Sunday, December 20, 2009

123 - 126. Short Christmas Stories

The Mitford Snowmen by Jan Karon  This is a very short story about the townspeople of Mitford spontaneously building snowmen on Main Street.  It has many of the characters we come to know and love in the other Mitford books and is written with the same gentle humor and love. 
Rating:  4

Christmas in Haggerty by Betsy Brannon Green  Green's Haggerty series involve a young LDS mother, her FBI husband and their odd Southern neighbors as they work together to solve mysteries.  In this fun Christmas tale, the mystery involves geneaology and finding out about the crying baby Kate dreams about each night.  The side tale covers the town of Haggerty's Christmas door decoration contest and how several women try to one-up each other in order to win the prize.  It's all good fun and heart-warming as well.  Rating:  4.25
 Up on the Rooftop by Jean Z Liebenthal  It's Chritmas, 1937 in the small town of Wind Valley.  Through the mouth of  a seven-year-old girl we fee the nostagia of a more simple and wholesome time.  The Christmas spirit comes through as we follow the tales of children being children and neighbors being neighbors.  There is a Christmas pageant and a wonderful ending as the narrator learns the truth about Santa Clause and the true meaning of Christmas.  Rating: 

 I Heard the Bells of Christmas Day by Lloyd and Karmel Newell  For several years, my mother has given all of her kids and grandkids Christmas books to be opened before Christmas.  This is the one she gave me this year, saying this is her favorite Christmas Carol.  The illustrations by Dan Burr and absolutely breathtaking as we follow Henry Longfellow through his life up to the writing of this poem.  The Newells also includes historical facts about the customs of the era, the Longfellow home, and  other interesting tidbits.  At the end of the book is a piece written by Daniel Warner called, "Longfellow's Christmas."  In an accompanying DVD, Edward Hermann does a wonderful dramatic presentation of this piece from the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra in the background.  And listening to the Choir sing this song with the bells ringing at the end gave me chills.  Thanks, Mom, for a great Christmas experience.  Rating:  4.5

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