or a lot dysfunctional. who knows!)

i'm so glad people give books because i asked for them every year but only my mother would ever buy them for me everyone else would say -you read too much, here is a toy!

susan said...

Read too much?! Blasphemy. Who can have too many books. You're right your family is dysfunctional. lol