Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

{Reindeer illustration by Gyo Fujikawa}
Merry Christmas! I am awaiting the gifts, gazing at the lit Christmas tree, the meals shared with family... It's such a wonderful time of year. May the peace and wonderment of the holiday season wrap you up in joy.

{The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa}
One holiday tradition we have in our house is wrapping up 24 Christmas books in newspaper and placing them under the tree December 1. (Yes, we get the tree up right after Thanksgiving!) I save last year's Christmas cards and tape a card to the top of each news-print wrapped book. So it all looks super-festive, but the book wrapping carefully reuses what we already have.

 Every night we unwrap and read one. The Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer book is the biggest, so that's usually known and opened first, but the rest are in disguise under the newspaper wrapping and we only know what we get once it's opened. Three of the books (like Jingle Bells) are simply the song lyrics with illustrations, so when we open those three Chrsitmas books, we get to sing them!

I adore the illustrations in these Christmas books, and many of them are vintage books. One of my favorites is a vintage version of The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Gyo Fujikawa.

{illustration by Gyo Fujikawa}
I know some folks love the wonderful 1998 Jan Brett version of The Night Before Christmas- and if you have been to nearby Stockbridge, Massachusetts, you'll see all the local landmarks in the town including the Red Lion Inn! But I am smitten with this vintage version of The Night Before Christmas and the delicate reindeer drawn by Gyo Fujikawa.

Ms. Fujikawa passed away at 90 in 1998, and was one of the first popular illustrators to include children of all different races in her illustrations.

What is you favorite book of the season? 

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Walker loves "A Christmas Rocking Horse" but I'm always fond of "The Night Before Christmas". Hope you had a beautiful holiday!


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