Friday, December 28, 2007

Memory Lane

What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child? When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher read the Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder to us every day. I loved those books and I wanted my own copy. I wanted to reread them at my leisure, but I also wanted to race ahead of the class’s one-chapter-a-day pace and find out what happened to the Ingalls family.

Christmas Eve night I couldn’t sleep. No surprise there. When I did fall asleep, I dreamed that I went down the hall into our living room and saw a few of the books there. When I woke up on Christmas morning, the reality exceeded my dreams. I had the entire set, encased in its own box with the word NAME and a space underneath. I carefully wrote my name in my best handwriting on the box.

I read those books many times. When my daughter progressed from picture books to chapter books, I looked forward to passing the collection on to her. She read the first book and part of the second. They now sit collecting dust on a shelf in her room next to her collection of mysteries, biographies, and fantasy novels. To each his own. That’s why there are so many writers with so many stories to tell. During this holiday season, I am thankful for many things, including teachers who share the love of books with their students and parents who believe that a book, or a set of books, makes a great gift.


Sandra said...

I loved your "blog" about Christmas. It reminds me of past Christmas days, both happy & sad.

Shauna Roberts said...

My sister and her husband tried for years to interest their daughters in the Lord of the Rings, without success. Yet my nieces are both fans of fantasy.

No one Christmas present sticks out in my mind. However, my aunt was a writer and a librarian. I always looked forward to her gifts because they would be books (or other presents) that no one else would ever think of giving me. One year I got a child's history of the world, which I loved. Other great gifts from her included The Little Prince, a book on the history of Western art, and a slide set (remember slides?) of art in the Louvre.

A. Smith said...

I am loving reading your blog! I can hardly believe that your daughter would let any book collect dust on a shelf! One of my most favorite Christmas presents ever was a boxed set of the Chronicles of Narnia that my dad gave to me. Even though I had already read the first two books years before, I was so excited when I opened that gift! Years later when I began teaching and used The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe in the classroom, I found my old boxed set in my mother's attic and used my own personal copy. I remember that it fell open to my favorite parts. My dad died when I was ten years old and although I had taken very good care of my books through the years, that boxed set did not survive Hurricane Katrina. My own kids like those books now - so the tradition of giving books for Christmas continues!

Rae Ann Parker said...

Thanks for your kind comments, A. Smith. You are one of those wonderful teachers that I mentioned in the post. Thank you for bringing novels into your classroom and making them fun!