Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"A Christmas Memory" Memory or Truman Capote is My Favorite Christmas Character

I'm pretty much a die-hard Christmas traditionalist. Same foods, same schedule, same routines, every year. One year, we couldn't make it to my Grum-Grum's house for Christmas Eve lunch because the roads were iced over. Even when we got tapped by another car and slid off the road and into a ditch, I begged my dad to keep going, try again. "But we have to!!!" I screamed in-between sobs. I was probably 15 at the time.
I blame my mother for this tendancy, who excels in every aspect of festivity planning and attempts to squeeze every cinnamon-scented drop out of the possibilities for family-memory-making between November 26th and December 26th.
Her most inventive holiday tradition, and my favorite, was the Christmas Book Basket. Every year, the gigantic wicker basket would come out of the closet and be placed on the hearth [P.S. - don't you love how the word, "hearth," gets dusted off and trotted out more this time of year than the more quotidien "fireplace?] to be filled with all of our Christmas-themed storybooks, a couple of new ones our Advent treat. Every night, we would read one, and we would try to get through all of them by Christmas.
We don't do this anymore, although I wish we would (in some abbreviated sense, since now we're "all grown up" and living far, far away). One thing about me that I suppose should be called an embarrassing secret that I'm actually not embarrassed about at all is how much I love children's books. How fun, enchanted and special to spend an uninterrupted hour alone in the children's section at Barnes & Noble!
My favorite Christmas book is "A Christmas Memory," by Truman Capote. If you haven't read it, go read it this year. Even though the Christmas Book Basket is now just my Christmas Memory, re-reading this old friend never ceases to fill me with the same excitement I felt then.
Please comment: What's your favorite Christmas book? Also, please take my quiz to the right: What's your favorite holiday activity?