Every year at the beginning of Advent I bring out our family’s collection of Christmas stories. It is rare now that the kids will let me read to them, but I still like to get out our favorite books and have them around – a reminder of some very special times. We have Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Oscar Wilde’s The Selfish Giant, a beautiful book book from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
And several other books that I treasure.
I still cry every time I read. Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt
But I think my favorite Christmas story might be one I discovered just a couple of years ago. I found it when I was looking for something for my 9th grade Pre-Ap English class to read.
A Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck is the story of a young boy who suddenly realizes that his serious, hard-working father actually loves him and what that boy does to show his love for his father in return.
I think I am so enamored with this story because it underscores the power of a simple act of kindness and of the power of knowing that you are loved. But perhaps the reason I love it the most is because it reminds me of so much of my grandfather. The young boy’s act of love is exactly like something my grandfather would have done or something he would have appreciated. And even though, I am sorry to say, I never did anything as meaningful for my grandfather as the boy in this story does for his dad, I do remember Papa’s “queer, sobbing sort of laugh” and his misty eyes when he was particularly delighted with one of us. I remember how happy it used to make me feel to know I had pleased him and shown him a bit of the love we always felt from him.
A Christmas Day in the Morning isn’t a religious story. There’s no manger scene, wise men, or shepherds. It is simply a charming story about the love between a boy and his father and how the boy carried that love with him his entire life.
Enjoy and have a very Merry Christmas…