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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Favorite Christmas Books

I love Christmas books! As some of you can tell by my blog, I am a very visual person. I have always loved pictures to tell me a story. When I teach lessons, to children or adults, I always have pictures. For me, I understand a message better with pictures. That is why I love these books below.

I love paintings by Simon Dewey which I post often on my blog. This book has the most beautiful pictures of the nativity. Plus as a bonus, it is based on my favorite Primary Christmas Song, "The Nativity Song" by Patricia Kelsey Graham. I love the melody of this song and the message of it. When I have been Chorister or a Primary President, we always have sung this song while having children who are dressed up as the Nativity characters act it out. This book is full of beautiful pictures as well but uses the Bible Scriptures to tell the story of Jesus' birth. Being the visual person I am, I feel the spirit so much more by reading the scriptures in here and seeing the pictures visually. When I read and see stories of the Nativity, I feel as if I am there witnessing His birth in humble circumstances
On to a fun Christmas book with Santa. This book as amazing pictures too. Its about a mouse whirling all through the house - piling up a plate of cookies and finding the perfect spot to wait up for Santa. When Santa arrives, the Mouse sneaks a peek inside his sack, and before he knows it, he's on the ride of his life in Santa's sleigh! The illustrations are by Michael Garland and are photorealistic paintings - very beautiful!

Brady and I are half way through "A Christmas Melody". I have to say again how much I love this book. I am having a good cry every night while reading this book. Last night we read about when Melody as a little girl and she had been up all night while her dad was in a drunken rage abusing his wife and children and breaking things in the house. The next day was Sunday and when she went to Primary they sang "I am a Child of God, with parents kind and dear" and she broke down. Sister Thompson took her into another class room and talk to her.

(this is from the book - written by Anita Stansfield)

Sister Thompson told her a story about a righteous man who had lived not so many years ago. He had seen a vision of Nephite warriors guarding a temple to keep the evil spirits away. Then she described a similar image to Melody. "Next time you're afraid, honey, you just imagine one of these heroes standing guard at your bedroom door. I know that angels are real, child. I've felt their presence in my life."
Melody's eyes widened. "Do they have wings?" She asked.
Sister Thompson smiled. "No, honey. The wings are only a symbol. When we see angels with wings, it only reminds us that they are heavenly messengers. Angels are nothing more or less than people like you and me who are on the other side of the veil. They are always close, even though we can't see them. All of the heroes in these stories are now angels, and they can watch over you. All you have to do is ask your Father in Heaven to send an angel. You won't be able to see him, but if you try really hard to have faith, you'll be able to feel him close by. It's not always a very strong felling, but it's there nevertheless.

"Is it like the way I felt after I was baptized?"

"Yes, honey. That's what it's like."

Melody liked Sister Thompson's theory on heroic angels. She read and reread the stories in her Book of Mormon that the older woman had helped her mark. Captain Moroni defeating the wicked Lamanites. Mormon leading armies into battle as a young man. Another Moroni who kept himself hidden from the Lamanites in order to complete the record and bury it. Nephi subduing his older brothers' she liked that one especially.

With a vivid imagination, Melody conjured up an image of her own hero. He was somehow a combination of several personages: tall and firm and strong, dressed like a warrior, complete with shield and sword. His features and coloring were obscure, but his image was strong. From then on, when her father would rage and throw his drunken fits, while her mother cried and groveled to defend herself, Melody imagined her angel warrior standing in the doorway of the room she shared with her sisters. Sometimes he would stand right at the foot of her bed. And Sister Thompson had been right; Melody never really saw him, but she felt him there without question.

I love this book.... It makes me feel for little children who are in abusive homes and have to live in circumstances of abuse. I love the image of angels around us to keep us safe. I have an army of warriors protecting my home, keeping the spirit here and keeping us safe. Isn't that a great visual of Heavenly Father love and protection?

Do you have a favorite Christmas book? Please share -- I always love getting new ones!


Scrappy Girl said...

I love Debbie Macomber and she puts out a Christmas book each year. This year's is called "A Cedar Cove Christmas." She does a Cedar Cover series but you could read this one even if you don't read the rest. Although I would highly recommend the rest! The story is about a woman named Mary Jo Wyse and it is based around the nativity (like she has 3 brothers, the 3 Wyse men). It is cute and touching.

Scrappy Girl said...

You cracked me up over on my blog! I love that you will keep reading my OC Housewives posts even though you have no idea what I am talking about! That is a true bloggy buddy! Do you watch American Idol? If not...Jan - May could truly test our bloggy friendship...LOL! I get a "little" into it!

Ann Marie said...

I have all of your books, and I love them also!! I will come back with a few of my favorites a little later.. I shouldn't be on the computer.. I have Presidency meeting here in about 40 minutes! Yikes!

Ann Marie said...

Ok.. I'm back.
My 2 favorite besides ones you listed are:
The tale of the three trees, and I believe in Santa Claus. You have got to see both of those. They used to sell them both at LDS bookstores, although I'm not sure if they are LDS authors.
I also have every Richard Paul Evans book because he is family. He did some cute Childrens stories, and is known for " The Christmas Box" which was his best seller ever I think..
We also read old-school disney, smurfs, anything that has a Christmas theme to it. I'm guessing you have many Max Lucado.. I'm pretty sure every household owns " You are special".. One of the best books ever!!!

PS: So, have you seen all of the drama about New Moon?? I am SOOO mad at summit. I am going to be writing them soon. If you havent heard, e-mail me. Lots of drama including a rumor that Jacob will be re-cast. Good thing that I have a Christmas theme going, or I probably would have had a few more rants. Stay positive.. I have to keep telling myself. Are you sure you wanna know me and my craziness??
Okay.. I have been here long enough. Bye.


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