Well folks, it is snowing like a son-of-a-gun out there today. This snow, we could have used it a couple of weeks ago to get us in the holiday spirit. Now I'm not a big fan. It does make me think of the last Christmas and something I was ruminating over.
When I was a kid, Santa always put an orange in my stocking. I would think, "Santa, what gives? We got a bunch of these in the fridge." But every year the orange would appear, right down in the toe. Maybe Santa wanted to fill that sock up (cheaply) or Santa was thinking of his own Christmases back in the day when an orange was a Big Deal. Nowadays Santa skips the orange.
My girl always gets books from us at Christmas. Yes us, not Santa. We give books and clothes at this house. My daughter likes books, don't get me wrong, but it pains me a little that she doesn't react to books the way I did at Christmas. It's true that my brothers and I had lots of picture books at our house and the library was visited every two weeks. But as I got older, owning 'older' books was a rare thing. I remember saving up for Sweet Valley High books and then spending an agonizing amount of time deciding which one to buy. When I got books at Christmas, and I always did, I would spend hours reading them and then hours re-reading them. I'd stare at the covers and proudly line them on my shelf. I still own many of those books: Little Women, Tales of Mystery from Edgar Allan Poe, The Endless Steppe.
Maybe I liked them so much because they were a rare treat. Now, since I'm a book lover, I buy books for my daughter all the time. At book sales. From the school. From the book store. Everywhere and all the time. Her bookshelves are a fridge full of oranges.
Though I recognize that what made a book so special to me as a child was its rarity, I still can't keep myself from bringing them home. I can't deny my girl a book. But I wish my girl could see them through my own younger self's eyes.