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.