Book Review Thirty-Three
December 8, 2012
Libraries have hidden treasures available at the lowest prices for various seasons and holidays of the year. Christmas is probably the best example of this. Every year the Laurens County Library purchases a few new books to add to their holiday collection.
Being Santa Claus tells the true story of Sal Lizard who looks like, acts like, and even smells like jolly old Saint Nick for 365 days out of the year. He started playing Santa when he turned 36 and discovered that his beard had turned a perfect shade of white. Lizard started making appearances at malls, businesses, and individual homes. Filling the red suit requires more than just his physical body, Lizard brings the belief that even the smallest child can make a difference and that forgiveness and redemption are always possible. Believing in Santa often allows a child to continue the security of their childhood just a little longer.
What would Christmas be without Charlie Brown! Charles Schulz's character displays the mixture of humor, exasperation and ultimately joy that all of us can relate to during the holiday.
The Great Reindeer Rebellion provides a twist to the story of Santa and his reindeer powered sled. What would happen if the reindeer ever decided to form a union and strike for more benefits? These reindeer must really be American born and bred. After trying several alternative sources of animal power, Santa caves in with promises of saunas, real beds, heaters and even cable. All of which is covered in a lifelong contract that no attorney could challenge.
Christmas with Southern Living has been around for over 30 years. This annual edition contains more than 100 new recipes along with chapters on how to decorate, entertain, savor, and share that will bring new ideas to combine with your prized traditions.
The Library also has a number of titles describing how different cultures of the world celebrate the end of the calendar year.
There are some stories that never tire of repeating. Two of these, The Night Before Christmas and The Nutcracker became part of the Library through the 1998 Governor's and General Assembly Book Grant. An edition of The Polar Express was presented to the Library in memory of Dean E. Dreyer by his friends. One of the copies of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever bears the stamp of the Katherine W. Gray library. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has been one of my favorites starting in 1983. When growing up I knew kids like the Herdmans that "lied and stole and smoked cigars and talked dirty". They were my cousins and they lived across the street from my house. Each time I read this book I laugh, cry, and thoroughly enjoy the way that the real message of giving is presented.
Regardless of how you view this time of year, by choosing to read a book to yourself or to a child, reading is an opportunity to pause, rest, reflect, and perhaps to become inspired to give even a small gift to someone in need who has not requested it.