Every Christmas, my parents would give me at least one, usually several, books for Christmas. While the toys were always the most exciting presents to open, in the end I loved the books the most. My best memories of Christmas days past are curling up in a chair mid-afternoon, sometimes surrounded by pieces of wrapping paper and ribbon, and reading my new book (or books) for hours on end.
I just took a quick walk around my bookshelves and found a dozen of these Christmas books. My personal library has been shrinking over the years, now that I’ve discovered the joy of less to dust and money from used book stores, but I have never, ever sold one of my Christmas books. Here are the dozen I found this morning, with the inscriptions in them:
A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson, with pictures by Tasha Tudor: Love to Abby from Mom & Dad Christmas 1973 [also signed by Tasha Tudor to me]
Father Christmas Goes on Holiday by Raymond Briggs: Love to Abby from Mom & Dad Christmas 1975
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle: To Abby Harper Christmas 1977 with love from Mom and Dad
The Diamond in the Window by Jane Langton: Love to Abby from Mom and Dad Christmas 1979
Smoky the Cow Horse by Will James: Ok, there’s no inscription in this one. But I VIVIDLY remember getting it as a gift on Christmas
Treasury of World Masterpieces: Mark Twain (a collection of novels and short stories): Love to Abigail from Mother and Father Christmas 1981
Around the World in Eighty Days ~ From The Earth to the Moon ~ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne: Love to our Voracious Reader, Abby, from Ma & Pa 1981 Christmas
H.M. Pulham, Esquire by John P. Marquand: Once again, no inscription, but a vivid memory of receiving it
The Illustrated Sherlock Holmes Treasury by Arthur Conan Doyle: To Abby with love from Mom and Dad 1983
My Antonia by Willa Cather: (in my writing) – Abigail Harper from Mom and Dad Christmas ’86
The Rainbow by D.H. Lawrence: Love to Abs from Mom and Dad [first book with Dad’s name written in his own writing!] 1995
The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis: To Abby from Mom and Dad December 1996 [Dad’s writing]
I’m sure there are others hidden in my bookshelves – maybe I’ll find them and pull them out for next year’s Christmas post. Meanwhile, I wonder what book or books I’ll get this year? Merry Christmas, everyone.