Each Christmas, my mom, grandmother, and I used to swap Christmas books. To be honest, we had a book exchange that went throughout the year. The books usually ended up in the library at my grandmother’s retirement community so that someone else could read them after they’d passed through everyone’s hands. We didn’t have the same taste in books at all, but we still read what the others offered. I know I’ve experienced books I would never have if I didn’t have someone else handing it to me. My mom loves a cozy mystery, I’m more a literature nerd, and my grandmother believed all books should be non-fiction.
Now it’s just my mom and me, and last year, my mom moved to South Carolina. I sent her a couple of books and bought myself copies so we could read together. I tried to pick a mystery, but I missed the mark of it being cozy. The other was a fluffy Christmas Hallmarky type of book. I wasn’t a fan, but I also don’t watch the Hallmark Channel. I can’t tell you why or how I picked it. This year, however, we worked out the kinks, so we were both more satisfied. I sent her only one and stuck with my style. Mr. Dickens and His Carol, and she sent me her choice, which was The Candy Cane Caper, a cozy culinary mystery. Much more her.
I’ve wanted to read Mr. Dickens and His Carol and The Man Who Invented Christmas for a while. Seemed like a good year for it. If you saw my blog a few weeks ago titled Ghost Stories for Christmas? you know I love A Christmas Carol. I’m fascinated with the impact of the book had not only on his own life but in how we think about Christmas, which is impressive and shows the power of a good story.
I’m enjoying them and will rewatch the movie The Man Who Invented Christmas soon, but it also leaves me a little sad. My grandmother loved Christmas and I miss including her in the book swap. Continuing the tradition with my mom is lovely, but again, I miss seeing her for the holiday too. I know it’s only one day of the year, but it’s a favorite of mine. I also know change is a part of life, but that doesn’t stop a twinge of sadness and longing for who’s missing. The small traditions that created over time do help keep someone alive in our hearts, but sometimes you prefer they were sitting right next to you.
All the best to you and yours this holiday season. Remember, whatever traditions that may seem silly now, later, can become one of your most treasured. Enjoy your loved ones and the celebrations, no matter what they are.