Merry Christmas! Feliz Navidad! Joyeux Noel! Erry-may Istmas-chray! Yes, we did just include Pig Latin in there. Sorry, we may be a little hopped up on sugar from too many Christmas cookies…
Anywayz, on our first Christmas as a Kidsmomo family (aw…), we wanted to celebrate in true kidlit style. So we’ve decided to share excerpts from some of our fave childhood Christmas books. These are the stories we returned to year after year as kids — they’re not all great literature, but they’ll always have special places in our hearts. So without further ado, let’s get on with our first Kidsmomo Christmas!
The first book in the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
First up: the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder — even though we didn’t know each other growing up, both of us were re-reading these books every holiday season!
Ma was busy all day long, cooking good things for Christmas. She baked salt-rising bread and rye’n'Injun bread, and Swedish crackers, and a huge pan of baked beans, with salt pork and molasses. She baked vinegar pies and dried-apple pies, and filled a big jar with cookies, and she let Laura and Mary lick the cake spoon.
Karen says: I LOVE all the food descriptions in the Little House books. I only recently realized that the Ingalls family was always struggling to stretch their little bit of food as far as possible. They must have done a good job of it, because my mouth still waters when I read this stuff!
Pa and Ma and Mr. Edwards sat by the fire and talked about Christmas times back in Tennessee and up north in the Big Woods. But Mary and Laura looked at their beautiful cakes and played with their pennies and drank their water out of their new cups. And little by little they licked and sucked their sticks of candy, till each stick was sharp-pointed on one end.
That was a happy Christmas.
Nancy says: The candy mentioned here is peppermint candy (yum!), but the Little House books also had lots of references to horehound candy, which I’ve always wanted to try (it’s supposed to be minty also). Unfortunately, it’s not really available at the supermarket these days.
The Christmas Dolls by Carol Beach York
Next up: The Christmas Dolls by Carol Beach York — this is part of the Girls of the Good Day Orphanage series:
In a corner of the room, a Christmas tree stood ready to be trimmed, and on the floor beside the tree a box of ornaments was open. Long strands of silver tinsel spilled out over the carpet. The sofa by the fireplace was piled high with angel costumes, their thin white material covering the cushions.
Karen says: I love this image of a warm parlor room, sitting quietly, just waiting to be filled with all the excited girls of the orphanage as they try on their pageant costumes, decorate the tree, play the piano, snack on freshly-baked muffins, and chatter about the upcoming festivities. I still curl up in bed with this book every year at Christmastime.
Molly's Surprise by Valerie Tripp
And now: Molly’s Surprise by Valerie Tripp — this one’s part of the American Girl series:
“Maybe Dad’s present was on a plane that got shot down by the Germans and drowned in the ocean.” … Brad looked up at his mother. “Will the Germans shoot down Santa’s sleigh?”
“Of course not!” said Mrs. McIntire. She rumpled Brad’s hair. “I’m sure Santa will get here safe and sound.”
Nancy says: My favorite part was when they decorated their Christmas tree — something I was “in charge of” when I was younger. And continuing the tradition, I helped my sister pick out her first very own Christmas tree this year!
Sorry to the guys out there that our Christmas picks are all kind of girl-centric. But hey, we were girls when we first read these books, after all.
But don’t worry — after the warm fuzziness of the holiday season is over, we’ll no doubt be back with plenty of zombies, corpses, and body-snatching ghosts to drive those visions of sugar plums right out of your heads. So enjoy those gingerbread men while you can, kiddies! [insert sinister laugh here — we mean, insert sleigh bells?]
— Merry Christmas from Karen and Nancy!